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Modifying Your Approved Pretreatment Program

Definition of substantial and non-substantial modifications to approved TPDES pretreatment programs for POTWs.

Modifications to an approved pretreatment program may be initiated by the publicly owned treatment worksExit the TCEQ (POTW) (Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations, (40 CFR), Section 403.3(q)) or required by TCEQ through the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit. A modification is required when there is a significant change in the operation of the approved pretreatment program or to reflect changing conditions at the POTW.

Before being implemented, all modifications must be:

There are two types of pretreatment modifications, substantial and non-substantial.

Substantial Modifications

A substantial modification includes the following:

  • relaxing POTW legal authorities
  • relaxing local limits
  • changes in the type of control mechanism issued to regulated facilities
  • a decrease in the frequency of self-monitoring or reporting required of regulated facilities
  • a decrease in the frequency of inspections or sampling of regulated facilities by the POTW
  • changes to the POTW's confidentiality procedures
  • other modifications designated as substantial modifications by the TCEQ

In most cases of substantial modifications, submit all elements of the pretreatment program to the TCEQ for review. If they are approved, we will incorporate them in the POTW's TPDES permit and they will become effective on the date the permit is issued.

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Nonsubstantial Modifications

Submit nonsubstantial modifications to TCEQ 45 days before implementing them. Indicate the portion or portions of the Pretreatment Program that will be affected.

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Pretreatment Streamlining Rule Modifications

Modifications that incorporate required elements of Pretreatment Streamlining Rule for Significant Industrial Users:

  • Include slug control requirements in control mechanisms [403.8Exit the TCEQ (f)(1)(iii)(B)(6)]
  • Evaluate the need for a plan or other action to control slug discharges within a year from becoming an SIU [ 403.8Exit the TCEQ (f)(2)(vi)]
  • Notify the POTW immediately of any changes at the facility affecting the potential for a slug discharge [ 403.8Exit the TCEQ(f)(2)(vi)]
  • Include best management practices (BMPs) compliance information in reports [403.12Exit the TCEQ (b), (e), (h)]
  • Maintain documentation of compliance with BMP requirements as part of the SIU’s and POTW’s record-keeping requirements [403.12Exit the TCEQ (o)]
  • Include any BMPs required by a pretreatment standard, local limits, state, or local law in control mechanisms [403.8Exit the TCEQ (f)(1)(iii)(B)(3)]

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Reporting Requirements under the Pretreatment Streamlining Rule

  • Control Authorities that do sampling for SIUs must also do any required repeat sampling and analysis within 30 days of becoming aware of a violation [403.12 Exit the TCEQ
  • CAs must submit compliance reports to comply with sampling requirements, and specify the number of grab samples in periodic and noncategorical SIU reports, and noncategorical SIUs must report all monitoring results [403.12Exit the TCEQ (g)(3), (4), (6)]
  • Noncategorical SIUs are required to provide representative samples in their periodic monitoring reports [403.12Exit the TCEQ (g)(3)]
  • Send notifications of changed discharge to the CA and the POTW, where the POTW is not the CA [403.12Exit the TCEQ (j)].

In addition, a POTW can designate a “duly authorized employee” to sign POTW reports [403.12Exit the TCEQ (m)]. And any POTW may propose any of the “optional” modifications from the Pretreatment Streamlining Rule.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pretreatment Streamlining Rule Fact SheetsExit the TCEQ

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How to Submit Pretreatment Streamlining Rule Modifications

  • Complete and submit the draft modification package along with the complete Pretreatment Streamlining Rule checklists listed below.
    • Legal Authority Checklist
    • Enforcement Response Plan and Guide Checklist
    • Standard Operating Procedures Checklist
    • Forms (Inspection Form, Permit Template, Permit Application) Checklist
    • Required Elements Checklist
    • Control Authority (CA) Slug Control Checklist
    • CA Sampling Protocols Checklist, if applicable

Contact the Pretreatment Team to obtain the checklists you need to submit with a new pretreatment program, Streamlining Rule modification, or a substantial modification package.

  • Additional checklists for the optional modifications from the Pretreatment streamlining Rule include:
    • Optional Elements
    • Sampling for Pollutants Not Present
    • CIU Oversight
    • General Permits
    • Equivalent Mass for Concentration Limits
  • The TCEQ will notify you if the modifications you submitted are nonsubstantial, according to 40 CFR 403.18Exit the TCEQ (b)(1), and if any revisions are required.
    • All of the changes related to the Pretreatment Streamlining Rule may be treated as nonsubstantial, if the changes to a POTW's legal authority to incorporate the changes directly reflect the federal requirements. 40 CFR 403.18Exit the TCEQ
    • The EPA further excludes from the definition of 'substantial modification' those changes in POTW legal authority that result in less prescriptive programs, but which directly reflect a revision to the federal pretreatment regulations. 40 CFR 403.18Exit the TCEQ (b)(1).
    • Such modifications would have already undergone public notice and comment when promulgated by EPA. As long as the POTW's local ordinance is revised to directly reflect the federal requirements, further public notice would be unnecessary. Federal Register Volume 62 July 17, 1997 Pages 38406, 38409.Exit the TCEQ
    • Incorporate the final Pretreatment Streamlining Rule modifications into your approved pretreatment program and submit the package according to TCEQ instructions provided for your individual pretreatment program.

Once approved by the TCEQ and incorporated into the TPDES permit or accepted by TCEQ as nonsubstantial modifications, these modifications become required elements of the approved pretreatment program.

Contact Pretreatment Program if you have questions.

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