RAPID/BulkTransmission/Wyoming/Water Quality

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Wyoming Bulk Transmission Water Quality Assessment(14-WY)

Developers may be required to obtain several permits related to water quality issues, including permits for Wyoming Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WYPDES) compliance and Section 401 water quality certification.

The WDEQ/Water Quality Division (WQD) is the state agency responsible for regulating WYPDES program in the state of Wyoming. Developers are required to obtain a Large Construction General Permit (LCGP) [WYR 10-0000] if the project will disturb five acres or more. The LCGP regulates stormwater discharges from all construction activities that disturb five or more acres. Under the LCGP, the applicant must prepare a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) and submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the WDEQ/WQD 30 days prior to the commencement of construction activities. The SWPPP describes potential pollution sources and the best management practices (BMPs) that would be used to prevent stormwater contamination. If it is determined that any part of a transmission project falls within a Greater Sage-Grouse Core Area (SGCA), then the developer shall coordinate with the WGFD and a letter must be obtained confirming consistency with the Executive Order EO2011-5) prior to applying for coverage under the LCGP.

Operators covered under the LCGP ensure, through implementation of the SWPPP, that stormwater discharges from their facility do not cause a violation of state surface water quality standards as defined in Chapter 1 of the Wyoming Water Quality Rules and Regulations. Furthermore, stormwater discharges must not cause pollution, contamination, or degradation to waters of the state. Coverage must be continued by the operator until the construction site is “finally stabilized.” Final stabilization means that areas of the construction site that do not have permanent structures such as buildings or roads must be revegetated with perennial vegetation to a uniform 70 percent of natural background cover.

The WDEQ WQD is also responsible for Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 water quality certification. Any project requiring a Section 404 (Dredge and Fill Permit), which covers impacts to wetlands and other waters of the United States and is administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are required to obtain a Section 401 water quality certification [Section 401(a)(1)] from the WDEQ/WQD. A joint WDEQ and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) public notice is issued prior to the issuance of all individual 404 permits by the usage. There is no public notice prior to the authorization of any activity under a Section 404 nationwide or statewide general permit from the state of Wyoming.

Certification under Section 401 can be granted under the nationwide permitting process for most areas in Wyoming. However, an Individual 404 Permit and certification would be required for crossing of Class I waters. Because of the high level of protection afforded to these waters by the regulations, authorization of the activities covered by the nationwide permitting process without individual departmental review is not permissible. A list of Class I waters can be found on the WDEQ website.

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