Comment on Rochester water permit

If you  are about water quality in Rochester, here is your invitation to make comments.

A new state storm water permit took effect on August 1, 2013 for urbanized areas in Minnesota.  Permittees were given phased deadlines to submit their applications to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA); the City of Rochester submitted its application at the end of December 2013.  The MPCA staff recently completed their technical review of Rochester’s application and they have determined it is complete and ready to move to the public notice stage. The public comment period will be from April 1, 2014 through May 1, 2014.

Copies of the permit application are available for review at the following locations:

Rochester Public Works Department

201 4th St. SE, Room 108

Rochester, MN 55904

Rochester Public Library – Reference Section

101 2nd St SE

Rochester, MN 55904

Online links to the City’s permit application are available on the:

Comments must be submitted to the MPCA in writing about the Commissioner’s preliminary determination; specifically, whether or not permit coverage should be extended to the City, and if not, the reasons supporting that position. Interested persons must clearly reference the City of Rochester permit and the written comments must include the following:

  1. Contact information where a written response can be sent.
  2. A statement of the person’s interest in the Permit application and SWPPP Document;
  3. A statement of the action the person would like the MPCA or the City of Rochester to take, including specific references to sections of the application and SWPPP Document that s/he believes should be changed; and
  4. The reasons supporting the person’s position, stated with sufficient specificity as to allow the Commissioner to investigate the merits of the person’s position.

Comments received without accompanying contact information will not receive a response from the Permittee.

Comment letters must be submitted to:

Municipal Stormwater (MS4) Program

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

520 Lafayette Road North

St. Paul, MN 55155

Comments in email format should be directed to: MS4permitprogram.pca@state.mn.us

The MPCA storm water staff will review comments received, if any, and forward them to the City of Rochester for consideration and resolution. Following the public notice period, the City must respond to the comments, including justification of why or why the City is not modifying its Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) Document in response to the comments.  These responses will be sent to the MPCA and staff will review the responses and any SWPPP Document modifications before forwarding responses to commenters and issuing Permit coverage.

Unlike wastewater treatment plant or industrial permits that have numerical discharge limits, storm water permits are based on the use of structural and non-structural best management practices that meet a Maximum Extent Practicable standard. In other words, a permittee has the discretion to implement a combination of activities to reduce pollution that are based on the community’s physical setting, the types and severity of water pollution present, and the funding and staff capacity.

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