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    Storm water discharge

    Ohio EPA issues general permit authorization for storm water discharges

    On September 17, 2018, Ohio EPA issued its General Permit Authorization for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity from Oil and Gas Linear Transmission Line and Gathering Line Installation (the General Permit). Ohio EPA issued the permit in final form, effective immediately (with an effective date of September 17, 2018). Parties wishing to challenge the General Permit may do so by filing an appeal with the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC) within 30 days of the permit issuance – by October 17, 2018.

    The General Permit applies to all new and existing discharges of storm water associated with construction activity from oil and gas linear transmission line and gathering line installation that enter surface waters of the state or a storm drain leading to surface waters of the state. Ohio EPA has issued the General Permit as a “non-NPDES” permit pursuant to state law, asserting it falls outside of the federal storm water construction exemption for these types of projects. The General Permit requires the development and implementation of a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWP3) and a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) contingency plan for construction activities of this nature disturbing five or more acres. Permit coverage may be obtained by submitting a Notice of Intent application and fee through Ohio EPA’s eBusiness Center.

    Along with issuance of the General Permit, Ohio EPA issued a Response to Comments document, summarizing comments and questions it received at the public hearing (held on May 30, 2018) and during the public comment period (which concluded on June 6, 2018). Despite receiving comments from several major players in Ohio’s midstream industry, the General Permit and Response to Comments indicate that Ohio EPA incorporated few of these substantive comments into the General Permit.

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