The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reissued the State General Permit for industrial facility stormwater discharge. The PAG-03 General Permit was reissued on September 24, 2016 for a new 5-year term. The federal regulations identify specific classes of industrial facilities that must apply for NPDES permit coverage; in addition, DEP may require any other facility not identified in the federal regulations to obtain a permit if DEP finds that the facility or activity is resulting in the discharge of pollutants to waters of the Commonwealth.
If a facility is not eligible for coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit, it may apply for an individual NPDES permit, using DEP’s industrial waste NPDES permit application package. The most common reason that a facility may not be eligible for general permit coverage is if it is located in a High Quality or Exceptional Value watershed, according to designated uses under Chapter 93 or existing uses determined by DEP.
Coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit does not expire; however, facilities with coverage must submit annual reports by May 1st each year to document activities in the previous calendar year and to indicate intent to continue operating under the PAG-03 General Permit.
For those facilities that qualify for PAG-03 General Permit coverage, an alternative to obtaining permit coverage is to request No Exposure Certification if the facility qualifies. The No Exposure Certification alternative is not available to facilities in High Quality or Exceptional Value watersheds, and must be renewed every five years. For facilities not located in a High Quality or Exceptional Value watershed, all industrial materials and activities must be stored and conducted indoors or under roof for a facility to qualify for No Exposure Certification.