PADEP to Adopt New TDS Regulations

May 8, 2009
Client Alert Newsletter May 2009

Spawned in part to address the potential impacts from the development of the Marcellus Shale reserves, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ("PADEP") has announced its intention to adopt new treatment requirements and water quality standards to control total dissolved solids, sulfates and chlorides. In its Permitting Strategy for High Total Dissolved Solids Wastewater Discharges (April 11, 2009), PADEP describes a program that requires new high-total dissolved solids ("TDS") dischargers to install adequate treatment to meet requirements based on the receiving stream's assimilative capacity, and dischargers to publicly owned treatment works must meet local limits. For existing dischargers, any increase in TDS loads before January 1, 2011, will be subject to the requirements for new sources and increases that occur after January 1, 2011 will be subject to the new regulations that PADEP plans to incorporate into Chapters 93 and 95 of its regulations. PADEP expects to have those regulatory provisions in place by January, 2011. These new regulations, which are to be proposed for comment within the next few months, have the potential to significantly effect discharge requirements for most major NPDES permit holders.