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Part III
Permit Conditions

9VAC25-31-190. Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all VPDES permits. Additional conditions applicable to VPDES permits are in 9VAC25-31-200. All conditions applicable to VPDES permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to this regulation must be given in the permit.

A. The permittee must comply with all conditions of the permit. Any permit noncompliance constitutes a violation of the law and the CWA, except that noncompliance with certain provisions of the permit may constitute a violation of the law but not the CWA. Permit noncompliance is grounds for enforcement action; for permit termination, revocation and reissuance, or modification; or denial of a permit renewal application.

The permittee shall comply with effluent standards or prohibitions established under 307(a) of the CWA for toxic pollutants and with standards for sewage sludge use or disposal established under 405(d) of the CWA within the time provided in the chapters that establish these standards or prohibitions or standards for sewage sludge use or disposal, even if the permit has not yet been modified to incorporate the requirement.

B. If the permittee wishes to continue an activity regulated by the permit after the expiration date of the permit, the permittee must apply for and obtain a new permit.

C. It shall not be a defense for a permittee in an enforcement action that it would have been necessary to halt or reduce the permitted activity in order to maintain compliance with the conditions of the permit.

D. The permittee shall take all reasonable steps to minimize or prevent any discharge or sludge use or disposal in violation of the permit which has a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting human health or the environment.

E. The permittee shall at all times properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems of treatment and control (and related appurtenances) which are installed or used by the permittee to achieve compliance with the conditions of the permit. Proper operation and maintenance also includes adequate laboratory controls and appropriate quality assurance procedures. This provision requires the operation of back-up or auxiliary facilities or similar systems which are installed by a permittee only when the operation is necessary to achieve compliance with the conditions of the permit.

F. Permits may be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated for cause. The filing of a request by the permittee for a permit modification, revocation and reissuance, or termination, or a notification of planned changes or anticipated noncompliance does not stay any permit condition.

G. Permits do not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

H. The permittee shall furnish to the department, within a reasonable time, any information which the board may request to determine whether cause exists for modifying, revoking and reissuing, or terminating the permit or to determine compliance with the permit. The board may require the permittee to furnish, upon request, such plans, specifications, and other pertinent information as may be necessary to determine the effect of the wastes from his discharge on the quality of state waters, or such other information as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes of the law. The permittee shall also furnish to the department upon request, copies of records required to be kept by the permit.

I. The permittee shall allow the director, or an authorized representative (including an authorized contractor acting as a representative of the administrator), upon presentation of credentials and other documents as may be required by law, to:

1. Enter upon the permittee's premises where a regulated facility or activity is located or conducted, or where records must be kept under the conditions of the permit;

2. Have access to and copy, at reasonable times, any records that must be kept under the conditions of the permit;

3. Inspect at reasonable times any facilities, equipment (including monitoring and control equipment), practices, or operations regulated or required under the permit; and

4. Sample or monitor at reasonable times, for the purposes of assuring permit compliance or as otherwise authorized by the CWA and the law, any substances or parameters at any location.

J. Monitoring and records.

1. Samples and measurements taken for the purpose of monitoring shall be representative of the monitored activity.

2. Except for records of monitoring information required by the permit related to the permittee's sewage sludge use and disposal activities, which shall be retained for a period of at least five years (or longer as required by Part VI (9VAC25-31-420 et seq.) of this chapter), the permittee shall retain records of all monitoring information, including all calibration and maintenance records and all original strip chart recordings for continuous monitoring instrumentation, copies of all reports required by the permit, and records of all data used to complete the application for the permit, for a period of at least three years from the date of the sample, measurement, report or application. This period of retention shall be extended automatically during the course of any unresolved litigation regarding the regulated activity or regarding control standards applicable to the permittee, or as requested by the board.

3. Records of monitoring information shall include:

a. The date, exact place, and time of sampling or measurements;

b. The individual or individuals who performed the sampling or measurements;

c. The date or dates analyses were performed;

d. The individual or individuals who performed the analyses;

e. The analytical techniques or methods used; and

f. The results of such analyses.

4. Monitoring results must be conducted according to test procedures approved under 40 CFR Part 136 or alternative EPA approved methods; or, in the case of sludge use or disposal, approved under 40 CFR Part 136 unless otherwise specified in Part VI of this chapter, unless other test procedures have been specified in the permit.

K. All applications, reports, or information submitted to the department shall be signed and certified as required by 9VAC25-31-110.

L. Reporting requirements.

1. The permittee shall give notice to the department as soon as possible of any planned physical alterations or additions to the permitted facility. Notice is required only when:

a. The alteration or addition to a permitted facility may meet one of the criteria for determining whether a facility is a new source in 9VAC25-31-180 A;

b. The alteration or addition could significantly change the nature or increase the quantity of pollutants discharged. This notification applies to pollutants which are subject neither to effluent limitations in the permit, nor to notification requirements under 9VAC25-31-200 A 1; or

c. The alteration or addition results in a significant change in the permittee's sludge use or disposal practices, and such alteration, addition, or change may justify the application of permit conditions that are different from or absent in the existing permit, including notification of additional use or disposal sites not reported during the permit application process or not reported pursuant to an approved land application plan.

2. The permittee shall give advance notice to the department of any planned changes in the permitted facility or activity which may result in noncompliance with permit requirements.

3. Permits are not transferable to any person except after notice to the department. The board may require modification or revocation and reissuance of permits to change the name of the permittee and incorporate such other requirements as may be necessary under the law or the CWA.

4. Monitoring results shall be reported at the intervals specified in the permit.

a. Monitoring results must be reported on a Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) or forms provided or specified by the department for reporting results of monitoring of sludge use or disposal practices. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all reports and forms submitted in compliance with this subdivision 4 shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision 4 and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit.

b. If the permittee monitors any pollutant specifically addressed by the permit more frequently than required by the permit using test procedures approved under 40 CFR Part 136 or, in the case of sludge use or disposal, approved under 40 CFR Part 136 unless otherwise specified in Part VI of this chapter, or as specified in the permit, the results of this monitoring shall be included in the calculation and reporting of the data submitted in the DMR or sludge reporting form specified by the department.

c. Calculations for all limitations which require averaging of measurements shall utilize an arithmetic mean unless otherwise specified in the permit.

5. Reports of compliance or noncompliance with, or any progress reports on, interim and final requirements contained in any compliance schedule of the permit shall be submitted no later than 14 days following each schedule date.

6. If any unusual or extraordinary discharge including a bypass or upset should occur from a facility and such discharge enters or could be expected to enter state waters, the owner shall promptly notify, in no case later than 24 hours, the department by telephone after the discovery of such discharge. This notification shall provide all available details of the incident, including any adverse effects on aquatic life and the known number of fish killed. The permittee shall reduce the report to writing and shall submit it to the department within five days of discovery of the discharge in accordance with subdivision 7 a of this subsection. Unusual and extraordinary discharges include but are not limited to any discharge resulting from:

a. Unusual spillage of materials resulting directly or indirectly from processing operations;

b. Breakdown of processing or accessory equipment;

c. Failure or taking out of service of the treatment plant or auxiliary facilities (such as sewer lines or wastewater pump stations); and

d. Flooding or other acts of nature.

7. Twenty-four hour and five-day reporting.

a. The permittee shall report any noncompliance that may endanger health or the environment. Any information shall be provided orally within 24 hours from the time the permittee becomes aware of the circumstances. A report in a format required by the department shall also be provided within five days of the time the permittee becomes aware of the circumstances. The five-day report shall contain a description of the noncompliance and its cause; the period of noncompliance, including exact dates and times, and if the noncompliance has not been corrected, the anticipated time it is expected to continue; and steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate, and prevent reoccurrence of the noncompliance.

(1) For noncompliance events related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events, these reports must include the data described in subdivision 7 a of this subsection with the exception of time of discovery, as well as the type of event (i.e., combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events); type of sewer overflow structure (e.g., manhole, combine sewer overflow outfall); discharge volumes untreated by the treatment works treating domestic sewage; types of human health and environmental impacts of the sewer overflow event; and whether the noncompliance was related to wet weather.

(2) As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events submitted in compliance with this subdivision 7 shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision 7 and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to electronically submit reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this subdivision by a particular permit.

(3) The director may also require permittees to electronically submit reports not related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this subdivision.

b. The following shall be reported within 24 hours under this subdivision:

(1) Any unanticipated bypass that exceeds any effluent limitation in the permit.

(2) Any upset that exceeds any effluent limitation in the permit.

(3) Violation of a maximum daily discharge limitation for any of the pollutants listed in the permit to be reported within 24 hours.

c. The board may waive the five-day report on a case-by-case basis for reports under this subdivision if the oral report has been received within 24 hours.

8. The permittee shall report all instances of noncompliance not reported under subdivisions 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this subsection, in a format required by the department at the time the next monitoring reports are submitted. The reports shall contain the information listed in subdivision 7 of this subsection.

a. For noncompliance events related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events, these reports shall contain the information described in subdivision 7 a of this subsection and the applicable required data in Appendix A to 40 CFR Part 127 as adopted by reference in 9VAC25-31-1030.

b. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events submitted in compliance with this subdivision 8 shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision 8 and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to electronically submit reports related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this section by a particular permit.

c. The director may also require permittees to electronically submit reports not related to combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or bypass events under this section.

9. Where the permittee becomes aware that it failed to submit any relevant facts in a permit application, or submitted incorrect information in a permit application or in any report to the department, it shall promptly submit such facts or information.

10. The owner, operator, or the duly authorized representative of an VPDES-regulated entity is required to electronically submit the required information, as specified in Appendix A to 40 CFR Part 127 as adopted by reference in 9VAC25-31-1030, to the department.

M. Bypass.

1. The permittee may allow any bypass to occur which does not cause effluent limitations to be exceeded, but only if it also is for essential maintenance to assure efficient operation. These bypasses are not subject to the provisions of subdivisions 2 and 3 of this subsection.

2. Notice.

a. Anticipated bypass. If the permittee knows in advance of the need for a bypass, it shall submit prior notice, if possible at least 10 days before the date of the bypass. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all notices submitted in compliance with this subdivision shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit.

b. Unanticipated bypass. The permittee shall submit notice of an unanticipated bypass as required in subdivision L 7 of this section. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all notices submitted in compliance with this subdivision shall be submitted electronically by the permittee to the department in compliance with this subdivision and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, permittees may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit.

3. Prohibition of bypass.

a. Bypass is prohibited, and the board may take enforcement action against a permittee for bypass, unless:

(1) Bypass was unavoidable to prevent loss of life, personal injury, or severe property damage;

(2) There were no feasible alternatives to the bypass, such as the use of auxiliary treatment facilities, retention of untreated wastes, or maintenance during normal periods of equipment downtime. This condition is not satisfied if adequate back-up equipment should have been installed in the exercise of reasonable engineering judgment to prevent a bypass which occurred during normal periods of equipment downtime or preventive maintenance; and

(3) The permittee submitted notices as required under subdivision 2 of this subsection.

b. The board may approve an anticipated bypass, after considering its adverse effects, if the board determines that it will meet the three conditions listed above in subdivision 3 a of this subsection.

N. Upset.

1. An upset constitutes an affirmative defense to an action brought for noncompliance with such technology based permit effluent limitations if the requirements of subdivision 2 of this subsection are met. No determination made during administrative review of claims that noncompliance was caused by upset, and before an action for noncompliance, is final administrative action subject to judicial review.

2. A permittee who wishes to establish the affirmative defense of upset shall demonstrate, through properly signed, contemporaneous operating logs, or other relevant evidence that:

a. An upset occurred and that the permittee can identify the cause or causes of the upset;

b. The permitted facility was at the time being properly operated;

c. The permittee submitted notice of the upset as required in subdivision L 7 b (2) of this section (24-hour notice); and

d. The permittee complied with any remedial measures required under subsection D of this section.

3. In any enforcement proceeding the permittee seeking to establish the occurrence of an upset has the burden of proof.

Statutory Authority

62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; 402 of the Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. February 15, 2002; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017.


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