- Erin Seyfried (firstname.lastname@example.org), NPDES Permits, 206-553-1448
- Hanh Shaw (email@example.com), Oil and Gas Sector Manager, 206-553-0171
- Tami Fordham (firstname.lastname@example.org), Alaska Tribal Advisor, 907-271-1484
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Draft NPDES General Permit for Oil and Gas Geotechnical Surveys and Related Activities in Federal Waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas (AKG284300)
On March 21, 2014, EPA informed interested stakeholders of the agency’s plans to seek clarification in response to comments received during the public review period, which ended on February 19, of the draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Geotechnical Surveys and Related Activities in Federal Waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (AKG-28-4300).
As a result of that process, EPA has decided to make certain changes and re-propose a revised draft general permit for public review. The re-proposal will request comments only on the specific changes identified. EPA expects to release the re-proposal in the mid- to late-July timeframe for a 30-day review period. EPA is targeting final issuance of the permit in late 2014 or early 2015.
Please direct any questions to Hanh Shaw at email@example.com or Erin Seyfried at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Documents available for download:
2012 Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Exploration NPDES General Permits (AKG292100 and AKG288100 respectively)
On October 29, 2012, EPA issued final Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or NPDES general permits for wastewater discharges from oil and gas exploration on the Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf and Contiguous State Waters and on the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued a Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification for the Beaufort Sea general permit on October 9, 2012.
The Beaufort and Chukchi general permits authorize 13 types of discharges from exploration drilling. The permits set effluent limitations and requirements to ensure the discharges will not cause unreasonable degradation of the marine environment, as required for ocean discharges by the Clean Water Act.
All operators must submit a Notice of Intent to discharge within 120 days prior to initiation of discharges. Operators that received administratively extended coverage under the previous general permit must submit a new Notice of Intent to comply with the requirements of the Beaufort and Chukchi general permits.
The general permits will be effective November 28, 2012 and will expire on November 27, 2017. The general permits may be appealed within 120 days of issuance in the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals in accordance with Section 509(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act.
The Beaufort and Chukchi general permits do not authorize drilling. Operators must obtain all other required permits and satisfy all other stipulations and agreements before drilling in the Arctic. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) provides authorization to drill.
Expired 2006 Arctic Oil and Gas Exploration General Permit
The previous Arctic General Permit expired on June 26, 2011. On June 23, 2011, EPA provided administratively extended permit coverage under the Arctic General Permit to Shell Gulf of Mexico, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Statoil USA E&P, and Eni US Operating Co.
The Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea general permits replace the expired Arctic general permit. Operators that received administratively extended coverage under the previous general permit must submit new Notices of Intent that comply with submission requirements of the Beaufort/Chukchi permits.