Support for EPA’s Proposal to Address NPDES Permit Problems

Rayonier AM operated for years without an updated NPDES permit. More than half a dozen active and retired coal-fired power plants in Georgia currently have expired permits. The EPA has recognized the process is flawed and wants to make its authority to address the problem explicit. ARK would welcome the change. Recently, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed comments in support of the EPA proposal:

“We strongly support EPA’s proposal to strengthen and make explicit its ability to address the rampant problem of administratively extended NPDES permits. This problem exists throughout the Southeast. State agencies are either too overtaxed or politically compromised to timely reissue NPDES permits, resulting in permit terms and conditions that have been outdated for an additional permit cycle, in many cases multiple permit cycles. These extensions have practical consequences, often allowing permittees to get away with lax limits or inferior pollution control technology for years after pollution problems are apparent, compromising water quality and threatening public health. The extensions also deprive the public of their statutory right to participate in the permitting process and voice concerns about pollution sources to permitting agencies, as well as to appeal reissued NPDES permits that may not meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.”

Read the full comments: ark SELC EPA NPDES Comments

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