NEW STORMWATER REGULATIONS POSE MAJOR RISK TO LIGHT INDUSTRY FACILITIES DISCHARGING TO IMPAIRED WATERBODIES
California’s new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activities, also known as the Industrial General Permit (Permit) poses a major risk to those facilities discharging to impaired waterbodies. Many “light industry” facilities that were previously exempt from the requirements to obtain coverage under the old Permit now face the reality that they may not be able to obtain coverage come July 1, 2015 when the deadline for filing occurs. Once the July 1 deadline comes due, many of these facilities will instantly be out of compliance and may face significant legal and monetary challenges from State Regulatory Agencies and the potential for third party lawsuits if they discharge any water off their property after July 1. Facilities without current permit coverage will not be able to obtain a Permit if they discharge to a waterbody that is listed as impaired on the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List.There are currently 3,488 water bodies within the state on this list.
Facilities without current permit coverage will not be able to obtain a Permit if they discharge to one of the 3,488 impaired waterbodies in the state.
The Permit states that new dischargers applying for notice of intent (NOI) for coverage under this General Permit that will be discharging to a water body with a 303(d) listed impairment are ineligible for coverage unless the Discharger submits data and/or information, prepared by a Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practioner (QISP), demonstrating that:
Here are three major problems light industry (new) dischargers face:
There is a solution, but it needs to be implemented prior to July 1, 2015.
Facilities currently without coverage that discharge to a 303(d) waterbody can apply for Permit coverage now under the existing “old” Permit (SWRCB Order 97-03-DWQ), essentially grandfathering them into the program. The SWRCB is aware of this issue and is encouraging facilities to apply now for current coverage if they anticipate requiring coverage under the new Permit.
Four basic questions every light industrial facility in California should be able to answer right now are…
If you answered no to any of these questions, you should be highly concerned with the ability to obtain coverage under the new Permit and the potential threat of future third party lawsuits.
The new Industrial Permit was adopted on April 1, 2014 and will replace the requirements of the previous Permit. The final version of the Permit includes significant changes in the regulation of storm water discharges from industrial facilities. The Industrial Permit requires industrial facilities that fall under specific standard industrial classification (SIC) codes to comply with new requirements by July 1, 2015.
The new permit is more complex than ever and has increased requirements for compliance. We are advising our clients to take steps now to bring their programs into compliance with the new regulations. This will require many facilities to develop storm water pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs), implement best management practices (BMPs), employee training, and storm water management by July 1, 2015. Additionally, facility-specific information will be publicly available due to requirements for electronic reporting presenting further risks from third-party lawsuits.
With decades of experience, we understand the importance of efficient and effective compliance for your business. As requirements and enforcement have increased, Alta has taken steps towards having the most educated and experienced staff in the industry. Our experts are Certified Professionals in Storm Water Quality (CPSWQ), Qualified SWPPP Practitioners (QSP), and Qualified SWPPP Developers (QSD) and soon to be, QISPs. Our experts have an excellent rapport with the regulators and enforcement authorities. Our mission is to help keep your operation in compliance with the extensive record keeping, reporting, certification, and training requirements as well as Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) preparation or revision and implementation. Through strategic use of sound science, we prepare and implement compliance monitoring to be cost effective, as well as, manage and limit your risk.
Do you know if your SIC code falls under this Permit?If not, please contact David.Renfrew@altaenviron.com or 760-908-5749.