EPA Issues NPDES Permits for Treating Domestic Sewage in Alaska
Source: 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10

The Director, Office of Water, EPA Region 10, proposes to issue general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for small Publically Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) and other small treatment works treating domestic sewage in Alaska pursuant to the provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA) 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq. One general permit is applicable to those facilities discharging to marine waters (NPDES Permit Number AKG- 57-1000) while the second general permit is applicable to facilities discharging to fresh waters (Number AKG-57-0000).

When issued, the proposed general permits will establish effluent limitations, standards, prohibitions and other conditions on discharges from covered facilities. These conditions are based on existing national effluent guidelines (40 CFR part 133 Secondary Treatment Regulations) and the State of Alaska's Water Quality Standards (18 AAC 70).

The general permits contain conditions applicable to three categories of treatment: Treatment works where a mechanically aerated waste stabilization pond (aerated lagoon) is used as the principal process; treatment works where a passive waste stabilization pond (non-aerated lagoon) is used as the principal process; and other treatment works treating domestic sewage.

The proposed permits will authorize discharge to waters of the United States in and contiguous to the State of Alaska. Sewage treatment plants meeting any of the following conditions will be excluded from coverage under the general permits: The design flow or actual discharge flow exceeds 1.0 million gallons per day; a total maximum daily load (TMDL) analysis is approved for the receiving water and includes waste load allocations for the facility; the receiving water is listed as impaired (i.e. 303(d) listed) for failure to meet a water quality standard and the facility discharges a pollutant that contributes to the impairment; and/or the facility receives a significant contribution from a non-domestic industrial user(s). Dischargers meeting any of the above criteria are required to apply for and obtain an individual NPDES permit.

Comments on the proposed issuance of the general permits should be sent to the attention of the Director, Office of Water, 1200 Sixth Avenue OW-130, Seattle, Washington 98101. Comments must be postmarked by November 10, 2003. Comments also may be submitted electronically to lidgard.michael@epa.gov.

Copies of the proposed general permits and fact sheet are available upon request. Requests may be made to Audrey Washington at (206) 553-0523 or to Mike Lidgard at (206) 553-1755.

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