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:
- City storm water web site: www.rochesterstormwater.com (click on the permits/plans tab and the permits hyperlink)
- MPCA Public Notice Website (on or after April 1, 2014): www.pca.state.mn.us/publicnotices
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:
- Contact information where a written response can be sent.
- A statement of the person’s interest in the Permit application and SWPPP Document;
- 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
- 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.firstname.lastname@example.org
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.