Permit Types, General and Individual

IDEM foresees that the vast majority, if not all, of the Phase II MS4 entities in Indiana will be covered under general permits. A general permit is a single permit that is written to cover multiple permittees with similar characteristics. No written draft permit is issued to the permittee under a general permit. Instead, the requirements and conditions of this type of permit are found in Indiana Administrative Code, under the appropriate general permit rule. Notice of Intent (NOI) letters for this type of permit can be by either a single MS4 entity, or multiple MS4 entities.

As specified in 327 IAC 15-2-3, a general permit is allowed for storm water point source discharges not covered under an individual storm water permit. Relevant to this Rule, a general permit can be obtained by any MS4 entity. To be eligible for a general permit, a permittee cannot already be covered under an individual MS4 permit. The individual MS4 permit will always take precedence over a general permit issued under this Rule, and may include requirements that are different from those found in this Rule.

Under 327 IAC 15-2-9(b), an individual NPDES permit is required when water quality standards are not being met under the general permit, technology or regulatory change has occurred that causes the implementation of specific controls or limitations not expressed in the general permit, or a general permit is no longer appropriate based on permittee changes. If any of these situations occur, MS4 entities covered under this general permit rule may be required to terminate coverage, and apply for an individual MS4 permit.

An individual permit is a permit drafted by IDEM to cover only one permittee, or several co-permittees. This type of permit is tailored to the specific permittee(s), and will contain conditions and requirements that are often different (usually more stringent or specific) from a general permit. Because this type of permit’s requirements are written, and tailored to the permittee(s), it takes much longer to create, and is not preferred for permitting MS4 entity discharges. This type of permit is utilized most often in situations where a general permit is not providing adequate requirements to protect Indiana’s water resources and requirements need to be tailored to provide additional protection. The two types of individual permits that may be considered are:

Statewide Individual Permit

IDEM will utilize statewide individual permits for specific situations, where the permittee is responsible for multiple facilities or areas throughout the entire state. For Indiana, only the Indiana Department of Transportation was deemed appropriate for this type of permit.

MS4 Area Individual Permit

Individual permits provide coverage to a single MS4 area. This MS4 area can include either one entity or multiple regulated entities. For multiple entities, the minimum measure responsibilities for each entity must be indicated, and agreed upon by the entities, in the application for permit coverage.

Under Phase I federal storm water regulations, regulated MS4 entities were required to obtain individual permits. Another option for Indiana Phase II-regulated MS4 entities located near a Phase I permittee is to seek coverage under an existing Phase I individual permit when the permit is up for its five-year renewal.

Individual MS4 permits are required for MS4 entities that, according to 40 CFR 122.26, are still classified as large and medium MS4s, after an allowance for percentage of combined sewer system is calculated. In Indiana, only the City of Indianapolis met this classification after the allowance.