Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges From the Application of Pesticides; Reissuance, 4289-4294 [2016-01564]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / Notices Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally and semiannually. Total estimated burden: 1,390 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b). Total estimated cost: $460,000 (per year), which includes $320,000 in annualized capital/startup and/or operation & maintenance costs. Changes in the Estimates: The increase in burden from the mostrecently approved ICR is due to accounting for the assumption that all sources will spend one hour annually reviewing and understanding the rule requirements. Previously, the assumption was that only new sources would incur this burden. There is a small decrease in O&M cost in this ICR due to rounding of all calculated values to three significant digits. In addition, there is an increase of two annual responses due to a minor correction. The previous ICR did not account for notifications of operational changes in calculating the number of responses. Courtney Kerwin, Acting-Director, Collection Strategies Division. [FR Doc. 2016–01472 Filed 1–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OW–2015–0499; FRL–9941–35– OW] Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges From the Application of Pesticides; Reissuance Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of draft permit and request for public comment. AGENCY: All ten EPA Regions today are proposing for public comment the draft 2016 National Pollutant Discharge SUMMARY: Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit (PGP)—the ‘‘draft 2016 PGP.’’ The draft 2016 PGP covers point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States. Once finalized, the draft 2016 PGP will replace the existing permit that will expire at midnight on October 31, 2016. The draft 2016 PGP has the same conditions and requirements as the 2011 PGP and would authorize certain point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years in all areas of the country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. EPA solicits public comment on all aspects of the draft 2016 PGP. This Federal Register notice describes the draft 2016 PGP in general and also includes specific topics about which the Agency is particularly seeking comment. The fact sheet accompanying the permit contains supporting documentation. EPA encourages the public to read the fact sheet to better understand the draft 2016 PGP. DATES: Comments on the draft 2016 PGP must be received on or before March 11, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2015–0499, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment 4289 contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/ commenting-epa-dockets. EPA Regional Office listed in Section I.D, or Prasad Chumble, EPA Headquarters, Office of Water, Office of Wastewater Management at tel.: 202–564–0021 or email: chumble.prasad@epa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: This section is organized as follows: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information? C. Will public hearings be held on this action? D. Finalizing the Draft 2016 PGP E. Who are the EPA regional contacts for the Draft 2016 PGP? II. Background III. Scope and Applicability of the Draft 2016 PGP A. Geographic Coverage B. Categories of Facilities Covered C. Summary of the Permit Requirements and Provisions for Which EPA Is Soliciting Comment IV. Cost Impacts of the Draft 2016 PGP V. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 VI. Executive Order 13175 I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? You may be affected by this action if you apply pesticides, under the use patterns in Section III.B., that result in a discharge to waters of the United States in one of the geographic areas identified in Section III.A. Potentially affected entities, as categorized in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), may include, but are not limited to: TABLE 1—ENTITIES POTENTIALLY REGULATED BY THE DRAFT 2016 PGP Category NAICS mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Agriculture parties—General agricultural interests, farmers/producers, forestry, and irrigation. 111 Examples of potentially affected entities Crop Production ............. 113110 Timber Tract Operations. 113210 Forest Nurseries Gathering of Forest Products. 221310 Water Supply for Irrigation. VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:57 Jan 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Producers of crops mainly for food and fiber, including farms, orchards, groves, greenhouses, and nurseries that have irrigation ditches requiring pest control. The operation of timber tracts for the purpose of selling standing timber. Growing trees for reforestation and/or gathering forest products, such as gums, barks, balsam needles, rhizomes, fibers, Spanish moss, ginseng, and truffles. Operating irrigation systems. E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1 4290 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / Notices TABLE 1—ENTITIES POTENTIALLY REGULATED BY THE DRAFT 2016 PGP—Continued Category NAICS Examples of potentially affected entities Pesticide parties (includes pesticide manufacturers, other pesticide users/interests, and consultants). Public health parties (includes mosquito or other vector control districts and commercial applicators that service these). 325320 Pesticide and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing. 923120 Administration of Public Health Programs. Formulation and preparation of agricultural pest control chemicals. Resource management parties (includes State departments of fish and wildlife, State departments of pesticide regulation, State environmental agencies, and universities). 924110 Administration of Air and Water Resource and Solid Waste Management Programs. 924120 Administration of Conservation Programs. 221 B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information? The draft 2016 PGP, fact sheet and all supporting documents are available at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2015–0499. Electronic versions of the draft 2016 PGP and fact sheet are also available on EPA’s NPDES Web site at www.epa.gov/ npdes/pesticides. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Utility parties (includes utilities) ......................... may provide written or oral statements and data pertaining to the draft 2016 PGP at any such public hearing. C. Will public hearings be held on this action? EPA has not scheduled any public hearings to receive public comment concerning the draft 2016 PGP. However, interested persons may request a public hearing pursuant to 40 CFR 124.12 concerning the draft 2016 PGP. Requests for a public hearing must be sent or delivered in writing to the same address as provided above, for public comments prior to the close of the comment period. Requests for a public hearing must state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised in the hearing. Pursuant to 40 CFR 124.12, EPA shall hold a public hearing if it finds, on the basis of requests, a significant degree of public interest in a public hearing on the draft 2016 PGP. If EPA decides to hold a public hearing, a public notice of the date, time and place of the hearing will be made at least 30 days prior to the hearing. Any person VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:57 Jan 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 Utilities ........................... Government establishments primarily engaged in the planning, administration, and coordination of public health programs and services, including environmental health activities. Government establishments primarily engaged in the administration, regulation, and enforcement of air and water resource programs; the administration and regulation of water and air pollution control and prevention programs; the administration and regulation of flood control programs; the administration and regulation of drainage development and water resource consumption programs; and coordination of these activities at intergovernmental levels. Government establishments primarily engaged in the administration, regulation, supervision and control of land use, including recreational areas; conservation and preservation of natural resources; erosion control; geological survey program administration; weather forecasting program administration; and the administration and protection of publicly and privately owned forest lands. Government establishments responsible for planning, management, regulation and conservation of game, fish, and wildlife populations, including wildlife management areas and field stations; and other administrative matters relating to the protection of fish, game, and wildlife are included in this industry. Provide electric power, natural gas, steam supply, water supply, and sewage removal through a permanent infrastructure of lines, mains, and pipes. D. Finalizing the Draft 2016 PGP EPA intends to issue a final 2016 PGP on or prior to October 31, 2016 (the expiration date of the 2011 PGP). The final 2016 PGP will be issued after all public comments received during the public comment period have been considered and appropriate changes made to the draft 2016 PGP. EPA will include its response to comments received in the docket as part of the final permit decision. Once the final 2016 PGP becomes effective, eligible Operators may seek authorization under the new PGP as outlined in the permit. To ensure uninterrupted permit coverage from the 2011 PGP to the new permit, Operators, who are required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI), must submit their NOI for coverage under the new permit prior to discharge as outlined in the permit (no later than 10 or 30 days before discharge). See Part 1.2.4 of the draft 2016 PGP. E. Who are the EPA regional contacts for the Draft 2016 PGP? For EPA Region 1, contact George Papadopoulos at tel.: (617) 918–1579; or email at papadopoulos.george@epa.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 For EPA Region 2, contact Maureen Krudner at tel.: (212) 637–3874; or email at krudner.maureen@epa.gov. For EPA Region 3, contact Mark Smith at tel.: (215) 814–3105; or email at smith.mark@epa.gov. For EPA Region 4, contact Sam Sampath at tel.: (404) 562–9229; or email at sampath.sam@epa.gov. For EPA Region 5, contact Mark Ackerman at tel.: (312) 353–4145; or email at ackerman.mark@epa.gov. For EPA Region 6, contact Kilty Baskin at tel.: (214) 665–7500 or email at baskin.kilty@epa.gov. For EPA Region 7, contact Kimberly Hill at tel.: (913) 551–7841 or email at: hill.kimberly@epa.gov. For EPA Region 8, contact David Rise at tel.: (406) 457–5012 or email at: rise.david@epa.gov. For EPA Region 9, contact Pascal Mues at tel.: (415) 972–3768 or email at: mues.pascal@epa.gov. For EPA Region 10, contact Dirk Helder at tel.: (208) 378–5749 or email at: helder.dirk@epa.gov. II. Background Section 301(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) provides that ‘‘the discharge of any pollutant by any person shall be unlawful’’ unless the discharge is in compliance with certain other sections of the Act. 33 U.S.C. 1311(a). The CWA defines ‘‘discharge of a pollutant’’ as E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES ‘‘(A) any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source, (B) any addition of any pollutant to the waters of the contiguous zone or the ocean from any point source other than a vessel or other floating craft.’’ 33 U.S.C. 1362(12). A ‘‘point source’’ is any ‘‘discernible, confined and discrete conveyance’’ but does not include ‘‘agricultural stormwater discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.’’ 33 U.S.C. 1362(14). The term ‘‘pollutant’’ includes, among other things, ‘‘garbage . . . chemical wastes, biological materials . . . and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water.’’ 33 U.S.C. 1362(6). A person may discharge a pollutant without violating the section 301 prohibition by obtaining authorization to discharge (referred to herein as ‘‘coverage’’) under a section 402 NPDES permit (33 U.S.C. 1342). Under section 402(a), EPA may ‘‘issue a permit for the discharge of any pollutant, or combination of pollutants, notwithstanding section 1311(a)’’ upon certain conditions required by the Act. EPA issued the first Pesticide General Permit (PGP) on October 31, 2011 in response to a United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling vacating EPA’s 2006 Final Rule on Aquatic Pesticides. National Cotton Council of America. v. EPA, 553 F.3d 927 (6th Cir. 2009). EPA developed the PGP to control point source discharges of biological pesticides, and chemical pesticides that leave a residue, into waters of the United States. Implementation of the 2011 PGP has been successful during its first four years. EPA is not aware of any lawsuits brought against Operators discharging under EPA’s PGP. The regulated community has raised very few implementation issues, and EPA resolved those issues. The provisions in the permit for pesticide applications during emergencies have been effectively implemented. Finally, Operators have generally submitted the NOIs and Annual Reports on time to the Agency. However, in an effort to pursue continuous improvement to protect water quality, EPA seeks comment on the draft 2016 PGP, in general, and on specific topics as described in Section III.C, below. III. Scope and Applicability of the Draft 2016 PGP A. Geographic Coverage EPA would provide permit coverage for classes of discharges where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. The geographic coverage of today’s draft VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:57 Jan 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 2016 PGP is listed below. Where the permit covers activities on Indian Country lands, those areas are as listed below within the borders of that state: EPA Region 1 • Massachusetts, including Indian Country lands within Massachusetts • Indian Country lands within Connecticut • New Hampshire • Indian Country lands within Rhode Island • Federal Facilities within Vermont EPA Region 2 • Indian Country lands within New York State • Puerto Rico EPA Region 3 • The District of Columbia • Federal Facilities within Delaware EPA Region 4 • Indian Country lands within Alabama • Indian Country lands within Florida • Indian Country lands within Mississippi • Indian Country lands within North Carolina EPA Region 5 • Indian Country lands within Michigan • Indian Country lands within Minnesota • Indian Country lands within Wisconsin EPA Region 6 • Indian Country lands within Louisiana • New Mexico, including Indian Country lands within New Mexico, except Navajo Reservation Lands (see Region 9) and Ute Mountain Reservation Lands (see Region 8) • Indian Country lands within Oklahoma • Discharges in Texas that are not under the authority of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (formerly TNRCC), including activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, including transportation of crude oil or natural gas by pipeline, including Indian Country lands EPA Region 7 • Indian Country lands within Iowa • Indian Country lands within Kansas • Indian Country lands within Nebraska, except Pine Ridge Reservation lands (see Region 8) EPA Region 8 • Federal Facilities in Colorado, including those on Indian Country PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • • • • • 4291 lands within Colorado as well as the portion of the Ute Mountain Reservation located in New Mexico Indian Country lands within Montana Indian Country lands within North Dakota Indian Country lands within South Dakota, as well as the portion of the Pine Ridge Reservation located in Nebraska (see Region 7) Indian Country lands within Utah, except Goshute and Navajo Reservation lands (see Region 9) Indian Country lands within Wyoming EPA Region 9 • The Island of American Samoa • Indian Country lands within Arizona as well as Navajo Reservation lands in New Mexico (see Region 6) and Utah (see Region 8) • Indian Country lands within California • The Island of Guam • The Johnston Atoll • Midway Island, Wake Island, and other unincorporated U.S. possessions • The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands • Indian Country lands within the State of Nevada, as well as the Duck Valley Reservation in Idaho, the Fort McDermitt Reservation in Oregon (see Region 10) and the Goshute Reservation in Utah (see Region 8) EPA Region 10 • Indian Country lands within Alaska • Idaho, including Indian Country lands within Idaho, except Duck Valley Reservation lands (see Region 9) • Indian Country lands within Oregon, except Fort McDermitt Reservation lands (see Region 9) • Federal Facilities in Washington, including those located on Indian Country lands within Washington. B. Categories of Facilities Covered The draft 2016 PGP has the same requirements and conditions as EPA’s 2011 PGP and regulates the same discharges to waters of the United States from the application of (1) biological pesticides, and (2) chemical pesticides that leave a residue. These apply to the following pesticide use patterns: • Mosquito and Other Flying Insect Pest Control—to control public health/ nuisance and other flying insect pests that develop or are present during a portion of their life cycle in or above standing or flowing water. Public health/nuisance and other flying insect pests in this use category include mosquitoes and black flies. • Weed and Algae Pest Control—to control weeds, algae, and pathogens that E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1 4292 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / Notices are pests in water and at water’s edge, including ditches and/or canals. • Animal Pest Control—to control animal pests in water and at water’s edge. Animal pests in this use category include fish, lampreys, insects, mollusks, and pathogens. • Forest Canopy Pest Control— application of a pesticide to a forest canopy to control the population of a pest species (e.g., insect or pathogen) where, to target the pests effectively, a portion of the pesticide unavoidably will be applied over and deposited to water. The scope of activities encompassed by these pesticide use patterns is described in greater detail in Part III.1.1 of the Fact Sheet for the draft 2016 PGP. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES C. Summary of the Permit Requirements and Provisions for Which EPA Is Soliciting Comment Once issued, the final 2016 PGP will replace the 2011 PGP, which was issued for a five-year term on October 31, 2011 (see 76 FR 68750). The draft 2016 PGP has the same conditions and requirements as the existing 2011 PGP, and is structured in the same nine parts: (1) Coverage under the permit, (2) technology-based effluent limitations, (3) water quality-based effluent limitations, (4) monitoring, (5) pesticide discharge management plan, (6) corrective action, (7) recordkeeping and Annual Reporting, (8) EPA contact information and mailing addresses, and (9) permit conditions applicable to specific states, Indian country lands or territories. Additionally, as with the 2011 PGP, the draft 2016 PGP includes nine appendices with additional conditions and guidance for permittees: (A) Definitions, abbreviations, and acronyms, (B) standard permit conditions, (C) areas covered, (D) Notice of Intent (NOI) form, (E) Notice of Termination (NOT) form, (F) Pesticide Discharge Evaluation worksheet (PDEW), (G) Annual Reporting template, (H) Adverse Incident template, and (I) endangered species procedures. The following is a summary of the draft 2016 PGP’s requirements: • The draft 2016 PGP defines ‘‘Operator’’ (i.e., the entity required to obtain NPDES permit coverage for discharges) to include any (a) Applicator who performs the application of pesticides or has day-today control of the application of pesticides that results in a discharge to waters of the United States, or (b) Decision-maker who controls any decision to apply pesticides that results in a discharge to waters of the United States. There may be instances when a VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:57 Jan 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 single entity acts as both an Applicator and a Decision-maker. • All Applicators are required to minimize pesticide discharges by using only the amount of pesticide and frequency of pesticide application necessary to control the target pest, maintain pesticide application equipment in proper operating condition, control discharges as necessary to meet applicable water quality standards, and monitor for and report any adverse incidents. • All Decision-makers are required, to the extent not determined by the Applicator, to minimize pesticide discharges by using only the amount of pesticide and frequency of pesticide application necessary to control the target pest. All Decision-makers are also required to control discharges as necessary to meet applicable water quality standards and monitor for and report any adverse incidents. • Certain Decision-makers [i.e., any agency for which pest management for land resource stewardship is an integral part of the organization’s operations, entities with a specific responsibility to control pests (e.g., mosquito and weed control districts), local governments or other entities that apply pesticides in excess of specified annual treatment area thresholds, and entities that discharge pesticides to Tier 3 waters or to waters of the United States containing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Listed Resources of Concern] are required to also submit an NOI to obtain authorization to discharge and implement pest management options to reduce the discharge of pesticides to waters of the United States. Of this group, certain large Decision-makers must also develop a Pesticide Discharge Management Plan (PDMP), submit annual reports, and maintain detailed records. Certain small Decision-makers are required to complete a pesticide discharge evaluation worksheet for each pesticide application (in lieu of the more comprehensive PDMP), an annual report, and detailed recordkeeping. While EPA encourages the public to review and comment on all aspects and provisions in the draft 2016 PGP, EPA specifically solicits comments on the following as part of this reissuance: (1) Notice of Intent. As with the 2011 PGP, the draft 2016 PGP requires only certain Decision-makers, as discussed above, to submit NOIs. If an NOI is required, it must contain either a map or narrative description of the area and the potentially affected waters of the United States, and the pesticide use patterns for which permit coverage is being requested for the duration of the permit. Operators can identify specific PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 waters or request coverage for all waters within the area for which they are requesting permit coverage. EPA is interested in feedback on whether the NOI data requirements capture adequate information on the pesticide application areas and associated waters of the United States for which permit coverage is being requested. For example, in the NOI submissions for the 2011 PGP, EPA received a variety of submissions for the Pest Management Areas ranging from maps of large waterbodies to specific subsections of streams. NOIs submitted under the 2011 PGP are available online at (http://ofmpub.epa.gov/apex/aps/ f?p=PGP_2011:HOME::::::), and a summary of the data is available in the docket EPA–HQ–OW–2010–0257. EPA requests comments on whether different, or more specific and consistent, information should be required to better determine the locations of pesticides applications. As mentioned above, the draft 2016 PGP requires Decision-makers to include in their NOIs a description of the areas where pesticides are applied (or treatment areas) within the broader designated Pest Management Area. Within the Pest Management Area, Operators are required to determine if they are applying to impaired or Tier 3 waters; however, Operators are not required to determine whether their application will impact the water quality of drinking water supplies. EPA seeks feedback on how best to collect information to determine if pesticides activities covered under this permit could impact drinking water source protection areas. One possible approach would be to require a determination of whether a portion of the Pest Management Area is within a public drinking water supply source protection area. If EPA adopted this approach, EPA would add a ‘‘Yes/No’’ indicator to the eNOI form (Appendix D) to indicate whether a portion of the Pest Management Area is within a public water supply source water protection area. EPA solicits comment on this approach. (2) Annual Reporting. As with the 2011 PGP, the draft 2016 PGP requires any Decision-maker who is required to submit an NOI and is a large entity, and any Decision-maker with discharges to waters of the United States containing NMFS Listed Resources of Concern including small entities, to submit an annual report to EPA that contains, among other things, a previous calendar year’s compilation of pesticide products applied, total annual quantities applied, locations where pesticide applications were made, and information on any adverse incidents or corrective actions E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / Notices resulting from discharges covered under the draft 2016 PGP. See Appendix G of the draft 2016 PGP, Annual Report template. Due to the potential burden of accounting and submitting information on each and every location of application, type, and amount of pesticides, EPA asked for a compilation of that information for the previous year of application. However, as with the information requested in the NOI, EPA received a variety of descriptions for the Pest Management Areas and treatment areas in the Annual Reports. The Agency is interested in comments on the utility and value of the information collected by the reports. EPA would also like feedback on whether less, more, or different information would provide a more accurate accounting of the amount, type, and location of pesticide discharges. Annual Reports submitted under the 2011 PGP are available online at (http://ofmpub.epa.gov/apex/aps/ f?p=PGP_2011:HOME::::::). In addition, to ensure consistency and prevent confusion among the pesticides user community, EPA seeks comment on whether the terminology is clear and easily understandable. For example, many state pesticide regulations require Applicators to report pesticides in ‘‘amount used,’’ unlike the 2011 PGP, which requires that pesticides be reported in ‘‘quantity applied.’’ See Part III.7 of the Fact Sheet for further discussion on Annual Reporting requirements. (3) Water Quality-Based Effluent Limitations (WQBEL). The 2011 PGP contained several provisions to protect water quality and the draft 2016 PGP includes those same provisions. It includes a narrative WQBEL requiring that discharges be controlled as necessary to meet applicable water quality standards. Failure to control discharges in a manner that meets applicable water quality standards is a violation of the permit. In addition to the narrative WQBEL, the draft 2016 PGP contains related provisions which act together to further protect water quality. These provisions were also included in the 2011 PGP. For example, the draft 2016 PGP requires the Operator to implement control measures and to take corrective action in response to any excursion of applicable water quality standards. Additionally, EPA expects that, as with the 2011 PGP, the Agency will receive CWA Section 401 certifications for the final 2016 PGP. Some of those certifications will include additional conditions that are required by the state, territory, or tribe, that are necessary to assure compliance with the applicable provisions of the CWA, including water VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:57 Jan 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 quality standards, in specific geographic areas where the permit is available. The CWA Section 401 certifications submitted by states, territories and tribes for the 2011 PGP are included in the docket at EPA–HQ–OW–2010– 0257–1267. The draft 2016 PGP retains the same eligibility provisions from the 2011 PGP which provides additional water quality protection. For instance, the draft 2016 PGP makes clear that Operators must comply with all applicable statutes, regulations, and other requirements including, but not limited to, requirements contained in the labeling of pesticide products approved under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), known as ‘‘FIFRA labeling.’’ If Operators are found to have applied a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with any relevant water quality-related FIFRA labeling requirements, EPA will presume that the effluent limitation to minimize pesticides entering the waters of the United States has been violated under the NPDES permit. Many provisions of FIFRA labeling—such as those relating to application sites, rates, frequency, and methods, as well as provisions concerning proper storage and disposal of pesticide wastes and containers—are requirements that protect water quality. Also, it is important to note that biological pesticides do not cause water quality toxicity because they do not work through a toxic mode of action, and the discharges of chemical pesticides that would be covered by the draft 2016 PGP are residues of pesticides after they have performed their intended purpose. Thus, residue concentrations will be no higher than the concentration of the pesticide as applied. To provide further protection, the draft 2016 PGP also includes the provision from the 2011 PGP which excludes from coverage any discharges of pesticides to waters listed as impaired, including waters with Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), where the waterbody is impaired for the active ingredient in that pesticide or its degradates. For geographic areas covered under the draft 2016 PGP, the 303(d) list of impairments 1 indicates that of the 17 pesticide active ingredients identified on the impairment list, seven are for legacy pollutants that have had their FIFRA registrations cancelled and are no longer authorized for use. Furthermore, for the remaining pesticides, analysis of the 2011 PGP annual reports data indicate 1 http://iaspub.epa.gov/waters10/attains_nation_ cy.control?p_report_type=T. PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4293 that none of the reported pesticides are on the 303(d) list of impairments in geographic areas where the PGP is authorized. See document titled, ‘‘Comparison of 303(d) Pesticides Impairment Data with 2011 PGP Annual Reports Data’’ in the docket. In addition, as identified in Part 1.2.3 of the 2011 PGP and the draft 2016 PGP, for eligible discharges (e.g., discharges to waters that are impaired for pollutants other than the pesticide product or degradates of that product), EPA may determine that additional TBELs or WQBELs are necessary, or may deny coverage under the PGP and require submission of an application for an individual permit. Prior to reissuing permits, EPA evaluates opportunities for improving permit requirements to protect water quality. Although EPA finds that the conditions and requirements of the draft 2016 PGP are protective of water quality, EPA is aware that some states, tribes, and territories include additional WQBELs in their states-issued permits or included additional conditions in their 401 certifications for the draft 2011 PGP. EPA has examined these additional BMPs and permit conditions and seeks feedback on whether some of these additional measures or others should be added to the draft 2016 PGP WQBELs to further protect water quality. EPA has included examples of some permit requirements from NPDES authorized state WQBELs in the docket. See document titled, ‘‘Examples of State PGP Provisions that Address WQBELs/ WQ Monitoring.’’ Additionally, examples of some BMPs from pesticides labels are available in the docket as well. See document titled, ‘‘Examples of BMPs in Pesticides Product FIFRA Labels to Address Water Quality.’’ IV. Cost Impacts of the PGP EPA performed a cost impact analysis on Operators covered by the 2011 PGP for the purpose of examining the economic achievability of complying with the technology-based effluent limitations and the administrative requirements embodied in the permit. EPA performs this type of analysis where a general permit is developed in the absence of existing applicable national effluent limitations. Based on the 2011 PGP analysis and the updated cost analysis for the draft 2016 PGP, EPA expects that there will be minimal burden on entities, including small businesses, covered under the draft 2016 PGP. EPA finds the limitations to be economically achievable. A copy of EPA’s cost analysis, titled, ‘‘Cost Impact Analysis for the Draft 2016 Pesticide General Permit (PGP),’’ is available in E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1 4294 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 16 / Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / Notices the docket. EPA solicits additional information during the public notice of the draft 2016 PGP that will allow for a more accurate cost analysis, and will update the cost impact analysis as appropriate, for the final permit. V. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review The draft 2016 PGP is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. VI. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES This action does not have tribal implications as specified in E.O. 13175. It will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. EPA directly implements the NPDES Program, including the proposed 2016 PGP, in Indian Country; therefore, in compliance with the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes, EPA consulted with tribal officials early in the process to permit tribes to have meaningful and timely input into the renewal of the 2016 PGP. To gain an understanding of, and where necessary, to address tribal implications of the draft 2016 PGP, EPA conducted the following activities: • October 28, 2015—EPA mailed notification letters to tribal leaders initiating consultation and coordination on the renewal of the PGP. The initiation letter was posted on the tribal portal Web site at http://tcots.epa.gov. • November 19, 2015—EPA held an informational teleconference open to all tribal representatives, and reserved the last part of the teleconference for official consultation comments. Seven tribal officials participated. EPA also invited tribes to submit written comments on the draft 2016 PGP. The presentation was posted on the tribal portal Web site at http://tcots.epa.gov. Although EPA did not receive any comments during the formal consultation period, EPA encourages tribes to participate in the public review process by submitting comments through regulations.gov. EPA will consider the comments and address them in the final action. Authority: Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq. VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:57 Jan 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 Dated: January 14, 2016. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1. Dated: January 14, 2016. Joan Leary Matthews, Director, Clean Water Division, EPA Region 2. Dated: January 14, 2016. Jose C. Font, Division Director, Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, EPA Region 2. Dated: January 13, 2016. Jon M. Capacasa, Director, Water Protection Division, EPA Region 3. Dated: January 13, 2016. James D. Giattina, Director, Water Protection Division, EPA Region 4. Dated: January 13, 2016. Tinka G. Hyde, Director, Water Division, EPA Region 5. Dated: January 14, 2016. William K. Honker, P.E., Director, Water Division, EPA Region 6. Dated: January 14, 2016. Karen A. Flournoy, Director, Water, Wetlands and Pesticides Division, EPA Region 7. Dated: January 14, 2016. Darcy O’Connor, Acting Assistant Regional Administrator, Office of Partnerships and Regulatory Assistance, EPA Region 8. Dated: January 13, 2016. Tomas Torres, Director, Water Division, EPA Region 9. Dated: January 14, 2016. Daniel D. Opalski, Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10. [FR Doc. 2016–01564 Filed 1–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL–9941–73–ORD] Office of Research and Development; Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods: Designation of a New Equivalent Method Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of the designation of a new equivalent method for monitoring ambient air quality. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated, in accordance with 40 CFR part 53, one new reference method for measuring concentrations of PM10 in the ambient air. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Vanderpool, Exposure Methods and Measurement Division (MD–D205– 03), National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711. Email: Vanderpool.Robert@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with regulations at 40 CFR part 53, the EPA evaluates various methods for monitoring the concentrations of those ambient air pollutants for which EPA has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs) as set forth in 40 CFR part 50. Monitoring methods that are determined to meet specific requirements for adequacy are designated by the EPA as either reference or equivalent methods (as applicable), thereby permitting their use under 40 CFR part 58 by States and other agencies for determining compliance with the NAAQSs. A list of all reference or equivalent methods that have been previously designated by EPA may be found at http://www.epa.gov/ ttn/amtic/criteria.html. The EPA hereby announces the designation of one new reference method for measuring concentrations of a new equivalent method for measuring pollutant concentrations of PM10 in the ambient air. These designations are made under the provisions of 40 CFR part 53, as amended on August 31, 2011 (76 FR 54326–54341). The new equivalent method for PM10 is an automated monitoring method utilizing a measurement principle based on sample collection by filtration and analysis by beta-ray attenuation and is identified as follows: EQPM–1215–226, ‘‘Met One Instruments, Inc. E–BAM + Beta Attenuation Mass Monitor ¥ PM10 FEM Configuration,’’ configured for 24 1-hour average measurements of PM10 by beta attenuation, using a glass fiber filter tape roll (460130 or 460180), a sample flow rate of 16.67 liters/min, with the standard (BX–802) EPA PM10 inlet (meeting 40 CFR 50 Appendix L specifications) and equipped with 9250 ambient temperature sensor. Instrument must be operated in accordance with the E–BAM + Particulate Monitor operation manual, revision 1 or later. This designation applies to PM10 measurements only. The application for equivalent method determination for the PM10 method was received by the Office of Research and Development on November 19, 2015. This monitor is commercially available from the applicant, Met One Instruments, Inc., 1600 Washington Blvd., Grants Pass, OR 97526. E:\FR\FM\26JAN1.SGM 26JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 16 (Tuesday, January 26, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4289-4294]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01564]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0499; FRL-9941-35-OW]


Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges From the 
Application of Pesticides; Reissuance

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of draft permit and request for public comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: All ten EPA Regions today are proposing for public comment the 
draft 2016 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
pesticide general permit (PGP)--the ``draft 2016 PGP.'' The draft 2016 
PGP covers point source discharges from the application of pesticides 
to waters of the United States. Once finalized, the draft 2016 PGP will 
replace the existing permit that will expire at midnight on October 31, 
2016. The draft 2016 PGP has the same conditions and requirements as 
the 2011 PGP and would authorize certain point source discharges from 
the application of pesticides to waters of the United States in 
accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA 
proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years in all areas of the 
country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. EPA solicits 
public comment on all aspects of the draft 2016 PGP. This Federal 
Register notice describes the draft 2016 PGP in general and also 
includes specific topics about which the Agency is particularly seeking 
comment. The fact sheet accompanying the permit contains supporting 
documentation. EPA encourages the public to read the fact sheet to 
better understand the draft 2016 PGP.

DATES: Comments on the draft 2016 PGP must be received on or before 
March 11, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
2015-0499, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from 
Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public 
docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, 
video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written 
comment is considered the official comment and should include 
discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not 
consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary 
submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For 
additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, 
information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance 
on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: EPA Regional Office listed in Section 
I.D, or Prasad Chumble, EPA Headquarters, Office of Water, Office of 
Wastewater Management at tel.: 202-564-0021 or email: 
chumble.prasad@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This section is organized as follows:

Table of Contents

I. General Information
    A. Does this action apply to me?
    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related 
information?
    C. Will public hearings be held on this action?
    D. Finalizing the Draft 2016 PGP
    E. Who are the EPA regional contacts for the Draft 2016 PGP?
II. Background
III. Scope and Applicability of the Draft 2016 PGP
    A. Geographic Coverage
    B. Categories of Facilities Covered
    C. Summary of the Permit Requirements and Provisions for Which 
EPA Is Soliciting Comment
IV. Cost Impacts of the Draft 2016 PGP
V. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563
VI. Executive Order 13175

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be affected by this action if you apply pesticides, under 
the use patterns in Section III.B., that result in a discharge to 
waters of the United States in one of the geographic areas identified 
in Section III.A. Potentially affected entities, as categorized in the 
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), may include, but 
are not limited to:

      Table 1--Entities Potentially Regulated by the Draft 2016 PGP
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Examples of
           Category                   NAICS         potentially affected
                                                          entities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agriculture parties--General    111 Crop           Producers of crops
 agricultural interests,         Production.        mainly for food and
 farmers/producers, forestry,                       fiber, including
 and irrigation.                                    farms, orchards,
                                                    groves, greenhouses,
                                                    and nurseries that
                                                    have irrigation
                                                    ditches requiring
                                                    pest control.
                                113110 Timber      The operation of
                                 Tract Operations.  timber tracts for
                                                    the purpose of
                                                    selling standing
                                                    timber.
                                113210 Forest      Growing trees for
                                 Nurseries          reforestation and/or
                                 Gathering of       gathering forest
                                 Forest Products.   products, such as
                                                    gums, barks, balsam
                                                    needles, rhizomes,
                                                    fibers, Spanish
                                                    moss, ginseng, and
                                                    truffles.
                                221310 Water       Operating irrigation
                                 Supply for         systems.
                                 Irrigation.

[[Page 4290]]

 
Pesticide parties (includes     325320 Pesticide   Formulation and
 pesticide manufacturers,        and Other          preparation of
 other pesticide users/          Agricultural       agricultural pest
 interests, and consultants).    Chemical           control chemicals.
                                 Manufacturing.
Public health parties           923120             Government
 (includes mosquito or other     Administration     establishments
 vector control districts and    of Public Health   primarily engaged in
 commercial applicators that     Programs.          the planning,
 service these).                                    administration, and
                                                    coordination of
                                                    public health
                                                    programs and
                                                    services, including
                                                    environmental health
                                                    activities.
Resource management parties     924110             Government
 (includes State departments     Administration     establishments
 of fish and wildlife, State     of Air and Water   primarily engaged in
 departments of pesticide        Resource and       the administration,
 regulation, State               Solid Waste        regulation, and
 environmental agencies, and     Management         enforcement of air
 universities).                  Programs.          and water resource
                                                    programs; the
                                                    administration and
                                                    regulation of water
                                                    and air pollution
                                                    control and
                                                    prevention programs;
                                                    the administration
                                                    and regulation of
                                                    flood control
                                                    programs; the
                                                    administration and
                                                    regulation of
                                                    drainage development
                                                    and water resource
                                                    consumption
                                                    programs; and
                                                    coordination of
                                                    these activities at
                                                    intergovernmental
                                                    levels.
                                924120             Government
                                 Administration     establishments
                                 of Conservation    primarily engaged in
                                 Programs.          the administration,
                                                    regulation,
                                                    supervision and
                                                    control of land use,
                                                    including
                                                    recreational areas;
                                                    conservation and
                                                    preservation of
                                                    natural resources;
                                                    erosion control;
                                                    geological survey
                                                    program
                                                    administration;
                                                    weather forecasting
                                                    program
                                                    administration; and
                                                    the administration
                                                    and protection of
                                                    publicly and
                                                    privately owned
                                                    forest lands.
                                                    Government
                                                    establishments
                                                    responsible for
                                                    planning,
                                                    management,
                                                    regulation and
                                                    conservation of
                                                    game, fish, and
                                                    wildlife
                                                    populations,
                                                    including wildlife
                                                    management areas and
                                                    field stations; and
                                                    other administrative
                                                    matters relating to
                                                    the protection of
                                                    fish, game, and
                                                    wildlife are
                                                    included in this
                                                    industry.
Utility parties (includes       221 Utilities....  Provide electric
 utilities).                                        power, natural gas,
                                                    steam supply, water
                                                    supply, and sewage
                                                    removal through a
                                                    permanent
                                                    infrastructure of
                                                    lines, mains, and
                                                    pipes.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The draft 2016 PGP, fact sheet and all supporting documents are 
available at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-
0499. Electronic versions of the draft 2016 PGP and fact sheet are also 
available on EPA's NPDES Web site at www.epa.gov/npdes/pesticides.

C. Will public hearings be held on this action?

    EPA has not scheduled any public hearings to receive public comment 
concerning the draft 2016 PGP. However, interested persons may request 
a public hearing pursuant to 40 CFR 124.12 concerning the draft 2016 
PGP. Requests for a public hearing must be sent or delivered in writing 
to the same address as provided above, for public comments prior to the 
close of the comment period. Requests for a public hearing must state 
the nature of the issues proposed to be raised in the hearing. Pursuant 
to 40 CFR 124.12, EPA shall hold a public hearing if it finds, on the 
basis of requests, a significant degree of public interest in a public 
hearing on the draft 2016 PGP. If EPA decides to hold a public hearing, 
a public notice of the date, time and place of the hearing will be made 
at least 30 days prior to the hearing. Any person may provide written 
or oral statements and data pertaining to the draft 2016 PGP at any 
such public hearing.

D. Finalizing the Draft 2016 PGP

    EPA intends to issue a final 2016 PGP on or prior to October 31, 
2016 (the expiration date of the 2011 PGP). The final 2016 PGP will be 
issued after all public comments received during the public comment 
period have been considered and appropriate changes made to the draft 
2016 PGP. EPA will include its response to comments received in the 
docket as part of the final permit decision. Once the final 2016 PGP 
becomes effective, eligible Operators may seek authorization under the 
new PGP as outlined in the permit. To ensure uninterrupted permit 
coverage from the 2011 PGP to the new permit, Operators, who are 
required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI), must submit their NOI for 
coverage under the new permit prior to discharge as outlined in the 
permit (no later than 10 or 30 days before discharge). See Part 1.2.4 
of the draft 2016 PGP.

E. Who are the EPA regional contacts for the Draft 2016 PGP?

    For EPA Region 1, contact George Papadopoulos at tel.: (617) 918-
1579; or email at papadopoulos.george@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 2, contact Maureen Krudner at tel.: (212) 637-3874; 
or email at krudner.maureen@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 3, contact Mark Smith at tel.: (215) 814-3105; or 
email at smith.mark@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 4, contact Sam Sampath at tel.: (404) 562-9229; or 
email at sampath.sam@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 5, contact Mark Ackerman at tel.: (312) 353-4145; or 
email at ackerman.mark@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 6, contact Kilty Baskin at tel.: (214) 665-7500 or 
email at baskin.kilty@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 7, contact Kimberly Hill at tel.: (913) 551-7841 or 
email at: hill.kimberly@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 8, contact David Rise at tel.: (406) 457-5012 or 
email at: rise.david@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 9, contact Pascal Mues at tel.: (415) 972-3768 or 
email at: mues.pascal@epa.gov.
    For EPA Region 10, contact Dirk Helder at tel.: (208) 378-5749 or 
email at: helder.dirk@epa.gov.

II. Background

    Section 301(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) provides that ``the 
discharge of any pollutant by any person shall be unlawful'' unless the 
discharge is in compliance with certain other sections of the Act. 33 
U.S.C. 1311(a). The CWA defines ``discharge of a pollutant'' as

[[Page 4291]]

``(A) any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point 
source, (B) any addition of any pollutant to the waters of the 
contiguous zone or the ocean from any point source other than a vessel 
or other floating craft.'' 33 U.S.C. 1362(12). A ``point source'' is 
any ``discernible, confined and discrete conveyance'' but does not 
include ``agricultural stormwater discharges and return flows from 
irrigated agriculture.'' 33 U.S.C. 1362(14).
    The term ``pollutant'' includes, among other things, ``garbage . . 
. chemical wastes, biological materials . . . and industrial, 
municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water.'' 33 U.S.C. 
1362(6).
    A person may discharge a pollutant without violating the section 
301 prohibition by obtaining authorization to discharge (referred to 
herein as ``coverage'') under a section 402 NPDES permit (33 U.S.C. 
1342). Under section 402(a), EPA may ``issue a permit for the discharge 
of any pollutant, or combination of pollutants, notwithstanding section 
1311(a)'' upon certain conditions required by the Act.
    EPA issued the first Pesticide General Permit (PGP) on October 31, 
2011 in response to a United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals 
ruling vacating EPA's 2006 Final Rule on Aquatic Pesticides. National 
Cotton Council of America. v. EPA, 553 F.3d 927 (6th Cir. 2009). EPA 
developed the PGP to control point source discharges of biological 
pesticides, and chemical pesticides that leave a residue, into waters 
of the United States.
    Implementation of the 2011 PGP has been successful during its first 
four years. EPA is not aware of any lawsuits brought against Operators 
discharging under EPA's PGP. The regulated community has raised very 
few implementation issues, and EPA resolved those issues. The 
provisions in the permit for pesticide applications during emergencies 
have been effectively implemented. Finally, Operators have generally 
submitted the NOIs and Annual Reports on time to the Agency. However, 
in an effort to pursue continuous improvement to protect water quality, 
EPA seeks comment on the draft 2016 PGP, in general, and on specific 
topics as described in Section III.C, below.

III. Scope and Applicability of the Draft 2016 PGP

A. Geographic Coverage

    EPA would provide permit coverage for classes of discharges where 
EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. The geographic coverage of 
today's draft 2016 PGP is listed below. Where the permit covers 
activities on Indian Country lands, those areas are as listed below 
within the borders of that state:
EPA Region 1
 Massachusetts, including Indian Country lands within 
Massachusetts
 Indian Country lands within Connecticut
 New Hampshire
 Indian Country lands within Rhode Island
 Federal Facilities within Vermont
EPA Region 2
 Indian Country lands within New York State
 Puerto Rico
EPA Region 3
 The District of Columbia
 Federal Facilities within Delaware
EPA Region 4
 Indian Country lands within Alabama
 Indian Country lands within Florida
 Indian Country lands within Mississippi
 Indian Country lands within North Carolina
EPA Region 5
 Indian Country lands within Michigan
 Indian Country lands within Minnesota
 Indian Country lands within Wisconsin
EPA Region 6
 Indian Country lands within Louisiana
 New Mexico, including Indian Country lands within New Mexico, 
except Navajo Reservation Lands (see Region 9) and Ute Mountain 
Reservation Lands (see Region 8)
 Indian Country lands within Oklahoma
 Discharges in Texas that are not under the authority of the 
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (formerly TNRCC), including 
activities associated with the exploration, development, or production 
of oil or gas or geothermal resources, including transportation of 
crude oil or natural gas by pipeline, including Indian Country lands
EPA Region 7
 Indian Country lands within Iowa
 Indian Country lands within Kansas
 Indian Country lands within Nebraska, except Pine Ridge 
Reservation lands (see Region 8)
EPA Region 8
 Federal Facilities in Colorado, including those on Indian 
Country lands within Colorado as well as the portion of the Ute 
Mountain Reservation located in New Mexico
 Indian Country lands within Montana
 Indian Country lands within North Dakota
 Indian Country lands within South Dakota, as well as the 
portion of the Pine Ridge Reservation located in Nebraska (see Region 
7)
 Indian Country lands within Utah, except Goshute and Navajo 
Reservation lands (see Region 9)
 Indian Country lands within Wyoming
EPA Region 9
 The Island of American Samoa
 Indian Country lands within Arizona as well as Navajo 
Reservation lands in New Mexico (see Region 6) and Utah (see Region 8)
 Indian Country lands within California
 The Island of Guam
 The Johnston Atoll
 Midway Island, Wake Island, and other unincorporated U.S. 
possessions
 The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
 Indian Country lands within the State of Nevada, as well as 
the Duck Valley Reservation in Idaho, the Fort McDermitt Reservation in 
Oregon (see Region 10) and the Goshute Reservation in Utah (see Region 
8)
EPA Region 10
 Indian Country lands within Alaska
 Idaho, including Indian Country lands within Idaho, except 
Duck Valley Reservation lands (see Region 9)
 Indian Country lands within Oregon, except Fort McDermitt 
Reservation lands (see Region 9)
 Federal Facilities in Washington, including those located on 
Indian Country lands within Washington.

B. Categories of Facilities Covered

    The draft 2016 PGP has the same requirements and conditions as 
EPA's 2011 PGP and regulates the same discharges to waters of the 
United States from the application of (1) biological pesticides, and 
(2) chemical pesticides that leave a residue. These apply to the 
following pesticide use patterns:
     Mosquito and Other Flying Insect Pest Control--to control 
public health/nuisance and other flying insect pests that develop or 
are present during a portion of their life cycle in or above standing 
or flowing water. Public health/nuisance and other flying insect pests 
in this use category include mosquitoes and black flies.
     Weed and Algae Pest Control--to control weeds, algae, and 
pathogens that

[[Page 4292]]

are pests in water and at water's edge, including ditches and/or 
canals.
     Animal Pest Control--to control animal pests in water and 
at water's edge. Animal pests in this use category include fish, 
lampreys, insects, mollusks, and pathogens.
     Forest Canopy Pest Control--application of a pesticide to 
a forest canopy to control the population of a pest species (e.g., 
insect or pathogen) where, to target the pests effectively, a portion 
of the pesticide unavoidably will be applied over and deposited to 
water.
    The scope of activities encompassed by these pesticide use patterns 
is described in greater detail in Part III.1.1 of the Fact Sheet for 
the draft 2016 PGP.

C. Summary of the Permit Requirements and Provisions for Which EPA Is 
Soliciting Comment

    Once issued, the final 2016 PGP will replace the 2011 PGP, which 
was issued for a five-year term on October 31, 2011 (see 76 FR 68750). 
The draft 2016 PGP has the same conditions and requirements as the 
existing 2011 PGP, and is structured in the same nine parts: (1) 
Coverage under the permit, (2) technology-based effluent limitations, 
(3) water quality-based effluent limitations, (4) monitoring, (5) 
pesticide discharge management plan, (6) corrective action, (7) 
recordkeeping and Annual Reporting, (8) EPA contact information and 
mailing addresses, and (9) permit conditions applicable to specific 
states, Indian country lands or territories. Additionally, as with the 
2011 PGP, the draft 2016 PGP includes nine appendices with additional 
conditions and guidance for permittees: (A) Definitions, abbreviations, 
and acronyms, (B) standard permit conditions, (C) areas covered, (D) 
Notice of Intent (NOI) form, (E) Notice of Termination (NOT) form, (F) 
Pesticide Discharge Evaluation worksheet (PDEW), (G) Annual Reporting 
template, (H) Adverse Incident template, and (I) endangered species 
procedures.
    The following is a summary of the draft 2016 PGP's requirements:
     The draft 2016 PGP defines ``Operator'' (i.e., the entity 
required to obtain NPDES permit coverage for discharges) to include any 
(a) Applicator who performs the application of pesticides or has day-
to-day control of the application of pesticides that results in a 
discharge to waters of the United States, or (b) Decision-maker who 
controls any decision to apply pesticides that results in a discharge 
to waters of the United States. There may be instances when a single 
entity acts as both an Applicator and a Decision-maker.
     All Applicators are required to minimize pesticide 
discharges by using only the amount of pesticide and frequency of 
pesticide application necessary to control the target pest, maintain 
pesticide application equipment in proper operating condition, control 
discharges as necessary to meet applicable water quality standards, and 
monitor for and report any adverse incidents.
     All Decision-makers are required, to the extent not 
determined by the Applicator, to minimize pesticide discharges by using 
only the amount of pesticide and frequency of pesticide application 
necessary to control the target pest. All Decision-makers are also 
required to control discharges as necessary to meet applicable water 
quality standards and monitor for and report any adverse incidents.
     Certain Decision-makers [i.e., any agency for which pest 
management for land resource stewardship is an integral part of the 
organization's operations, entities with a specific responsibility to 
control pests (e.g., mosquito and weed control districts), local 
governments or other entities that apply pesticides in excess of 
specified annual treatment area thresholds, and entities that discharge 
pesticides to Tier 3 waters or to waters of the United States 
containing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Listed Resources of 
Concern] are required to also submit an NOI to obtain authorization to 
discharge and implement pest management options to reduce the discharge 
of pesticides to waters of the United States. Of this group, certain 
large Decision-makers must also develop a Pesticide Discharge 
Management Plan (PDMP), submit annual reports, and maintain detailed 
records. Certain small Decision-makers are required to complete a 
pesticide discharge evaluation worksheet for each pesticide application 
(in lieu of the more comprehensive PDMP), an annual report, and 
detailed recordkeeping.
    While EPA encourages the public to review and comment on all 
aspects and provisions in the draft 2016 PGP, EPA specifically solicits 
comments on the following as part of this reissuance:
    (1) Notice of Intent. As with the 2011 PGP, the draft 2016 PGP 
requires only certain Decision-makers, as discussed above, to submit 
NOIs. If an NOI is required, it must contain either a map or narrative 
description of the area and the potentially affected waters of the 
United States, and the pesticide use patterns for which permit coverage 
is being requested for the duration of the permit. Operators can 
identify specific waters or request coverage for all waters within the 
area for which they are requesting permit coverage. EPA is interested 
in feedback on whether the NOI data requirements capture adequate 
information on the pesticide application areas and associated waters of 
the United States for which permit coverage is being requested. For 
example, in the NOI submissions for the 2011 PGP, EPA received a 
variety of submissions for the Pest Management Areas ranging from maps 
of large waterbodies to specific subsections of streams. NOIs submitted 
under the 2011 PGP are available online at (http://ofmpub.epa.gov/apex/aps/f?p=PGP_2011:HOME::::::), and a summary of the data is available in 
the docket EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0257. EPA requests comments on whether 
different, or more specific and consistent, information should be 
required to better determine the locations of pesticides applications.
    As mentioned above, the draft 2016 PGP requires Decision-makers to 
include in their NOIs a description of the areas where pesticides are 
applied (or treatment areas) within the broader designated Pest 
Management Area. Within the Pest Management Area, Operators are 
required to determine if they are applying to impaired or Tier 3 
waters; however, Operators are not required to determine whether their 
application will impact the water quality of drinking water supplies. 
EPA seeks feedback on how best to collect information to determine if 
pesticides activities covered under this permit could impact drinking 
water source protection areas. One possible approach would be to 
require a determination of whether a portion of the Pest Management 
Area is within a public drinking water supply source protection area. 
If EPA adopted this approach, EPA would add a ``Yes/No'' indicator to 
the eNOI form (Appendix D) to indicate whether a portion of the Pest 
Management Area is within a public water supply source water protection 
area. EPA solicits comment on this approach.
    (2) Annual Reporting. As with the 2011 PGP, the draft 2016 PGP 
requires any Decision-maker who is required to submit an NOI and is a 
large entity, and any Decision-maker with discharges to waters of the 
United States containing NMFS Listed Resources of Concern including 
small entities, to submit an annual report to EPA that contains, among 
other things, a previous calendar year's compilation of pesticide 
products applied, total annual quantities applied, locations where 
pesticide applications were made, and information on any adverse 
incidents or corrective actions

[[Page 4293]]

resulting from discharges covered under the draft 2016 PGP. See 
Appendix G of the draft 2016 PGP, Annual Report template. Due to the 
potential burden of accounting and submitting information on each and 
every location of application, type, and amount of pesticides, EPA 
asked for a compilation of that information for the previous year of 
application. However, as with the information requested in the NOI, EPA 
received a variety of descriptions for the Pest Management Areas and 
treatment areas in the Annual Reports. The Agency is interested in 
comments on the utility and value of the information collected by the 
reports. EPA would also like feedback on whether less, more, or 
different information would provide a more accurate accounting of the 
amount, type, and location of pesticide discharges. Annual Reports 
submitted under the 2011 PGP are available online at (http://ofmpub.epa.gov/apex/aps/f?p=PGP_2011:HOME::::::). In addition, to 
ensure consistency and prevent confusion among the pesticides user 
community, EPA seeks comment on whether the terminology is clear and 
easily understandable. For example, many state pesticide regulations 
require Applicators to report pesticides in ``amount used,'' unlike the 
2011 PGP, which requires that pesticides be reported in ``quantity 
applied.'' See Part III.7 of the Fact Sheet for further discussion on 
Annual Reporting requirements.
    (3) Water Quality-Based Effluent Limitations (WQBEL). The 2011 PGP 
contained several provisions to protect water quality and the draft 
2016 PGP includes those same provisions. It includes a narrative WQBEL 
requiring that discharges be controlled as necessary to meet applicable 
water quality standards. Failure to control discharges in a manner that 
meets applicable water quality standards is a violation of the permit.
    In addition to the narrative WQBEL, the draft 2016 PGP contains 
related provisions which act together to further protect water quality. 
These provisions were also included in the 2011 PGP. For example, the 
draft 2016 PGP requires the Operator to implement control measures and 
to take corrective action in response to any excursion of applicable 
water quality standards. Additionally, EPA expects that, as with the 
2011 PGP, the Agency will receive CWA Section 401 certifications for 
the final 2016 PGP. Some of those certifications will include 
additional conditions that are required by the state, territory, or 
tribe, that are necessary to assure compliance with the applicable 
provisions of the CWA, including water quality standards, in specific 
geographic areas where the permit is available. The CWA Section 401 
certifications submitted by states, territories and tribes for the 2011 
PGP are included in the docket at EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0257-1267.
    The draft 2016 PGP retains the same eligibility provisions from the 
2011 PGP which provides additional water quality protection. For 
instance, the draft 2016 PGP makes clear that Operators must comply 
with all applicable statutes, regulations, and other requirements 
including, but not limited to, requirements contained in the labeling 
of pesticide products approved under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide 
and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), known as ``FIFRA labeling.'' If Operators 
are found to have applied a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with any 
relevant water quality-related FIFRA labeling requirements, EPA will 
presume that the effluent limitation to minimize pesticides entering 
the waters of the United States has been violated under the NPDES 
permit. Many provisions of FIFRA labeling--such as those relating to 
application sites, rates, frequency, and methods, as well as provisions 
concerning proper storage and disposal of pesticide wastes and 
containers--are requirements that protect water quality. Also, it is 
important to note that biological pesticides do not cause water quality 
toxicity because they do not work through a toxic mode of action, and 
the discharges of chemical pesticides that would be covered by the 
draft 2016 PGP are residues of pesticides after they have performed 
their intended purpose. Thus, residue concentrations will be no higher 
than the concentration of the pesticide as applied.
    To provide further protection, the draft 2016 PGP also includes the 
provision from the 2011 PGP which excludes from coverage any discharges 
of pesticides to waters listed as impaired, including waters with Total 
Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), where the waterbody is impaired for the 
active ingredient in that pesticide or its degradates. For geographic 
areas covered under the draft 2016 PGP, the 303(d) list of impairments 
\1\ indicates that of the 17 pesticide active ingredients identified on 
the impairment list, seven are for legacy pollutants that have had 
their FIFRA registrations cancelled and are no longer authorized for 
use. Furthermore, for the remaining pesticides, analysis of the 2011 
PGP annual reports data indicate that none of the reported pesticides 
are on the 303(d) list of impairments in geographic areas where the PGP 
is authorized. See document titled, ``Comparison of 303(d) Pesticides 
Impairment Data with 2011 PGP Annual Reports Data'' in the docket.
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    \1\ http://iaspub.epa.gov/waters10/attains_nation_cy.control?p_report_type=T.
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    In addition, as identified in Part 1.2.3 of the 2011 PGP and the 
draft 2016 PGP, for eligible discharges (e.g., discharges to waters 
that are impaired for pollutants other than the pesticide product or 
degradates of that product), EPA may determine that additional TBELs or 
WQBELs are necessary, or may deny coverage under the PGP and require 
submission of an application for an individual permit.
    Prior to reissuing permits, EPA evaluates opportunities for 
improving permit requirements to protect water quality. Although EPA 
finds that the conditions and requirements of the draft 2016 PGP are 
protective of water quality, EPA is aware that some states, tribes, and 
territories include additional WQBELs in their states-issued permits or 
included additional conditions in their 401 certifications for the 
draft 2011 PGP. EPA has examined these additional BMPs and permit 
conditions and seeks feedback on whether some of these additional 
measures or others should be added to the draft 2016 PGP WQBELs to 
further protect water quality. EPA has included examples of some permit 
requirements from NPDES authorized state WQBELs in the docket. See 
document titled, ``Examples of State PGP Provisions that Address 
WQBELs/WQ Monitoring.'' Additionally, examples of some BMPs from 
pesticides labels are available in the docket as well. See document 
titled, ``Examples of BMPs in Pesticides Product FIFRA Labels to 
Address Water Quality.''

IV. Cost Impacts of the PGP

    EPA performed a cost impact analysis on Operators covered by the 
2011 PGP for the purpose of examining the economic achievability of 
complying with the technology-based effluent limitations and the 
administrative requirements embodied in the permit. EPA performs this 
type of analysis where a general permit is developed in the absence of 
existing applicable national effluent limitations. Based on the 2011 
PGP analysis and the updated cost analysis for the draft 2016 PGP, EPA 
expects that there will be minimal burden on entities, including small 
businesses, covered under the draft 2016 PGP. EPA finds the limitations 
to be economically achievable. A copy of EPA's cost analysis, titled, 
``Cost Impact Analysis for the Draft 2016 Pesticide General Permit 
(PGP),'' is available in

[[Page 4294]]

the docket. EPA solicits additional information during the public 
notice of the draft 2016 PGP that will allow for a more accurate cost 
analysis, and will update the cost impact analysis as appropriate, for 
the final permit.

V. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    The draft 2016 PGP is not a significant regulatory action and was 
therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review.

VI. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in E.O. 
13175. It will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on 
federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. EPA 
directly implements the NPDES Program, including the proposed 2016 PGP, 
in Indian Country; therefore, in compliance with the EPA Policy on 
Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes, EPA consulted with 
tribal officials early in the process to permit tribes to have 
meaningful and timely input into the renewal of the 2016 PGP. To gain 
an understanding of, and where necessary, to address tribal 
implications of the draft 2016 PGP, EPA conducted the following 
activities:
     October 28, 2015--EPA mailed notification letters to 
tribal leaders initiating consultation and coordination on the renewal 
of the PGP. The initiation letter was posted on the tribal portal Web 
site at http://tcots.epa.gov.
     November 19, 2015--EPA held an informational 
teleconference open to all tribal representatives, and reserved the 
last part of the teleconference for official consultation comments. 
Seven tribal officials participated. EPA also invited tribes to submit 
written comments on the draft 2016 PGP. The presentation was posted on 
the tribal portal Web site at http://tcots.epa.gov.

Although EPA did not receive any comments during the formal 
consultation period, EPA encourages tribes to participate in the public 
review process by submitting comments through regulations.gov. EPA will 
consider the comments and address them in the final action.

    Authority: Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

    Dated: January 14, 2016.
H. Curtis Spalding,
Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.
    Dated: January 14, 2016.
Joan Leary Matthews,
Director, Clean Water Division, EPA Region 2.
    Dated: January 14, 2016.
Jose C. Font,
Division Director, Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, EPA 
Region 2.
    Dated: January 13, 2016.
Jon M. Capacasa,
Director, Water Protection Division, EPA Region 3.
    Dated: January 13, 2016.
James D. Giattina,
Director, Water Protection Division, EPA Region 4.
    Dated: January 13, 2016.
Tinka G. Hyde,
Director, Water Division, EPA Region 5.
    Dated: January 14, 2016.
William K. Honker, P.E.,
Director, Water Division, EPA Region 6.
    Dated: January 14, 2016.
Karen A. Flournoy,
Director, Water, Wetlands and Pesticides Division, EPA Region 7.
    Dated: January 14, 2016.
Darcy O'Connor,
Acting Assistant Regional Administrator, Office of Partnerships and 
Regulatory Assistance, EPA Region 8.
    Dated: January 13, 2016.
Tomas Torres,
Director, Water Division, EPA Region 9.
    Dated: January 14, 2016.
Daniel D. Opalski,
Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10.
[FR Doc. 2016-01564 Filed 1-25-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P