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Nutrient Credit Trading Program; Notice of Certification Requests

[42 Pa.B. 5936]
[Saturday, September 15, 2012]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) provides notice of the following certification requests that have been submitted under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program (Trading Program). See 25 Pa. Code § 96.8 (relating to use of offsets and tradable credits from pollution reduction activities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed), published at 40 Pa.B. 5790 (October 9, 2010).

 Nutrient credit trading is a market-based program that provides incentives for entities to create nutrient reduction credits (credits) by going beyond statutory, regulatory or voluntary obligations and goals to remove nutrients from a watershed. The credits can be traded to help others more cost-effectively meet their obligations or goals. The primary purpose of the Trading Program is to provide for more efficient ways for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permittees to meet their effluent limits for nutrients.

 The information described in this notice relates to submitted certification requests received on August 27, 2012.

Background

 Before a credit can be used by an NPDES permittee, a three-step process is followed: (1) the certification request must be approved; (2) generation of the credits must be verified; and (3) the credits must be registered.

 Approval is also known as certification, which is a written approval by the Department for the use of a pollutant reduction activity to generate credits. Certifications are based on at least: (1) a written request describing the qualifying pollutant reduction activity that will reduce the pollutant loadings delivered to the applicable watershed; (2) the calculation to quantify the pounds of reductions expected; and (3) a verification plan that, when implemented, ensures that the qualifying pollutant reduction activity has taken place.

 Once the credits are certified, they must be verified to be applied toward an NPDES permit for compliance with effluent limits. Verification means implementation of the verification plan contained in the certification. Verification plans require annual submittal of documentation to the Department that demonstrates that the qualifying pollutant reduction activity has taken place for the applicable compliance year.

 The credits also need to be registered by the Department before they can be applied toward an NPDES permit for compliance with effluent limits. Registration occurs only after credits have been certified, verified and a contract has been submitted. The Department registers credits for use during the compliance year in which the qualifying pollutant reduction activity has taken place. The Department provides registered credits with an annual registry number for reporting and tracking purposes.

Certification Request

 The following requests are being reviewed by the Department. The Department will accept written comments on these proposed pollutant reduction activities for 15 days.

Applicant Pollution Reduction Activity Description
Mount Carmel Municipal Authority
(Northumberland County)
NPDES Permit No. PA-0024406
This certification request is for nutrient reduction credits to be generated from the pollutant reduction activity at the Mount Carmel wastewater treatment plant.
Gwin, Dobson and Foreman Consulting Engineers on behalf of Altoona Water Authority
(Blair County)
NPDES Permit No. PA-0027022
This certification request is for nutrient reduction credits to be generated from the pollutant reduction activity at the Westerly wastewater treatment plant.

Written Comments

 Interested persons may submit written comments on these proposed pollutant reduction activities by October 1, 2012. The Department will accept comments submitted by e-mail, but comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. A return name and address must be included in each e-mail transmission. Written comments should be submitted to Brian Schlauderaff, Bureau of Point and Non-Point Source Regulation, Department of Environmental Protection, P. O. Box 8774, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774, (717) 772-5620, bschlauder@pa.gov.

 For further information about this certification request or the Trading Program contact Brian Schlauderaff, at the previously listed address or phone number or visit the Department's web site at www.dep.state.pa.us (DEP Keywords: ''Nutrient Trading'').

MICHAEL L. KRANCER, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-1805. Filed for public inspection September 14, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]



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