[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 3 (Friday, January 4, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 727-729]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31716]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9765-7]


Public Notice of Proposed Reissuance of the NPDES General Permits 
for Facilities/Operations That Generate, Treat, and/or Use/Dispose of 
Sewage Sludge by Means of Land Application, Landfill, and Surface 
Disposal in the EPA Region 8

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of intent to reissue NPDES general permits and request 
for comments.

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SUMMARY: Region 8 of the EPA is hereby giving notice of its tentative 
determination to reissue National Pollutant Discharge Elimination 
System (NPDES) general permits for facilities or operations that 
generate, treat, and/or use/dispose of sewage sludge by means of land 
application, landfill, and surface disposal in the States of CO, MT, 
ND, and WY and in Indian country in the States of CO, MT, ND, SD, WY 
and UT (except for the Goshute Indian Reservation and the Navajo Indian 
Reservation).

DATES: Public comments on this proposal must be received, in writing, 
on or before February 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Public comments should be sent to: WASTEWATER UNIT (8P-W-
WW); ATTENTION: BIOSOLIDS PROGRAM; U.S. EPA, REGION 8; 1595 WYNKOOP 
STREET; DENVER, CO 80202-1129.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Copies of the draft permit and Fact 
Sheet may be downloaded from the EPA Region 8 web page at http://www.epa.gov/region8/water/biosolids/documents.html. For a printed copy 
of the draft permit and Fact Sheet, please write Bob Brobst at the 
above address or telephone (303) 312-6129. Questions regarding the 
specific permit requirements may be directed to Bob Brobst, telephone 
(303) 312-6129.
    Public Comment Period: Public comments are invited. Comments must 
be written and must be received by no later than February 19, 2013. 
Comments should be sent to: WASTEWATER UNIT (8P-W-WW); ATTENTION: 
BIOSOLIDS PROGRAM; U.S. EPA, REGION 8; 1595 WYNKOOP STREET; DENVER, CO 
80202-1129. Each comment should cite the page number and, where 
possible, the section(s) and/or paragraph(s) in the draft permit or 
Fact Sheet to which each comment refers. Commenters should use a 
separate paragraph for each issue discussed.

[[Page 728]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 21, 2000 and September 21, 2000, 
U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy issued orders stating that until 
all necessary total maximum daily loads under Section 303(d) of the 
Clean Water Act are established for a particular water quality limited 
segment, the EPA is not to issue any new permits or increase permitted 
discharges under the NPDES program. (The orders were issued in the 
lawsuit Friends of the Wild Swan, Inc., et al., v. U.S. E.P.A., et al., 
CV 97-35-M-DWM, District of Montana, Missoula Division.) The EPA finds 
that the reissuance of this proposed general permit does not conflict 
with this order, because (1) the proposed permit would not authorize 
any point source discharges and (2) as discussed under the ``Protection 
of Public Health and The Environment'' section of the Fact Sheet for 
the general permits, the use and/or disposal of sewage sludge in 
compliance with the conditions of this permit is not likely to have any 
adverse effect on any waterbody in Montana that has been listed under 
Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. If any member of the public 
believes that the EPA should interpret the District Court's decision 
otherwise, the EPA requests that this issue be brought to its attention 
during the public comment period on this proposed permit.
    Since these permits do not involve discharges to waters of the 
United States, certification under Sec.  401(a)(1) of the Clean Water 
Act is not necessary for the issuance of these permits and 
certification will not be requested.
    Region 8 is proposing to continue to use general permits instead of 
individual permits for permitting such sewage sludge related activities 
in order to reduce the Region's administrative burden of issuing 
separate individual permits. The renewal permits and fact sheets are 
very similar to the previous permits and fact sheets. Minor editing was 
done throughout the permits and fact sheets to correct typographic 
errors, update the list of the tribal environmental contacts, and some 
wording changes were made to provide clarification. The only 
significant changes made to the permits and fact sheets were: (1) 
References to Biosolids Data Management System (BDMS) was removed as it 
is no longer compatible with current computer systems; (2) In Table 12 
several antiquated analytical methods were removed from the list of 
acceptable analytical methods to be used in the analysis of sewage 
sludge. These methods may still be used with permission of the 
permitting authority; and (3) In Part 5.1.1.2.8 of the landfilling part 
of the permit, the requirement to do Part 4.1.4 of the permit was added 
for when sewage sludge is used in the final cover of the landfill. The 
purpose is to require agronomic soil sampling for calculating the 
proper amount of sewage sludge to be utilized in the establishment/
maintenance of vegetation on the final cover of the landfill. The 
administrative burden for most of the regulated sources is expected to 
be less under the general permits than with individual permits, and it 
will be much quicker to obtain permit coverage with general permits 
than with individual permits. The substantive permit requirements would 
be essentially the same with an individual permit or under the general 
permit. Facilities or operations that incinerate sewage sludge are not 
eligible for coverage under these general permits and must apply for an 
individual permit. Wastewater lagoon systems that are not using/
disposing of sewage sludge do not need to apply for permit coverage 
unless notified by the permit issuing authority. The deadlines for 
applying for coverage under the general permits are given in the 
permits and the Fact Sheet. Facilities/operations that had coverage 
under the previous general permit and have submitted a timely request 
for coverage under this renewal permit are covered automatically under 
this permit unless the permit issuing authority requires the submittal 
of a new notice of intent (NOI).
    On February 19, 1993, (58 FR 9248,) the EPA promulgated ``Standards 
for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge'' (40 CFR part 503) and made 
revisions to the NPDES regulations to include the permitting of 
facilities/operations that generate, treat, and/or use/dispose of 
sewage sludge. The 503 regulations were amended on August 4, 1999 (64 
FR 42551).
    The States of South Dakota and Utah currently are the only States 
in Region 8 that have been authorized to administer the biosolids 
(sludge) program. It is proposed that the EPA general permits be 
reissued for facilities or operations that generate, treat, and/or use/
dispose of sewage sludge by means of land application, landfill, and 
surface disposal within the following areas:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Area covered by the
             State                 Permit No.         general permit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Colorado.......................       COG650000  State of Colorado
                                                  except for Federal
                                                  Facilities and Indian
                                                  country.
                                      COG651000  Indian country within
                                                  the State of Colorado
                                                  and the portions of
                                                  the Ute Mountain
                                                  Indian Reservation
                                                  located in New Mexico
                                                  and in Utah.
                                      COG652000  Federal Facilities in
                                                  the State of Colorado,
                                                  except those located
                                                  in Indian country,
                                                  which are covered
                                                  under permit COG51000.
Montana........................       MTG650000  State of Montana except
                                                  for Indian country.
                                      MTG651000  Indian country in the
                                                  State of Montana.
North Dakota...................       NDG650000  State of North Dakota
                                                  except for Indian
                                                  country.
                                      NDG651000  Indian country within
                                                  the State of North
                                                  Dakota (except for
                                                  Indian country located
                                                  within the former
                                                  boundaries of the Lake
                                                  Traverse Indian
                                                  Reservation, which are
                                                  covered under permit
                                                  SDG651000) and that
                                                  portion of the
                                                  Standing Rock Indian
                                                  Reservation located in
                                                  South Dakota.
South Dakota...................       SDG651000  Indian country within
                                                  the State of South
                                                  Dakota (except for the
                                                  Standing Rock Indian
                                                  Reservation, which is
                                                  covered under permit
                                                  NDG651000), that
                                                  portion of the Pine
                                                  Ridge Indian
                                                  Reservation located in
                                                  Nebraska, and Indian
                                                  country located in
                                                  North Dakota within
                                                  the former boundaries
                                                  of the Lake Traverse
                                                  Indian Reservation.
Utah...........................       UTG651000  Indian country within
                                                  the State of Utah
                                                  except for the Goshute
                                                  Indian Reservation,
                                                  Navajo Nation, and Ute
                                                  Mountain Indian
                                                  Reservation (which is
                                                  covered under permit
                                                  COG651000).
Wyoming........................       WYG650000  State of Wyoming except
                                                  for Indian country.
                                      WYG651000  Indian country within
                                                  the State of Wyoming.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 729]]

    The States of South Dakota and Utah have been authorized permitting 
authority for sewage sludge, therefore the EPA's general permits will 
be reissued only for Indian country in those States. The general permit 
for Indian country in Utah does not include the portions of the Goshute 
Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation in Utah because the permitting 
activities for these reservations are done by Region 9 of the EPA. The 
State of Colorado has not been authorized permitting authority for 
Federal facilities, so a general permit is proposed for Federal 
facilities not located in Indian country.
    Authorization for use/disposal of sewage sludge under the general 
permits may be for one of the following three categories: Category 1--
Facilities/operations that generate and/or partially treat sewage 
sludge, but do not use/dispose of sewage sludge; Category 2--
Facilities/operations that use/dispose of sewage sludge and may also 
generate and/or treat sewage sludge; and Category 3--Wastewater lagoon 
systems that need to land apply sewage sludge on an occasional, 
restricted basis. Authorization for use/disposal of sewage sludge under 
the general permit will be limited to one of the three categories, but 
authorization may be granted to one or more subcategories under 
Category 2. In applying for authorization for use/disposal of sewage 
sludge under the general permit, the applicant will be required to 
specify under which category or subcategory(s) authorization is being 
requested. However, the permit issuing authority will have the final 
determination as to which category or subcategory(s) the authorization 
will be granted. The requirements in the permit for the use/disposal of 
sewage sludge are based primarily on 40 CFR Part 503.

Other Legal Requirements

    Economic Impact (Executive Order 12866): The EPA has determined 
that the issuance of this general permit is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 
51735 (October 4, 1993)) and is therefore not subject to formal OMB 
review prior to proposal.
    Paperwork Reduction Act: The EPA has reviewed the requirements 
imposed on regulated facilities in these proposed general permits under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, 44 U.S.C. Sec.  501 et seq. The 
information collection requirements of these permits have already been 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget in submissions made for 
the NPDES permit program under the provisions of the Clean Water Act.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended 
by the Small Business regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA): The 
RFA requires that the EPA prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for 
rules subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) that have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
permit proposed today, however, is not a ``rule'' subject to the 
requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and is therefore not subject to the 
RFA.
    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, generally requires Federal 
agencies to assess the effects of their ``regulatory actions'' defined 
to be the same as ``rules'' subject to the RFA) on tribal, state, local 
governments and the private sector. The permit proposed today, however, 
is not a ``rule'' subject to the RFA and is therefore not subject to 
the requirements of the UMRA.

    Authority: Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

    Dated: December 17, 2012.
Derrith R. Watchman-Moore,
Assistant Regional Administrator, Office of Partnerships and Regulatory 
Assistance.
[FR Doc. 2012-31716 Filed 1-3-13; 8:45 am]
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