Engineering a NONA Exemption – Lessons Learned During the First Two Years of the IGP
Compliance with the 2014 Industrial General Permit (IGP) is time consuming and expensive for most industrial facilities, especially for dischargers that exceeded benchmark concentrations last wet season and must now negotiate Level 1 requirements. However, certain facilities may be able to opt out of permit coverage by filing a Notice of Non-Applicability (NONA) exemption. NONA filing includes submittal of a “No Discharge” Technical Report demonstrating that the facility is engineered and constructed to retain all runoff even during historically extreme rainfall conditions or, alternately, that the facility is not hydrologically connected to surface waters of the United States (WOTUS).
This talk presents lessons learned while assisting clients in obtaining NONA exemptions during the first two years since implementation of the new IGP implementation. Case studies presented include:
* Almost NONA – strategies to capture the last increment of runoff that will upgrade a facility from infrequent discharger to NONA exempt
* WDRs/IGP – strategies for managing commingled storm water and process water at sites regulated by WDRs in addition to the IGP
* WOTUS – In 2015 a new, currently suspended, rule intended to “clarify” the definition of WOTUS for the purpose of enforcing the Clean Water Act (Rule) was issued by the EPA. Because of this confusing proposed Rule, many discharges have assumed that virtually all facilities are hydrologically connected to WOTUS. Case studies will be provided for sites that are not connected to WOTUS, even if Rule is eventually adopted in unmodified form, and which have been approved for NONA exemption
* Case studies for challenging facilities that must rely on multiple factors in order to be certified as a non-discharger, even during historically extreme rainfall events.
* After NONA – a brief discussion of observations that must be made in years after obtaining a NONA exemption to ensure the certifying engineer that the facility is still NONA compliant.