903.08 Participating in national pollutant discharge elimination system.

(A)

(1) The director of agriculture is authorized to participate in the national pollutant discharge elimination system in accordance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Not later than one hundred eighty days after March 15, 2001, the director shall prepare a state program in accordance with 40 C.F.R. 123.21 for point sources that are subject to this section and shall submit the program to the United States environmental protection agency for approval.

(2) On and after the date on which the United States environmental protection agency approves the state program submitted under division (A)(1) of this section, the authority to enforce terms and conditions of NPDES permits previously issued under division (J) of section 6111.03 or under section 6111.035 of the Revised Code for the discharging, transporting, or handling of storm water from an animal feeding facility or of pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations is transferred from the director of environmental protection to the director of agriculture. Thereafter, the director of environmental protection shall have no authority to enforce the terms and conditions of those NPDES permits. After the transfer of authority under division (A)(2) of this section, the NPDES permits concerning which authority has been transferred shall be considered to have been issued under this section.

(B)

(1) On and after the date on which the United States environmental protection agency approves the NPDES program submitted by the director of agriculture under this section, no person shall discharge pollutants from a concentrated animal feeding operation into waters of the state without first obtaining a NPDES permit issued by the director of agriculture under this section. Any person that is required by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to obtain a permit for the discharge of pollutants from a concentrated animal feeding operation shall apply to the director for an individual NPDES permit or for coverage under a general NPDES permit. The director is authorized to issue, revoke, modify, or deny such an individual permit or issue, revoke, or deny coverage under a general permit in compliance with all requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Violation of division (B)(1) of this section is hereby declared to be a public nuisance for purposes of state enforcement of this section.

(2) Persons that have been issued a permit by the director of environmental protection under division (J) of section 6111.03 of the Revised Code for the discharge of pollutants from a concentrated animal feeding operation into the waters of the state prior to the date on which the United States environmental protection agency approves the NPDES program submitted by the director of agriculture under this section may continue to operate under that permit until it expires or is modified or revoked. Such a permit shall be enforced by the director of agriculture upon the transfer of authority to enforce the terms and conditions of the permit under division (A)(2) of this section.

(C)

(1) On and after the date on which the United States environmental protection agency approves the NPDES program submitted by the director of agriculture under this section, no person shall discharge storm water resulting from an animal feeding facility without first obtaining a NPDES permit issued by the director of agriculture in accordance with rules when such a permit is required by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Violation of division (C)(1) of this section is hereby declared to be a public nuisance for purposes of state enforcement of this section.

(2) Persons that have been issued a NPDES permit by the director of environmental protection under Chapter 6111. of the Revised Code for the discharge of storm water from an animal feeding facility prior to the date on which the United States environmental protection agency approves the NPDES program submitted by the director of agriculture under this section may continue to operate under that permit until it expires or is modified or revoked. Such a permit shall be enforced by the director of agriculture upon the transfer of authority to enforce the terms and conditions of the permit under division (A)(2) of this section.

(D) In accordance with rules, an applicant for a NPDES permit issued under this section shall submit a fee in an amount established by rule together with, except as otherwise provided in division (F) of this section, an application for the permit to the director of agriculture on a form prescribed by the director. The application shall include any information required by rule. The director or the director's authorized representative may help an applicant for a NPDES permit during the application process by providing guidance and technical assistance.

(E) The director of agriculture shall issue NPDES permits in accordance with this section and section 903.09 of the Revised Code. The director shall deny an application for a NPDES permit if any of the following applies:

(1) The application contains misleading or false information.

(2) The administrator of the United States environmental protection agency objects in writing to the issuance of the NPDES permit in accordance with section 402(d) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

(3) The director determines that the proposed discharge or source would conflict with an areawide waste treatment management plan adopted in accordance with section 208 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

Additional grounds for the denial of a NPDES permit shall be those established in this chapter and rules.

(F) To the extent consistent with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the director of agriculture shall issue general NPDES permits that will apply in lieu of individual NPDES permits for categories of point sources for which the director determines that all of the following apply:

(1) Any discharges authorized by a general permit will have only minimal cumulative adverse effects on the environment when the discharges are considered collectively and individually.

(2) The discharges are more appropriately authorized by a general permit than by an individual permit.

(3) Each category of point sources satisfies the criteria established in rules.

A person who is required to obtain a NPDES permit shall submit to the director a notice of the person's intent to be covered under an existing general permit or, at the person's option, an application for an individual NPDES permit. Upon receipt of a notice of intent for coverage under an existing general permit, the director shall notify the applicant in writing that the person is covered by the general permit if the person satisfies the criteria established in rules for eligibility for such coverage. If the person is ineligible for coverage under the general permit, the director shall require the submission of an application for an individual NPDES permit.

(G) The director of agriculture shall establish terms and conditions of NPDES permits in accordance with rules. Terms and conditions shall be designed to achieve and maintain full compliance with national effluent limitations, national standards of performance for new sources, the most current water quality standards adopted under section 6111.041 of the Revised Code, the most current antidegradation policy adopted under section 6111.12 of the Revised Code, and other requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. In establishing the terms and conditions of a NPDES permit, the director, to the extent consistent with that act, shall consider technical feasibility and economic costs and shall allow a reasonable period of time for coming into compliance with the permit.

(H) An animal feeding facility that is required to obtain both a NPDES permit and a permit to operate shall be issued a single permit to operate incorporating the terms and conditions established by both permits. The permit to operate expressly shall designate the terms and conditions required under the NPDES program as federally enforceable. All other provisions are enforceable under state law only and expressly shall be designated accordingly.

(I) A NPDES permit may be issued under this section for a period not to exceed five years.

(J) A NPDES permit issued under this section may be renewed. An application for renewal of a NPDES permit shall be submitted to the director of agriculture at least one hundred eighty days prior to the expiration date of the permit and shall comply with the requirements governing applications for NPDES permits established under this section and by rule.

(K)

(1) No person shall make any false statement, representation, or certification in an application for a NPDES permit or in any form, notice, or report required to be submitted to the director pursuant to terms and conditions established in a NPDES permit issued under this section.

(2) No person shall render inaccurate any monitoring method or device that is required under the terms and conditions of a NPDES permit issued under this section.

(L) The director may modify, suspend, or revoke a NPDES permit issued under this section for cause as established by rule. No NPDES permit issued under this section shall be modified, suspended, or revoked without a written order stating the findings that led to the modification, suspension, or revocation. In addition, the permittee has a right to an administrative hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, except that section 119.12 of the Revised Code does not apply. Further, an order of the director modifying, suspending, or revoking a NPDES permit may be appealed to the environmental review appeals commission under sections 3745.04 to 3745.06 of the Revised Code.

(M)

(1) No person shall violate any effluent limitation established by rule.

(2) No person shall violate any other provision of a NPDES permit issued under this section.

(3) Compliance with a NPDES permit issued under this section constitutes compliance with this section.

(N) This section, including the state program authorized in division (A)(1) of this section, shall be administered in a manner consistent with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

Cite as R.C. § 903.08

History. Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.12, HB 363, §1, eff. 12/22/2009.

Effective Date: 11-05-2003; 03-29-2007