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Pollution Prevention for Business Owners

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United States Congress added section 402 (p) to the Clean Water Act in 1987 to establish a comprehensive framework for addressing stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity.

Facilities subject to Federal effluent limitations or new source performance standards are as follows:

  • Hazardous waste facilities
  • Heavy manufacturing (e.g., ship building and repair, chemical manufacturing, wood projects manufacturing)
  • Landfills and open dumps
  • Light industry (e.g., printing, warehousing)
  • Mining/oil and gas exploration
  • Recycling facilities (e.g., salvage yards, auto junkyards, battery reclaimers)
  • Steam electric power generation facilities
  • Transportation facilities (e.g., trucking, airports, marinas)
  • Treatment works (e.g., domestic wastewater treatment plants)
  • · Vessels larger than 70 feet long

National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permitting for Industrial Activities

Most stormwater point source discharges related to industrial activities are required to obtain an NPDES permit. This may be accomplished by filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) for industrial activities. However, some facilities are eligible for the "no exposure" exemption. The No Exposure Certification form must be filed along with the NOI with United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Facilities subject to a point source discharge NPDES permit are also required to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Existing environmental management plans must also be evaluated for consistency to determine which, if any, provisions can be incorporated into the SWPPP.

Other related plans may include the Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency Plan (40 CFR Parts 264 and 265), the Spill Control and Countermeasures Plan requirements (40 CFR Part 112), the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Toxic Organic Management Plan (40 CFR Parts 413, 433 and 469) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Response Plan (29 CFR Part 1910).

Because the conditions that affect the presence of pollutants in stormwater discharges vary among industries, today's permit contains industry-specific sections that describe the stormwater pollution prevention plan requirements, the numeric effluent limitation requirements and the monitoring requirements for the industry.  

However, a SWPPP can be prepared containing the following minimum criteria:

A. Pollution Prevention Team 
The Pollution Prevention Team is to:

  1. Decide who will be responsible for developing and implementing your SWPPP.
  2. Identify these individuals and describe each person's responsibilities at the site.
  3. Implement all general permit and pollution prevention plan requirements.

B. Site Map 
A site map is a complete illustration of site features.   At a minimum, the site map must include:

  1. Discharge points
  2. Pollutants likely to be discharged
  3. Direction of flow
  4. Surface water bodies
  5. Structural control measures
  6. Locations of significant materials exposed to stormwater

C. Materials Inventory 
Each facility must inventory the types of materials that are handled, stored, or processed on site. "Significant materials,” defined as raw materials, fuels, materials such as solvents, detergents, and plastic pellets, finished materials such as metallic products, raw materials used in food processing or production, hazardous substances designed under Section 101(14) of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, any chemical the facility is required to report pursuant to Section 313 of the Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act, fertilizers, pesticides, and waste products such as ashes, slag and sludge that have the potential to be released with Stormwater discharges, are of particular concern.

The material inventory section must:

  1. Contain a list of materials that have been exposed to stormwater in the past three years.
  2. Provide a narrative description of the methods and location of storage and disposal areas, materials management practices, treatment practices and any structural or nonstructural control measures.

D. Past Spills and Leaks 
Provide a list of significant spills and leaks of toxic or hazardous materials that have occurred in the past three years. "Significant spills" include releases in excess of reportable quantities. Permittees are encouraged to list spills and leaks of non-hazardous materials, as well hazardous materials spills.

E. Non-Stormwater Discharges 
If your facility has been tested or evaluated for non-stormwater discharges, you must:

  1. Describe the method used and results of any test and/or evaluation for such discharges.
  2. Indicate the location of the onsite drainage points that were checked during such discharges. 
  3. Provide the date of the test or evaluation.

F. Monitoring Data 
Where existing stormwater sampling data are available, the facility must:

  1. Provide a summary of any existing stormwater sampling data.
  2. Describe the sample collection procedures used.

G. Site Evaluation 
Facilities must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Provide a narrative description of activities with a high potential to contaminate stormwater at your site, including those associated with materials loading and unloading, outdoor storage, outdoor manufacturing or processing, onsite waste disposal and significant dust or particulate generating activities.
  2. Describe any pollutants of concern that may be associated with such activities.

H. Preventative Maintenance 
Each permittee must develop a preventative maintenance program that involves inspections and maintenance of stormwater management devices and routine inspections of facility operations to detect faulty equipment.

I. Management of Runoff 
Permittees must describe existing stormwater controls found at the facility and any additional measures that can be implemented to improve the prevention and control of polluted stormwater. Examples include: vegetative swales, reuse of collected stormwater, infiltration trenches and detention ponds.

J. Employee Training 
Permittees must develop an employee-training program that covers topics such as spill prevention and response, good housekeeping and material management practices.

K. Record Keeping and Internal Reporting 
Your facility must record and maintain records of spills, leaks, inspections and maintenance activities for at least one year after the permit expires. For spills and leaks, records should include information such as the date and time of the incident, weather conditions, cause, and resulting environmental problems.

L. Plan Revisions 
Major changes in a facility's design, construction, operation or maintenance will necessitate changes in that facility's SWPPP.

NOTE:  To verify the requirements for your specific conditions, you may wish to review Part VII of the Wednesday, September 30, 1998 Federal Register. This is the Notice of the Final Modification of the NPDES Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activities.

If the permitted industrial activity is terminated or changes ownership, a Notice of Termination (NOT) should be filed with the DEP.  In the case of new ownership, a Notice of Intent (NOI) should also be filed.

For more information on this permitting process and to obtain the appropriate forms, please visit DEP’s website

Industrial Pretreatment Program

Federal and state law mandates that all cities, counties, and other municipal bodies that process more than five million gallons of wastewater a day are required to have an Industrial Pretreatment Program, which is required under the Clean Water Act. There are presently 75 programs in Florida that are all regulated (since May 1, 1995) by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Tallahassee.

The program issues permits to the larger industries and ensures that the concentrations of any toxic wastewater pollutants comply with City Ordinance requirements.  The program also requires the collection of wastewater samples from throughout the sewer system and continuous monitoring of the system for unknown sources of toxic pollutants. 

The program has escalating enforcement powers including the termination of sewer service to industries that show patterns of repeat violations with no active effort to come into compliance with their permits. 

Major objectives of the industrial pretreatment program are:

  • Preventing the introduction of pollutants into the City's wastewater treatment (WWTP) plant that will interfere with plant operations or contaminate the resulting sludge or effluent.
  • Improving the opportunity to recycle and reclaim municipal and industrial wastewaters and sludges.
  • Preventing the City from violating its WWTP operating permit

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