The Council updated members on this urgent issue in last week’s Priorities, but due to the urgency of the matter we are including this again as a top Priority.
Council President & CEO Michael Paris has been in constant contact with Department of Natural Resources and EPD staff, including EPD Director Jud Turner to resolve the issue. Director Turner has made it a top priority not to shut down development during this period, stating that they will issues individual permits, individual consent orders, or exercise enforcement discretion and will not stop a project during this process of having that NPEDS re-approved (as long as a customer has an existing 2008 general permit, essentially an administrative extension).
Director Turner has committed to staying focused on this issue and is personally managing through the process and is committed even further to helping those in the industry to continue their ability to develop. We again commend he and his staff for their work in their matter and their diligence in working to correct this urgent issue.
Please continue to read Council for Quality Growth communications for updates as we offer our input and assistance in the process.
From last week’s Priorities:
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permits for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activities for Stand Alone, Infrastructure and Common Development projects in Georgia will expire on July 31, 2013. Although a stakeholders process to draft the new permit has been underway throughout the year, it will not be approved for implementation by August 1st and a delay in approvals of 30 days or possibly more will occur.
In a notice issued July 15th by Frank Carubba at Georgia EPD, he states:
“The NPDES General Permits for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activities for Stand Alone, Infrastructure and Common Development projects will expire on July 31, 2013. However, it is anticipated that the new general permits will not be able to be issued prior to August 31, 2013.
Please note that the expired general permits will continue in force until the new general permits are issued, final and effective. However, construction sites that have not obtained coverage under the existing permits by July 31, 2013 cannot become authorized to discharge under the continued permits.
Therefore, those contemplating new construction during any period of the administrative extension of the expired general permits should file a Notice of Intent (Initial Notification – New Facility/Construction Site) prior to midnight, July 31, 2013, the date of the expiration of the general permits. Should the administrative extension of the general permits last longer than anticipated, the State is working on several different options consistent with existing law and regulations to ensure that construction is not unreasonably delayed due only to the fact that a new general permits may not have yet been fully promulgated. The Council has notified EPD and Director Jud Turner’s office of its grave concern for this gap in permitting at a crucial time in our economic recovery. Building permits in all categories are steadily increasing and any delays in permitting will have a serious detrimental effect on jobs and our state economy.
The Council for Quality Growth has been actively engaged in the 2013 Stakeholders Group for the Permit Re-Issuance of the NPDES General Permit for Construction Activities, along with other key members of the development community, since early February. Council Members John Kelley with North American Properties and Woody Snell with Lynwood Development and Rick Porter with RichPort Properties, along with Council staff have provided in-depth comments to the Georgia EPD regarding the re-issuance of the permits.
As a reminder, as authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances, such as pipes or man-made ditches., industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.
We will continue to keep members informed as the process unfolds.
To see the Final Draft of the NPDES General Permit Stand Alone, Click HERE
To see the Final Raft of the General Permit Infrastructure Revisions, Click HERE
To see the Final Draft of the NPDES General Permit Common Development Revisions, Click HERE