Nutrient Credit Trading Program; Mass Certification
[51 Pa.B. 6705]
[Saturday, October 23, 2021]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) provides notice of a mass certification of pollutant reduction activities to generate credits action under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program (Trading Program). This action is taken under 25 Pa. Code § 96.8 (relating to use of offsets and tradable credits from pollution reduction activities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed).
On August 14, 2021, the Department provided notice of its intent under the Trading Program to issue a mass certification to all significant sewage point source discharges located in the Commonwealth portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed that have annual mass load effluent limitations (cap loads) in their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Comments on this proposal were accepted until September 13, 2021.
A list of these significant sewage point sources can be found in Table 5 of the Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) Wastewater Supplement, available at www.dep.pa.gov/npdes-bay or www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading (select ''Delivery Ratio: Credits vs Pounds'' then ''Point Source Credit Generators Table''). See 25 Pa. Code § 96.8.
Effective October 1, 2020, to be eligible to generate credits for sale, all significant sewage point source discharges with an assigned cap load (see Table 5 of the Phase 3 WIP Wastewater Supplement) must demonstrate treated yearly effluent concentrations (baseline concentrations) below 6.0 mg/L total nitrogen (TN) and 0.8 mg/L total phosphorous (TP) in accordance with the procedures described in the Phase 2 WIP Nutrient Trading Supplement, which is available at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading (in the ''Trading Program Overview'' section). When stringent effluent limitations for TN or TP, or both, are established in Part A of a significant sewage point source discharger's NPDES permit for reasons other than the cap load assigned for protection of the Chesapeake Bay, the permittee is eligible to generate credits when the permittee demonstrates that these effluent limitations have been achieved in accord with the Phase 2 WIP Nutrient Trading Supplement. In addition:
• to generate credits, facilities must demonstrate they are in compliance with their NPDES permit;
• the total amount of credits the facility is certified to generate cannot exceed its permitted cap load;
• the calculation of credits will be made using formulas described in the Phase 2 WIP Nutrient Trading Supplement; and
• this point source certification will expire September 30, 2025.
To ensure that verification is complete in time for credit availability to be posted on the Department web site, facilities are encouraged to provide the Department with their verification requests by October 28th each year. Verification requests must include a complete Annual Chesapeake Bay Spreadsheet for the compliance year in which the credits were generated (that is, October 1 through September 30). The Annual Chesapeake Bay Spreadsheet is available at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading (in the ''Have credits to sell?'' section). Verification forms and instructions are found on the ''Credit Trading Process'' page at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading.
Persons aggrieved by this action may appeal the action to the Environmental Hearing Board (Board), under section 4 of the Environmental Hearing Board Act (35 P.S. § 7514) and 2 Pa.C.S. §§ 501—508 and 701—704 (relating to Administrative Agency Law), to the Environmental Hearing Board, Second Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, P.O. Box 8457, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8457.
TDD users may contact the Board through the Pennsylvania Hamilton Relay Service at (800) 654-5984.
Appeals must be filed with the Board within 30 days of receipt of notice of this action unless the appropriate statute provides a different time. This paragraph does not, in and of itself, create any right of appeal beyond that permitted by applicable statutes and decisional law.
A notice of appeal form and the Board's rules of practice and procedure may be obtained online at http://ehb.courtapps.com or by contacting the Secretary to the Board at (717) 787-3483. The notice of appeal form and the Board's rules are also available in braille and on audiotape from the Secretary to the Board.
Important legal rights are at stake. Individuals should show this document to a lawyer at once. Persons who cannot afford a lawyer may qualify for free pro bono representation. Call the Secretary to the Board at (717) 787-3483 for more information. A lawyer is not needed to file a notice of appeal with the Board.
For individuals who wish to challenge this action, appeals must be filed with and received by the Board within 30 days of receipt of notice of this action.
For further information about this action or the Trading Program, contact the Division of Operations, Bureau of Clean Water, Department of Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 8774, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774, (717) 787-6744, RA-EPPANutrientTrad@pa.gov, or visit the Department's web site at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-1766. Filed for public inspection October 22, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]
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