With the release of the new 2014 Industrial General Permit, we will be launching a blog series to introduce and provide information to determine whether an industrial facility must comply with California’s stormwater regulations. Over the next few months, keep an eye out for posts in our new series, “Stormwater Dischargers Associated with Industrial Activities” with subtopics that will help explain specific 2014 IGP key changes and compliance requirements.
Newly Adopted 2014 Industrial General Permit For Stormwater Dischargers
On April 1, 2014 the California State Water Resource Control Board released the news that the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Storm Water Dischargers Associated with Industrial Activities, NPDES No. CAS000001 has been adopted and will replace the current Industrial General Permit (IGP) issued in 1997. You can find the new 2014 IGP and supporting documents here.
The new lengthy 2014 IGP differs substantially from current requirements and contains significant revisions from the former permit and the circulated drafts in 2011 and 2013. The 2014 IGP will vastly increase the number of industries affected and impose new and increased compliance requirements. The complete implementation of the 2014 IGP is on or before July 1, 2015 with appropriate documents uploaded and certified to the State Water Board’s Storm Water Multiple Application and Report Tracking System (SMARTS), making all reports readily available to the public.
Key Changes to the Industrial General Permit
Regulation of Light Industries: Under the former permit, certain so-called "light industry" facilities were exempt from the permit's requirements as long as the facility eliminated non-storm water discharges and that their industrial activities were not exposed to storm water. However, under the 2014 IGP, these light industries must now enroll for permit coverage. These light industries may claim a conditional exclusion by filing a "No Exposure Certification" (NEC), certifying that their facility has no exposure of industrial activities and materials to storm water discharges. In order for a Discharger to seek NEC coverage, the Discharger must apply and submit Permit Registration Documents (PRDs), prepare and submit a Site Map, pay the annual fee and certify the NEC demonstrating no exposure via SMARTS on or before the implementation date. In addition, the Discharger or facility must allow inspections by Water Boards, local MS4, or US EPA staff. In order for the Discharger to stay in compliance with the State Water Resource Control Board, the Discharger must annually verify no exposure and pay the annual fee via SMARTS.
Mandatory BMPs: The former permit allowed dischargers to "consider" which non-structural and structural best management practices (BMPs) should be implemented to reduce or prevent pollutants in storm water discharges. The 2014 IGP requires the implementation of numerous "minimum BMPs," including good housekeeping requirements, preventative maintenance, material handling and waste management, erosion and sediment controls, and employee training programs. Additional "advanced BMPs," including exposure minimization, storm water containment, discharge reduction, and treatment control BMPs, must also be implemented as necessary to reduce or prevent pollutant discharge.
Monitoring and Sampling Requirements: The former permit required conducting pre-storm visual observations and quarterly authorized and unauthorized non-storm water discharge visual observations. The 2014 IGP has now combined these two previous requirements into one new visual observation that is conducted at least once per calendar month during daylight hours of scheduled facility operating hours and on days without precipitation. The Discharger shall provide an explanation in the Annual Report for uncompleted monthly visual observations. Additionally, sampling protocols under the 2014 IGP have been modified to collect and analyze storm water samples from 2 Qualifying Storm Events (QSE) within the first half of each reporting year (July 1 to December 31) and 2 QSE within the second half of each reporting year (January 1 to June 30). Minimum required analyses are as follows: Total Suspended Solids (TSS), oil and grease (O&G) and pH. Additional analyses and parameters may be required based on the facilities Standard Industrial Classification Codes and location to impaired water bodies with a 303(d). The Discharger shall submit all sampling and analytical results for all sampling events via SMARTS within 30 days of obtaining all results for each sampling event.
Numeric Action Levels (NALs) and Exceedance Response Actions (ERAs): The 2014 IGP includes both annual and instantaneous maximum NALs, exceedances of which will trigger increasing levels of required actions and treatment controls (Figure 1). If a NAL exceedance occurs as specified in the 2014 permit, the Discharger has to implement various ERA corrective actions. There are two levels of these actions: Level 1 ERA and Level 2 ERA. Level 1 ERAs require a site evaluation and report by a QISP and Level 2 ERAs require a technical report by a QISP, non-industrial or background considerations and possible treatment.
Figure 1: Compliance Determination Flowchart
Source: Fact Sheet for the IGP.
Compliance Groups: The 2014 IGP eliminated group monitoring and created a new “compliance group” option for facilities and Dischargers of the same industry type with similar activities, pollutant sources and pollutant characteristics. Participating facilities and Dischargers that form a compliance group are required to have a designated compliance group leader who has completed a State Water Board approved training program for compliance group leaders. The compliance group leader is responsible to inspect each participant’s facility each year and is required to collect and analyze storm water samples from the participating group facilities twice each year.
The release of the 2014 IGP is very detailed and has many more compliance requirements than the previous 1997 permit. Rincon Consultants can assist Dischargers and facilities with the preparation of these new IGP compliance requirements.
Our goal with this series is to prepare you for the 2014 IGP key changes and requirements. Please stay tuned for our next post. If you have any questions, or wish any assistance in the new Industrial General Permit requirements, please feel free to contact Kristin Roberts or Ed De La Llave at (805) 644-4455.