Don’t Forget to Update Your Level 2 ERA Technical Report
So, you came across Annual Report Question 14 “Was the Level 2 ERA Technical Report Updated?” for a facility that previously submitted a Level 2 Exceedance Response Action (ERA) Technical Report. What did you say? For facilities with stormwater results that do not exceed Numeric Action Levels (NALs) and without operational changes, the answer most of the time is “No” because the implemented Level 2 ERA best management practices (BMPs) are effective and no updates are required. However, if you anticipated this question and the reasons requiring an update, such as exceedance of an NAL for a parameter previously in Level 2 status, you likely prepared and submitted an updated Technical Report. Otherwise, you may have provided an explanation promising to update the Technical Report and are hastily revising the Technical Report.
The first Level 2 ERA Technical Reports were submitted by January 1 of 2019. A significant portion of those Technical Reports included an Industrial Activity BMPs Demonstration stating that implemented BMPs are expected to eliminate future NAL exceedances. As time goes on from the first submittals, it is becoming apparent that NALs are not always being met due to a variety of reasons, and in many cases the Level 2 ERA Technical Reports were not properly prepared to meet the Industrial General Permit requirements.
It is intuitive when the BMPs implemented as described in a Level 2 ERA Technical Report are not effective, and new and/or revised BMPs have to be implemented, that the Level 2 ERA Technical Report should be updated to describe the new and/or revised BMPs. But what is not clear is whether an updated Level 2 ERA Technical Report can/should include a revised Level 2 ERA Action Plan for planned new and/or revised BMPs. The Industrial General Permit also states that the Level 2 ERA Technical Report is required to be updated annually based on facility operational changes, pollutant source change(s), and/or information that becomes available via compliance activities, but it is not always straightforward how those changes or information trigger an update.
In this presentation I will describe and clarify the reasons to update a Level 2 ERA Technical Report and provide examples to help Qualified Industrial Storm Water Practitioners (QISPs) and Dischargers update their Level 2 ERA Technical Reports to maintain compliance with the Industrial General Permit, meet expectations from the State/Regional Water Board, and limit liability from third-party lawsuits.
Matt Hillyard is a California- and Oregon-licensed Professional Civil Engineer, a Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioner Trainer of Record, a Qualified Stormwater Practitioner/Developer, and Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control. He has more than 19 years of experience with industrial and construction-related stormwater projects, including performing site inspections and sampling, evaluating and implementing stormwater BMPs, designing stormwater treatment, preparing stormwater pollution prevention plans, and providing litigation support.