June 8, 2020

MassDEP Requests EPA Add PFAS to Monitoring Requirements Under the 2020 MSGP

Holland & Knight Energy and Natural Resources Blog
Dianne R. Phillips
Energy and Natural Resources Blog

By letter dated June 1, 2020, Director of Watershed Management for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Lealdon Langley filed comments at www.regulations.gov for Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0372 concerning the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 2020 Issuance of the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity. In these comments, MassDEP specifically requested the EPA add an annual monitoring requirement for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) "at a minimum" for the following sectors:

a) Sector B – Paper and Allied Products

b) Sector C – Chemical and Allied Products Manufacturing

c) Sector D – Asphalt Paving and Roofing Materials and Lubricant Manufacturing

d) Sector K – Hazardous Waste Treatment Storage or Disposal Facilities

e) Sector L – Landfills, Land Application Sites and Open Dumps

f) Sector N – Scrap Recycling and Waste Recycling Facilities

g) Sector S – Air Transportation

h) Sector V – Textile Mills, Apparel and Other Fabric Products

i) Sector W – Furniture and Fixtures

j) Sector Y – Rubber, Miscellaneous Plastic Products and Miscellaneous Manufacturing Industries

k) Sector Z – Leather Tanning and Finishing

l) Sector AA – Fabricated Metal Products

m) Sector AC – Electronic and Electrical Equipment and Components, Photographic and Optical Goods

Given that Massachusetts is home to the largest number of facilities permitted under the MSGP, this request could have a substantial impact on permittees if adopted by the EPA.

Similarly, the New Mexico Environment Department suggested that PFAS monitoring should be implemented for facilities in sectors under the NAICS codes identified in the EPA's Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act rule proposal in its comment letter dated May 29, 2020. Only time will tell if the EPA adopts any of these suggestions, but given that both Massachusetts and New Mexico are non-delegated states, these two comments could have a substantial impact on facilities permitted under the MSGP program.

Under the MSGP Settlement Agreement, the EPA is required to promptly issue the 2020 MSGP and is targeting a November issuance date. Given the volume and complexity of the comments posted, it remains to be seen if the EPA will be able to meet that date and what, if any, changes will be incorporated from the published draft. Stay tuned.

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