Do You Have a Stormwater Permit for Your Facility?

By Kelly Scanlon, director, environment, health and safety policy and research, IPC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Associations (EPA) is seeking public comment on a proposed 2020 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges from industrial activity. This proposed permit would replace the 2015 MSGP upon finalization. This proposed permit would cover stormwater discharges from industrial facilities in areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. Most states have their own programs and you likely would comply with your state’s permit requirements. However, while this industrial stormwater general permit applies to four states (NH, MA, NM, ID) and some designated facilities in some states and Puerto Rico and other territories, it can be copied by many states as the national model rule.

We’ve been alerted to two changes to the proposed MSGP that may impact you now (or later, if your state adopts these changes):

1. Proposed Appendix Q provides Stormwater Control Measure Checklists that should be reviewed to determine if there have been significant changes between the 2015 permit and this proposed permit. The best management practices should be appropriate for electronics (represented as Sector AC), but that would be something we welcome your feedback about.
2. Proposed requirement for quarterly benchmark monitoring for pH, TSS and COD for the five year duration of the permit. Sector AC is deemed part of “light industry” and this sector has had no previous requirements for chemical monitoring. Exceedances of any benchmark could trigger responses that vary depending on the exceedance. (For example, one facility could have costly corrective action based on a single exceedance.)

The presentation from the EPA provides better explanations of what’s happening with the proposed MSGP. Please let us know whether the proposed changes apply to your facility. The comment period ends on May 31, 2020. We have several options to consider regarding how to respond to the EPA, but need your feedback in order to determine the best path.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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