MARYLAND NPDES PERMIT UPDATE

Since the expiration of the previous General Permit on December 31, 2019, the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) has issued a Consent Order to provide coverage for new discharges of stormwater associated with construction activity. As of May 18, 2020, and until a new General Permit is issued, all new applicants have the option to either voluntarily sign into the Consent Order for coverage or apply for an Individual Permit. Rather than submitting a Notice of Intent, eligible applicants agreeing to the terms of the Consent Order (i.e., requirements of the 14-GP) will submit a Declaration of Intent. The application process has been identical to the previous process, including the 14-day public comment period. However, if an applicant chooses to apply for an Individual Permit, MDE has acknowledged it could take at least six months for issuance of the permit.

 

This process is anticipated to continue while MDE moves through the draft permit process for the new General Permit. In a progressive effort to establish a new General Permit, MDE recently announced the issuance of a tentative determination and notice of a public hearing for the proposed NPDES General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity (20-CP). The 20-CP Draft Permit has been posted by MDE for public review and comments. A virtual public hearing has been scheduled for November 10, 2020, and written comments for consideration of the final determination must be submitted to MDE by December 24, 2020. As the General Permit is valid for a period of 5 years, final issuance is a critical milestone for MDE and the construction industry.

 

Notable Changes:

  • Use of chemical additives for the treatment of sediment-laden water
  • Change in required self-monitoring inspections/reporting
  • Further definitions related to non-stormwater discharges and prohibited discharges
  • SWPPP requirements
  • Sensitive waters