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Vol. 7

No. 1

Summer 1999

A Newsletter About New Jersey's Water Quality Programs


Division Develops Three New General Permits for NJPDES Program

Division Develops Three New General Permits for NJPDES Program

The Division of Water Quality recently developed three new NJPDES General Permits-two in the surface water area and one for residuals (sludge). General permits reduce permit processing time because a standard set of conditions, specific to a discharge type or activity, are developed (rather than issuing individual permits for each activity). This permitting approach is well suited for regulating similar facilities or activities that have the same monitoring requirements.

The following briefly describes the new general permits:

Surface Water

Up until this time, the following two discharge types have not been regulated under individual NJPDES permits due to their short-term duration and the administrative difficulties associated with individually permitting so many discharges (many discharges have a duration of one hour or less). Although both discharges are relatively "clean," they can adversely affect the state's streams and rivers if certain precautions are not taken. Considering the nature of these discharges, the division was challenged with developing a permit that could effectively protect surface waters without setting unreasonable or unnecessarily burdensome conditions or requirements for dischargers. Although the division still recommends that these discharges be directed to wastewater treatment facilities, it may not be practical in all instances.


Swimming Pool

1. Swimming Pool Discharges

It is anticipated that residential pool owners, while not specifically covered under the permit, will also follow the concepts in the BMPs.

This permit covers discharges from municipal, commercial and other non-residential swimming pools. These discharges result from the backflushing of filtration equipment used to remove solids and other materials from pool water and the emptying/draining of pools at the end of the swimming season or for maintenance.

To address these unique discharges, the division decided that a Best Management Practice (BMP) approach would be the most effective and practical regulatory tool. As such, the new general permit does not include effluent limitations or monitoring conditions but incorporates BMPs to be implemented as necessary to protect the integrity and designated uses of receiving waters. It is anticipated that residential pool owners, while not specifically covered under this permit, will also follow the concepts detailed in the BMPs. Some examples of these BMPs are as follows:

  1. If the discharge contains suspended solids, BMPs utilized to reduce or eliminate solids levels prior to discharge should be employed. These can include anything from increased retention time in the pool to the use of filtration devices (such as hay bales).

  2. If the discharge contains a chlorine residual, increasing the time between filter backwashing, up to 7 days, will help dissipate residual chlorine. A chlorination kit can be used to confirm that there is no detectable level of chlorine in the water prior to discharge.

  3. The water used to backwash the filter should be retained on site or discharged over a grassy area so solids settle out and can be removed, or are filtered out prior to discharge. Solids, residue, or sediment must not be discharged to a waterway and must be removed (i.e., discharged to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) with appropriate authorization, disposed of as solid waste, etc.) prior to discharging filter backwash water to a receiving waterbody.
  4. No application submittal or notification to the division is necessary to utilize this permit, however, qualifying dischargers must certify that the discharge activity complies with all of the stated terms of the general permit. (A designated agent may also make this certification.) For copies of the certification form and the general permit requirements, please contact the Bureau of Permit Management at (609) 984-4428. Copies of the certification form are also available from the division's web site at: www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/forms.htm.

    If you have any questions regarding this new general permit (No. NJ0128589), please contact Jim Grob, Bureau of Point Source Permitting - Region 2, at (609) 292-4860.


    Hydrostatic Test

    2. Hydrostatic Test Water Discharges


    This general permit should interest those in the utilities, construction, and petroleum storage tank terminal industries. It covers discharges occurring during the hydrostatic testing of storage tanks and pipelines that have been cleaned pursuant to recognized federal, state or general industry documented procedures. The general permit does not authorize the discharge of the cleaning water or tank bottom water.

    Similar to how it regulates swimming pool discharges, the division decided a BMP approach along with the submission of a certification form would be the most effective and practical regulatory tool. As such, the new general permit does not include effluent limitations or monitoring conditions but incorporates BMPs. Additionally, the new general permit's "Clean Water Assurance Certification Form" submission requirement, provides the division with the following information to ensure the integrity and designated uses of receiving waters are protected:

    1. Identification and listing of all Tank and Vessel Cleaning Procedures implemented prior to the hydrostatic testing.

    2. Identification and listing of all BMPs implemented including any chemical dechlorination agents.

    3. An executed declaration by the Authorized Agent and Authorizing Entity, certifying that the discharge shall not contain toxic pollutants in toxic amounts as defined under 33 USC. 1251 et seq. of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or other pollutants which could adversely impact natural aquatic biota, or which could cause instream exceedances of applicable Federal or New Jersey Surface Water Quality Standards criteria (N.J.A.C. 7:9B-1.14 et seq.)

    No application submittal to the division is necessary to utilize this permit, however, qualifying dischargers must submit the Clean Water Assurance Certification Form 14 days prior to the anticipated discharge date as specified in the general permit. For copies of the Clean Water Assurance Certification Form and/or the general permit requirements (Permit number - NJ0132993), please contact the Bureau of Permit Management at (609) 984-4428. This information can also be accessed from the division's web site at: www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/forms.htm.

    At the time of this writing, the draft permit was anticipated to be issued as a final permit in May 1999. If you have any questions regarding this new general permit, please contact Jim Grob, Bureau of Point Source Permitting - Region 2, at (609) 292-4860.

    Residuals


    3. Residuals Transfer Facilities

    Residual Transfers

    This general permit will apply to certain residuals transfer facilities that temporarily store liquid sewage sludge (which includes domestic septage) and grease (which meets the definition of a domestic pollutant) prior to transfer to a duly permitted or approved residuals management operations for ultimate management.

    The new general permit will incorporate BMPs and operation, maintenance, and inspection requirements.

    To qualify for coverage under this general permit, residuals transfer facility owners will first have to submit a complete application to the division that demonstrates no conditions exist that would necessitate the need to obtain an individual permit. Facilities that would be precluded from obtaining this general permit are:

    1. Residuals Transfer Facilities that have a total on-site storage capacity which exceeds fifty thousand (50,000) gallons;

    2. Residuals Transfer Facilities that accept dewatered sewage sludge;

    3. Residuals Transfer Facilities that perform any type of treatment (including dewatering, but excluding storage); and

    4. Residuals Transfer Facilities that transfer and/or store industrial residuals.

    After an application is reviewed by the division, qualifying facility owners will receive a letter of authorization to operate under the general permit.

    The division has issued a public notice of the proposed permit action in various newspapers throughout the state, as well as in the April 28, 1999 NJDEP Bulletin (which can be viewed via the Internet at the DEP's web site at www.state.nj.us/dep/bulletin/index.html). The division is not anticipating significant comments on the proposed general permit, and is hopeful it will be issued "final" by June 30, 1999.

    Application forms to request authorization under the general permit (NJPDES permit No. NJ0132519) can be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Permit Management at (609) 984-4428 or from the division's web site at www.state.nj.us/dep/dwq/forms.htm.

    If you have any questions regarding this new general permit, please contact Jim Lunski, Bureau of Pretreatment and Residuals, at (609) 633-3823.


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    Last revision Thursday, June 17, 1999