40 CFR 125.57 - Law governing issuance of a section 301(h) modified permit.
(a) Section 301(h) of the Clean Water Act provides that:
Administrator, with the concurrence of the State, may issue a permit under section 402 which modifies the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(B) of this section with respect to the discharge of any pollutant from a publicly owned treatment works into marine waters, if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Administrator that -
(1) There is an applicable water quality standard specific to the pollutant for which the modification is requested, which has been identified under section 304(a)(6) of this Act;
(2) The discharge of pollutants in accordance with such modified requirements will not interfere, alone or in combination with pollutants from other sources, with the attainment or maintenance of that water quality which assures protection of public water supplies and protection and propagation of a balanced indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, and allows recreational activities, in and on the water;
(3) The applicant has established a system for monitoring the impact of such discharge on a representative sample of aquatic biota, to the extent practicable, and the scope of such monitoring is limited to include only those scientific investigations which are necessary to study the effects of the proposed discharge;
(4) Such modified requirements will not result in any additional requirements on any other point or nonpoint source;
(6) In the case of any treatment works serving a population of 50,000 or more, with respect to any toxic pollutant introduced into such works by an industrial discharger for which pollutant there is no applicable pretreatment requirement in effect, sources introducing waste into such works are in compliance with all applicable pretreatment requirements, the applicant will enforce such requirements, and the applicant has in effect a pretreatment program which, in combination with the treatment of discharges from such works, removes the same amount of such pollutant as would be removed if such works were to apply secondary treatment to discharges and if such works had no pretreatment program with respect to such pollutant;
(8) There will be no new or substantially increased discharges from the point source of the pollutant to which the modification applies above that volume of discharge specified in the permit;
(9) The applicant at the time such modification becomes effective will be discharging effluent which has received at least primary or equivalent treatment and which meets the criteria established under section 304(a)(1) of this Act after initial mixing in the waters surrounding or adjacent to the point at which such effluent is discharged.
For the purposes of this section, the phrase “the discharge of any pollutant into marine waters” refers to a discharge into deep waters of the territorial sea or the waters of the contiguous zone, or into saline estuarine waters where there is strong tidal movement and other hydrological and geological characteristics which the Administrator determines necessary to allow compliance with paragraph (2) of this section, and section 101(a)(2) of this Act. For the purposes of paragraph (9), “primary or equivalent treatment” means treatment by screening, sedimentation, and skimming adequate to remove at least 30 percent of the biological oxygen demanding material and of the suspended solids in the treatment works influent, and disinfection, where appropriate. A municipality which applies secondary treatment shall be eligible to receive a permit pursuant to this subsection which modifies the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(B) of this section with respect to the discharge of any pollutant from any treatment works owned by such municipality into marine waters. No permit issued under this subsection shall authorize the discharge of sewage sludge into marine waters. In order for a permit to be issued under this subsection for the discharge of a pollutant into marine waters, such marine waters must exhibit characteristics assuring that water providing dilution does not contain significant amounts of previously discharged effluent from such treatment works. No permit issued under this subsection shall authorize the discharge of any pollutant into saline estuarine waters which at the time of application do not support a balanced indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, or allow recreation in and on the waters or which exhibit ambient water quality below applicable water quality standards adopted for the protection of public water supplies, shellfish, fish, and wildlife or recreational activities or such other standards necessary to assure support and protection of such uses. The prohibition contained in the preceding sentence shall apply without regard to the presence or absence of a causal relationship between such characteristics and the applicant's current or proposed discharge. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, no permit may be issued under this subsection for discharge of a pollutant into the New York Bight Apex consisting of the ocean waters of the Atlantic Ocean westward of 73 degrees 30 minutes west longitude and northward of 40 degrees 10 minutes north latitude.
(b) Section 301(j)(1) of the Clean Water Act provides that:
Any application filed under this section for a modification of the provisions of -
(A) subsection (b)(1)(B) under subsection (h) of this section shall be filed not later than the 365th day which begins after the date of enactment of the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Construction Grant Amendments of 1981, except that a publicly owned treatment works which prior to December 31, 1982, had a contractual arrangement to use a portion of the capacity of an ocean outfall operated by another publicly owned treatment works which has applied for or received modification under subsection (h) may apply for a modification of subsection (h) in its own right not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of the Water Quality Act of 1987.
The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act except that no applicant, other than the city of Avalon, California, who applies after the date of enactment of this Act for a permit pursuant to subsection (h) of section 301 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act which modifies the requirements of subsection (b)(1)(B) of section 301 of such Act shall receive such permit during the one-year period which begins on the date of enactment of this Act.
Section 301(h)(3) shall only apply to modifications and renewals of modifications which are tentatively or finally approved after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(e) Section 303(g) of the Water Quality Act provides that:
The amendments made to sections 301(h) and (h)(2), as well as provisions of (h)(6) and (h)(9), shall not apply to an application for a permit under section 301(h) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act which has been tentatively or finally approved by the Administrator before the date of the enactment of this Act; except that such amendments shall apply to all renewals of such permits after such date of enactment.