[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 84 (Wednesday, May 1, 2013)]
[Pages 25435-25436]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10317]




Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
General Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in the Middle 
Rio Grande Watershed in New Mexico (NMR04A000)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of proposed permit issuance and notice of public 
meetings, and public hearing.


SUMMARY: EPA Region 6 Water Quality Protection Division, today is 
proposing for public comment the issuance of a National Pollutant 
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for storm water 
discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) located 
in the Middle Rio Grande Watershed in the State of New Mexico. This 
proposed permit offers discharge authorization to regulated MS4s within 
the boundaries of the Bureau of the Census-designated 2000 and 2010 
Albuquerque Urbanized Areas and any other MS4s in the watershed 
designated by the Director as needing a MS4 permit. This permit is 
intended to replace both the individual NPDES Permit NMS000101 issued 
on January 31, 2012, and the expired general permits NMR040000 and 
NMR04000I for dischargers in this watershed area. The Director is also 
providing notice of public meetings and a public hearing to be held 
regarding today's proposed general permit.

DATES: Comments must be submitted in writing to EPA on or before July 
1, 2013.
    Proposed Documents: The proposed general permit and fact sheet 
which sets forth principal facts and the significant factual, legal, 
and policy questions considered in the development of the proposed 
general permit, may be obtained via the Internet at http://epa.gov/region6/water/npdes/sw/ms4/index.htm.
    To obtain hard copies of these documents or any other information 
in the administrative record, please contact Ms. Diane Smith using the 
contact information provided below.

How do I comment on this proposal?

    Comment Submittals: Submit your comments, by one of the following 
     Email: smith.diane@epa.gov.
     Mail: Ms. Diane Smith, U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.
    Administrative Record: The proposed general permit and other 
related documents in the administrative record are on file and may be 
inspected any time between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays, at the addresses listed for 
submission of comments. It is recommended that you write or call to the 
contact above for an appointment, so the record(s) will be available at 
your convenience.
    Public Meetings and Public Hearing: EPA will be holding two 
informal public meetings and one public hearing in the Albuquerque 
metropolitan area. The public meetings will include a presentation on 
the proposed general permit and a question and answer session. Written, 
but not oral, comments for the official permit record will be accepted 
at the public meetings. Written and oral comments for the official 
permit record will be accepted at the public hearing. Public notice of 
these meetings and the public hearing was provided in the Albuquerque 
Journal on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
    Meeting and Hearing: EXPO New Mexico, African American Performing 
Art Center (AAPAC) Auditorium, 300 San Pedro Dr. NE., Albuquerque, NM 
    Time: Public Meeting from 6:00 p.m.; Public Hearing from 7:30 p.m.
    Date: May 14, 2013.
    Meeting Only: USDA Building, First Floor Conference Room, 6200 
Jefferson St. NE., Albuquerque, NM 87109.
    Time: Public Meeting at 1:00 p.m.
    Date: May 15, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Diane Smith, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-
2733. Telephone: (214) 655-2145. Email address: smith.diane@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. General Information--This permit 
authorizes stormwater discharges to waters of the United States from 
MS4s within the Middle Rio Grande Watershed provided the MS4 is located 
fully or partially within the corporate boundary of the City of 
Albuquerque; is located fully or partially within an urbanized area as 
determined by the 2000 and 2010 Decennial Census; is designated as a 
regulated MS4 pursuant to 40 CFR 122.32; or this permit may also 
authorize an operator of a MS4 covered by this permit for discharges 
from areas of a regulated small MS4 located outside an Urbanized Areas 
or areas designated by the Director provided the permittee complies 
with all permit conditions in all areas covered under the permit. Maps 
of 2010 Census urbanized areas are available online at: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/urbanmaps.cfm.
    B. Statutory and Regulatory History--The overall intent of the 
permit conditions is to support the statutory goals of Section 101 of 
the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, 
physical and biological integrity for the Nation's waters. The 1987 
Water Quality Act (WQA) amended the CWA by adding section 402(p) which 
requires that NPDES permits be issued for various categories of storm 
water discharges. Section 402(p)(2) requires permits for five 
categories of storm water discharges, commonly referred to as Phase I 
of the NPDES Storm Water Program. Included in Phase I are discharges 
from large municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) (systems 
serving a population of 250,000 or more). Phase I regulations published 
November 16, 1990 (55 FR 47990) addressed discharges from large MS4s 
including city of Albuquerque MS4, which includes all MS4s located 
within the corporate boundary of the city of Albuquerque.
    Section 402(p)(6) of the CWA requires permitting for certain 
additional storm water discharges (Phase II of the storm water program) 
to protect water quality. EPA promulgated final Phase II storm water 
regulations on December 8, 1999 (64 FR 68722). These regulations set 
forth the additional categories of discharges to be permitted and the 
requirements of the program. The additional discharges to be permitted 
included small MS4s located in Urbanized Areas designated by the Bureau 
of the Census and those designated by the Director on a case-by-case 
basis to protect water quality. This proposed permit would combine 
coverage for both Phase I and Phase II regulated MS4s in the 
Albuquerque area into a single general permit.
    The discharge control conditions established by this permit are 
based on Section 402(p)(3)(B) of the Act which mandates that a permit 
for discharges from both Phase I and II MS4s must effectively prohibit 
the discharge of non-stormwater to the MS4 and require controls to 
reduce pollutants in discharges from the MS4 to the maximum extent 
practicable (MEP) including management practices,

[[Page 25436]]

control techniques and system design and engineering methods, and such 
other provisions as the Administrator deems appropriate for the control 
of pollutants. MS4 permits requiring implementation of Best Management 
Practices (BMPs) addressing the Six Minimum Control Measures at 40 CFR 
122.34(b) are generally deemed to be an appropriate means of meeting 
the MEP standard. Protection of water quality and compliance with Total 
Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are addressed through the CWA 
402(p)(3)(B)(iii) authority for ``other such provisions as the 
Administrator deems appropriate for the control of pollutants.''
    Paperwork Reduction Act: The information collection required by 
this permit will reduce paperwork significantly by implementation of 
electronic reporting requirements. EPA is working on an electronic 
notice of intent (eNOI) system so applicants will file their NOIs 
online. EPA estimates that it takes 10 to 15 minutes to fill up all 
information required by eNOI for each lease block. And it takes much 
less time to add, delete, or modify eNOI. EPA will also incorporate an 
electronic discharge monitoring report (NetDMR) requirement in the 
permit. The time for NetDMR preparation will be much less than that for 
paper DMR. The electronic filing systems will also significantly reduce 
the mailing cost.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act: The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq, requires that EPA prepare a regulatory flexibility 
analysis for regulations that have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. As indicated below, the permit 
reissuance proposed today is not a ``rule'' subject to the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act.

    Dated: April 18, 2013.
Stacey Dwyer,
Acting Director, Water Quality Protection Division, EPA Region 6.
[FR Doc. 2013-10317 Filed 4-30-13; 8:45 am]