Arizona Revised Statutes § 49-255.01 Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program; Rules And Standards; Affirmative Defense; Fees; General Permit; Exemption From Termination

49-255.01. Arizona pollutant discharge elimination system program; rules and standards; affirmative defense; fees; general permit; exemption from termination

A. A person shall not discharge except under either of the following conditions:

1. In conformance with a permit that is issued or authorized under this article.

2. Pursuant to a permit that is issued or authorized by the United States environmental protection agency until a permit that is issued or authorized under this article takes effect.

B. The director shall adopt rules to establish an AZPDES permit program consistent with the requirements of sections 402(b) and 402(p) of the clean water act. This program shall include requirements to ensure compliance with section 307 and requirements for the control of discharges consistent with sections 318 and 405(a) of the clean water act. The director shall not adopt any requirement that is more stringent than or conflicts with any requirement of the clean water act. The director may adopt federal rules pursuant to section 41-1028 or may adopt rules to reflect local environmental conditions to the extent that the rules are consistent with and no more stringent than the clean water act and this article.

C. The rules adopted by the director shall provide for:

1. Issuing, authorizing, denying, modifying, suspending or revoking individual or general permits.

2. Establishment of permit conditions, discharge limitations and standards of performance as prescribed by section 49-203, subsection A, paragraph 7, including case by case effluent limitations that are developed in a manner consistent with 40 Code of Federal Regulations section 125.3(c).

3. Modifications and variances as allowed by the clean water act.

4. Other provisions necessary for maintaining state program authority under section 402(b) of the clean water act.

D. This article does not affect the validity of any existing rules that are adopted by the director and that are equivalent to and consistent with the national pollutant discharge elimination system program authorized under section 402 of the clean water act until new rules for AZPDES discharges are adopted pursuant to this article.

E. An upset constitutes an affirmative defense to any administrative, civil or criminal enforcement action brought for noncompliance with technology-based permit discharge limitations if the permittee complies with all of the following:

1. The permittee demonstrates through properly signed contemporaneous operating logs or other relevant evidence that:

(a) An upset occurred and that the permittee can identify the specific cause of the upset.

(b) The permitted facility was being properly operated at the time of the upset.

(c) If the upset causes the discharge to exceed any discharge limitation in the permit, the permittee submitted notice to the department within twenty-four hours of the upset.

(d) The permittee has taken appropriate remedial measures including all reasonable steps to minimize or prevent any discharge or sewage sludge use or disposal that is in violation of the permit and that has a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting human health or the environment.

2. In any administrative, civil or criminal enforcement action, the permittee shall prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, the occurrence of an upset condition.

F. Compliance with a permit issued pursuant to this article shall be deemed compliance with both of the following:

1. All requirements in this article or rules adopted pursuant to this article relating to state implementation of sections 301, 302, 306 and 307 of the clean water act, except for any standard that is imposed under section 307 of the clean water act for a toxic pollutant that is injurious to human health.

2. Limitations for pollutants in navigable waters adopted pursuant to sections 49-221 and 49-222, if the discharge of the pollutant is specifically limited in a permit issued pursuant to this article or the pollutant was specifically identified as present or potentially present in facility discharges during the application process for the permit.

G. Notwithstanding section 49-203, subsection D, permits that are issued under this article shall not be combined with permits issued under article 3 of this chapter.

H. The decision of the director to issue or modify a permit takes effect on issuance if there were no changes requested in comments that were submitted on the draft permit unless a later effective date is specified in the decision. In all other cases, the decision of the director to issue, deny, modify, suspend or revoke a permit takes effect thirty days after the decision is served on the permit applicant, unless either of the following applies:

1. Within the thirty day period, an appeal is filed with the water quality appeals board pursuant to section 49-323.

2. A later effective date is specified in the decision.

I. In addition to other reservations of rights provided by this chapter, nothing in this article shall impair or affect rights or the exercise of rights to water claimed, recognized, permitted, certificated, adjudicated or decreed pursuant to state or other law.

J. Only for a one-time rule making after July 29, 2010, the director shall establish by rule fees, including maximum fees, for processing, issuing and denying an application for a permit pursuant to this section. After the one-time rule making, the director shall not increase those fees by rule without specific statutory authority for the increase. Monies collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, in the water quality fee fund established by section 49-210.

K. Any permit conditions concerning threatened or endangered species shall be limited to those required by the endangered species act.

L. When developing a general permit for discharges of storm water from construction activity, the director shall provide for reduced control measures at sites that retain storm water in a manner that eliminates discharges from the site, except for the occurrence of an extreme event. Reduced control measures shall be available if all of the following conditions are met:

1. The nearest downstream receiving water is ephemeral and the construction site is a sufficient distance from a water warranting additional protection as described in the general permit.

2. The construction activity occurs on a site designed so that all storm water generated by disturbed areas of the site exclusive of public rights-of-way is directed to one or more retention basins that are designed to retain the runoff from an extreme event. For the purposes of this subsection, " extreme event" means a rainfall event that meets or exceeds the local one hundred-year, two-hour storm event as calculated by an Arizona registered professional engineer using industry practices.

3. The owner or operator complies with good housekeeping measures included in the general permit.

4. The owner or operator maintains the capacity of the retention basins.

5. Construction conforms to the standards prescribed by this section.

M. If the director commences proceedings for the renewal of a general permit issued pursuant to this article, the existing general permit shall not expire and coverage may continue to be obtained by new dischargers until the proceedings have resulted in a final determination by the director. If the proceedings result in a decision not to renew the general permit, the existing general permit shall continue in effect until the last day for filing for review of the decision of the director not to renew the permit or until any later date that is fixed by court order.

N. This program is exempt from section 41-3102.

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Last modified: October 13, 2016