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Notice of Solicitation of Public Comment - Regulations for the Discharge of Groundwater to the Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System

Monday, May 8, 2023

Notice is hereby given that the proposed 21 DCMR 1600: Discharge of Groundwater to the Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) will be open for public comment upon its publication in the DC Register in May 2023. The public comment period will run for sixty (60) days.

Current Requirements (Pre-Regulations)

DOEE currently allows and oversees discharges of groundwater to District surface water bodies that pass through the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). Discharges that pass through the combined or sanitary sewer systems are overseen by DC Water.  DOEE’s Groundwater Discharge Authorization (GDA) program reviews and approves discharges to the MS4 to ensure that the District is in compliance with its NPDES permit and to prevent contaminated groundwater from reaching the District’s rivers and streams.  DOEE’s program provides construction dewaterers and sumps collecting groundwater in building sub-levels an efficient method of groundwater disposal. 

Any groundwater that is being discharged to the MS4 (See Map of CSS and MS4) must first be reviewed and approved by DOEE. This includes water from non-residential building sump pumps and from construction projects whose excavations will encounter groundwater (such as buildings with basements or parking garages in areas with a shallow groundwater table).  Requirements for application include DOEE-approved pre-discharge groundwater characterization and scheduled effluent monitoring during discharge. To learn more about whether your site is eligible for a Groundwater Discharge Authorization, and what steps your site will need to complete to apply, please contact [email protected].

 Proposed Regulations

DOEE has drafted a new set of regulations that will codify the Groundwater Discharge Authorization program. The new regulations will make the application review and permit oversight process highly transparent and predictable, while remaining diligently protective of the District’s surface water bodies. These proposed regulations have recently received final approval to be published in the DC Register. We will schedule public meetings to give stakeholders an opportunity to learn about the new regulations and ask any questions before they submit public comments.

- View proposed regulations in the DC Register (tba)