On January 15, 2021, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed and issued the 2021 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for industrial stormwater discharges. The 2021 MSGP will become effective on March 1, 2021 and will replace the 2015 MSGP. Existing MSGP permittees must submit a Notice of Intent to EPA, along with a revised Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, that reflects compliance with new requirements by May 30, 2021. Facilities that have not previously been covered under the EPA MSGP must obtain coverage immediately. 

There are several significant changes in the new MSGP that affect permittees in the timber products industry (MSGP Sector A), including sawmills, planing mills, and other facilities where logs are stored and handled. Therefore, familiarity with the new permit is important for members of the New Hampshire Timber Owners Association (NHTOA) and The Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA). The most significant changes affecting the timber products sector relate to monitoring of stormwater discharges from timber products facilities. The MSGP permit now requires an expanded schedule of benchmark monitoring, as well as a more robust response to pollutant threshold exceedances by way of Additional Implementation Measures (AIMs) and additional monitoring. Expanded discharge monitoring is also required if a facility meets any of the following conditions: it discharges to any identified ‘impaired waters,’ has seal-coated paved surfaces on site, and/or uses creosote treatment or stores creosote as part of its operations.  

In collaboration with NHTOA and NELMA, Stillwater Environmental Engineering (SEE) in Orono, Me., will provide a brief overview training to help timber industry operators and staff to understand and comply with the new 2021 MSGP requirements. SEE professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in providing environmental and regulatory compliance services to industries throughout the Northeast. With many clients in the New Hampshire lumber industry, SEE is in a unique position to offer a customized, industry-specific translation of the new federal requirements. 

The online training will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25, beginning at 4 p.m. Click here for the Zoom link.