EPA Announces Implementation of Residual Designation Authority for Stormwater Discharges in Massachusetts Watersheds
Today, September 14, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new efforts designed to oversee currently unregulated stormwater runoff in the watersheds of the Charles, Neponset, and Mystic Rivers.
The EPA is utilizing a Clean Water Act provision called "residual designation authority," under which the Agency will require permit coverage for stormwater discharges from currently unregulated sources of stormwater runoff in the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset River watersheds. Commercial, industrial, and institutional properties with one or more acres of impervious area (hard surfaces like parking lots, roofs, and roadways that make it difficult for stormwater to soak into the ground) will be required to obtain coverage under an EPA Clean Water Act permit. Once permits are issued, property owners will be required to take steps to reduce pollutants in stormwater. No action is required by these properties at this time.
Today's announcement follows two years after NAIOP Massachusetts members participated in a focus group designed to aggregate feedback from the industry on commercial and industrial stormwater management best practices and general reactions to a potential RDA designation.
The NAIOP Advocacy Team has already been in touch with the EPA, and is a confirmed stakeholder in the permit design process, which is expected to begin in the coming months, and will include a public comment period on all draft permits. Upon finalization of a NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) general permit covering these dischargers, all designated properties will be required to obtain permit coverage under that permit (or an individual NPDES permit if they prefer), and take steps to reduce pollutants in stormwater.
The NAIOP Advocacy Team is working on numerous initiatives. If you have questions regarding these, or other topics, please feel free to reach out to NAIOP's CEO Tamara Small or NAIOP's Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, Anastasia Nicolaou.