Media Contact: Barbara Skoglund, (651) 296-6706 Technical Contact: Louis Flynn, (651) 296-6575 Toll-free: (800) 657-3864 St. Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is soliciting public comment on the proposed revised general permit for small municipal separate storm sewer systems. Public meetings are scheduled for March 7 and 8 and comments will be accepted Feb. 28 through March 30, 2005. Improperly managed stormwater runoff from urbanized areas has a significant impact on the quality of Minnesota's waters. After rain and snowfalls, pesticides, fertilizers, oils, metals, pathogens, salt, sediment, litter and other debris are directly transported into our lakes, streams and rivers. This polluted runoff causes physical and biological harm. The proposed permit regulates stormwater discharges from municipal storm sewer systems located in federally designated urbanized areas. It requires the permittee to develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program to minimize the discharge of pollutants, protect water quality and meet Clean Water Act requirements. Upon completion of ongoing revisions to state rules, systems that serve at least 10,000 people and a population density of at least 1,000 per square mile will need a permit, as will systems serving a population of at least 5,000 and discharging to valuable or polluted waters. Once designated, these municipalities will have 18 months to apply for a permit. Lists of potentially affected municipalities are available on the MPCA Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/stormwater/stormwater-ms4.html#publicnotice. Two public information meetings will be held. Because most regulated communities are located in the metro area and others are scattered throughout greater Minnesota, one meeting is in the metro and one meeting will utilize video conferencing technology in seven locations statewide. · March 7, 2005, 1 p.m., Dakota Lodge at 1200 Stassen Lane, West St. Paul Directions are available at http://www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks/ThompsonParkCenter-DakotaLodge.htm.
· March 8, 2005, 1 p.m., MPCA Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Marshall, Rochester, St. Paul, and Willmar offices, video conference rooms. Directions to all MPCA offices are available at/about/regions/index.html.
The draft general permit is available for review at the MPCA located at 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. A copy can be downloaded from the MPCA Web site at/water/stormwater/stormwater-ms4.html and is also available from Teresa Blydenburgh at (651) 297-8363 or (800) 657-3864.
Interested parties may comment in writing or at a public information meeting. Written comments must be received by Louis Flynn, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Municipal Division, 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-4194, Fax (651) 297-8676, before 4:30 p.m. on March 30, 2005.
The MPCA originally issued the municipal stormwater permit in June 2002. This revised permit responds to a May 2003 Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling. The revised permit incorporates statewide public noticing of all Stormwater Pollution Prevention Programs and non-degradation requirements for stormwater management.
Stormwater regulations are part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and the State Disposal System permit programs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency delegated NPDES permitting authority for Minnesota to the MPCA.