EPA’s Response to Requests for Extension of the Comment Period on the Draft 2016 Pesticide General Permit
EPA has received several requests seeking extension for the comment period on EPA’s draft 2016 Pesticide General Permit (PGP) (See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0499 in www.regulations.gov). The Agency has decided that it is not in the public interest to extend the comment period. In order for new applicators to have permit coverage, EPA must issue the 2016 PGP no later than October 31, 2016. Extending the comment period would put EPA’s ability to issue the permit in final form by that date at great risk. Under the Administrative Procedure Act and NPDES regulations, any new applicator who had not sought permit coverage under the existing permit would not be able to have permit coverage if the new permit is not issued when the current one expires. See Section 1.2.4 of the draft permit, “Continuation of this Permit” and 5 U.S.C. § 558(c) and 40 C.F.R. § 122.6.
If a party comments after the close of the comment period, the Agency may consider such comments. When considering whether to take late comments, the Agency will take into account the need to timely issue the permit.