On December 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 granted an extension of its comment period for the Draft Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit to Friday, February 27, 2015. Thanks to extension requests submitted by numerous organizations, including MCWRS, its members, and NAIOP Massachusetts, EPA Region 1 changed the original due date of December 29. MCWRS is thrilled about the extension as it allows for comprehensive and meaningful analysis and comment of this complex document.
EPA Region 1 released the draft permit on September 30, 2014. This permit, once finalized, will establish significant new stormwater management requirements in over 200 communities in the Commonwealth. While the MS4 permit requirements may produce some environmental benefits, they will require significant work for and investment from municipal governments. Competing demands and dwindling budgets will make complying with the permit challenging or impossible for many municipalities, opening them up to potential enforcement action by regulators. MCWRS hopes that comments and changes to the permit will uphold environmental needs while addressing the constraints of the permitted communities. Thus, MCWRS urges its members and other interested parties to submit their comments before the comment period closes on February 27, 2015.
As a reminder, any community that may want to appeal the permit when it becomes final must preserve its grounds for appeal through comments on the draft. Appeals are limited to those issues previously raised during this comment period. Comments are accepted in the following ways:
- Via email to Tedder.Newton@epa.gov
- Via mail to:
Newton Tedder, US EPA – Region 1
5 Post Office Square – Suite 100
Mail Code OEP06-4
Boston, MA 02109-3912
MCWRS encourages you to let us know what specific issues concern you about the permit by January 16, 2015, so we may incorporate them into our letter. Please also consider copying us on your letter to EPA. Visit our website for more information on this and other developing topics.