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Proposed Changes to the MWRA Regulations

Proposed changes to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Sewer Use Regulations (360 CMR 10.000) were published in April 2019 and a public hearing on the changes was held this week on May 13. For those of you who didn’t get to participate in the public hearing and would still like to submit comments, the deadline for written comments to the MWRA is May 20th.

For most Safety Partners’ clients, the proposed changes are relatively minor. The most noticeable impact will likely be for those of you that hold Low Flow/Low Pollutant Permits. The fee for these permits will be increasing from an initial one-time fee of $244.00 for the 5-year duration of the permit to an annual fee starting in 2020 of $100.00/per year, increasing about 3% each year, for a total cost for the 5-year duration of the permit of $532.00.

Those clients holding Category 2 permits will also be seeing an increase in both annual permitting and monitoring fees.  This will start for new permits issued in the remaining months of 2019 (~15% increase) and continue with ~ 3% increases each year going forward. In addition, annual sampling fees for these permits will be increasing at a similar rate.

There are also some minor changes related to the list of toxic organics in Appendix A.  For clients in the Metropolitan Sewer District which includes Cambridge, Boston, and vicinity, there are an additional 19 new chemicals on the toxic organics list, but several toxic organics previously listed have been removed from the list. The daily maximum discharge limit for each toxic organic (1 mg/l) and for total toxic organics (5 mg/l) hasn’t changed.

For companies in the Clinton Service Area which includes Clinton, Lancaster, Sterling, Bolton, and Berlin, changes related to sampling include the elimination of the discharge limits outlined in Appendix D (Clinton Use Sewerage Service Area Facility Specific Limits). However, compliance with Appendix C (Clinton Sewerage Service Area Prohibited Pollutants) is still required. In addition, in Section 10.023, Specific Prohibitions, the requirements for the Clinton Service Area are now the same as those for the Metropolitan Sewer District. Related to this change, formaldehyde has been added to the list of pollutants with a maximum daily discharge limit of 9 mg/l.

Other proposed changes to the MWRA regulations include language stating that the MWRA may allow for an application or report to be submitted by electronic means, with a verified electronic signature of an authorized representative of the person submitting the application or report, that shall be certified as accurate.  We’ll have to see how this proposed change is finalized. This may mean that MWRA applications can be submitted electronically, with an approved electronic signature, going forward!

Additional revisions are the incorporation of changes required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring MWRA’s Sewer Use Regulations in conformance with EPA’s pre-treatment regulations. For instance, the definition of hazardous waste now includes “Has been identified as a Hazardous Waste Pharmaceutical pursuant to 40 CFR 266.500.” The definition also references waste prohibitions described in 40 CFR 266.505 and Clean Water Act requirements at 40 CFR 403.5(b).

Other definitions in the proposed regulations have been updated including those for a Combined Permit and Group Permit. In addition, new definitions have been added for Photo Processing, Printing, and Dental Discharges, among others. Of significance for dental establishments is that a new requirement for a Group Permit for Dental Discharges has been added to the regulations and is described in section 10.065. The permit requirements apply to dental operations that take place in a commercial space that use an amalgam separator.

An electronic copy of the proposed changes can be viewed here.

If you’re interested in  submitting comments on the proposed changes, the MWRA will accept written comments until 5:00 pm on Monday, May 20, 2019 by mail or hand delivery to Rebecca Weidman, or by email to [email protected].

If you have any questions on the proposed changes or how they will affect your company, please email [email protected].

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