Mar 05, 2020

Comment Period for Great Bay Draft Clean Water Act Permit Extended

The U.S. EPA has extended the Draft Clean Water Act Permit for Great Bay by 30 days

clean water act

The U.S. EPA has extended the public comment period on the draft Clean Water Act permit for New Hampshire's Great Bay by 30 days.

The new deadline for members of the public to submit comments to EPA is Apr. 8, 2020, according to the press release

If the proposal is finalized, the EPA believes this draft permit could result in significant decreases in nitrogen discharges to New Hampshire's Great Bay estuary. The aim is to improve water quality and the health of ecosystems throughout the estuary.

According to the press release, the 12 communities that would be covered by the general permit are: Dover, Durham, Epping, Exeter, Milton, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Rochester, Rollinsford and Somersworth. The permit was issued under the CWA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). 

Those interested in commenting on the permit can do so here.

The draft permit includes requirements designed to ensure that Great Bay meets water quality standards established by New Hampshire and a monitoring program to track the effectiveness of the permit in restoring water quality.

The permit also includes: Nitrogen requirements based on peer-reviewed science; an adaptive management approach; a focus on "non-point" sources; an optional non-point source reductions; local flexibility; and implementation and affordability. 

The draft establishes effluent limitations and monitoring requirements for total nitrogen, ambient monitoring requirements, reporting requirements and standard conditions for the eligible wastewater treatment facilities. Additionally, the discharge of all pollutants other than nitrogen from these facilities will continue to be authorized by each respective individual NPDES permit, according to the EPA.

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