Industrial and Municipal Stormwater Compliance from Challenges to Opportunities - The Industrial General Permit and the Municipal Watershed Planning Nexus
The adoption and implementation of the most recent Industrial General Permit presents significant challenges to storm water stakeholders, including both industrial permittees, municipalities, and the State Water Board and Regional Water Quality Control Board’s staff. Industrial Permittees are required to assess their potential pollutants and assess their discharge contributions to receiving waters. Additionally, Industrial Permittees need to determine whether they discharge to a Clean Water Act Section 303(d) Impaired waterbody and determine if additional constituents for sampling and analysis are required. They also need to implement best management practices to reduce and eliminate potential exposures of pollutants from running off their property.
During the implementation of the Industrial General Permit over the past two years, it is evident there are potential issues with non-filers, exceedance of numeric action levels, and compliance concerns for both the Permittees and the regulatory agencies. There is a clear nexus between the Municipality and the Industrial Permittee in that Municipalities are often faced with the charge of performing industrial and commercial inspections within their jurisdictions and ensuring these facilities are complying with Permits and local ordinances. Municipalities also are concerned with implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and are often looking upstream to identify potential pollutant sources and needed pollutant reductions. With TMDLs soon to be addressed in the Industrial Permit, there is an opportunity to refine the Industrial Permit to enhance the effectiveness of Permit implementation. However, IGP Permittees are generally not educated in the TMDL process or the challenges faced with complying with ever more stringent numeric action levels. Municipal permits with recently implemented Watershed Management Plans need to be aware of the challenges their local industrial businesses face with the new TMDLs. Rather than view the problem as a permitting issue, municipalities need to assess the potential strategies, options, education and outreach, and funding opportunities associated with IGP Permittees as they implement best management practices (BMPs) to address exceedance response actions or TMDLs. Common characteristics of most IGP facilities include a lack of space for treatment or infiltration BMPs, lack of maintenance, issues with operations, and potential subsurface contamination or physical constraints such as poor soils and low infiltration capacity.
This presentation is explores the common issues associated with the Industrial Permit, and identifies suggested opportunities for Municipalities, and Regional and State Water Board staff. Opportunities explored include alternative compliance needs, funding options, and permit fees. A review of potential solutions will be discussed though an interactive session including review of common and not so common BMP strategies.