Updated Storm Water Permit for Logan Airport Provides Better Protections for Boston Harbor
EPA has issued a new storm water permit to Massport, the operator of Boston’s Logan International Airport, that significantly upgrades protections to Boston Harbor by requiring new run off limits at three locations, and by expanding monitoring of run off to ensure that surrounding waters are being adequately protected.
The new permit strengthens protections for Boston Harbor in several ways. First, EPA is requiring effluent limits at three major outfalls for pH, Oil & Grease, and Total Suspended Solids. Monitoring will be required for the first time of the outfalls that drain the runways and the perimeter roadway.
During winter storm events, the EPA will require Massport to sample the drainage from the runways and perimeters of the airport for ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total ammonia nitrogen, and two toxic additives to deicing agents, nonylphenol and tolyltriazole.
“By upgrading and reissuing the storm water permit for Logan Airport, EPA is helping to protect Boston Harbor,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We have worked hard to address the airport’s needs, and to address the concerns of the public, as we have updated these protections.”
In addition to limiting runoff and requiring monitoring, the permit also requires Massport to develop and implement a detailed plan to minimize the release of pollutants to Boston Harbor. A key component of this pollution prevention plan will be “best management practices” – which will identify and reduce sources of pollution related to deicing and anti-icing, bacteria, fuel and oil, and rubber removal.
Massport will also be required to perform a study to help increase the understanding of how or if discharges from the airport cause water quality violations. Under the study, Massport will calculate a dilution factor for each outfall that could be used by EPA and the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection to establish water quality based limits in the future, if necessary.
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