Industrial Stormwater Permit Guide

Your link to federal and state compliance resources

Lesson 1 | Page 1 of 7Home | DictionaryNext Page

Lesson 1: Compliance Background and Applicability

This program explains federal stormwater regulations for businesses. On this page, two key terms are defined, and the basic criteria are explained to determine if a facility must have a stormwater permit.

According to regulations, stormwater means rain water runoff, snow melt runoff, surface runoff, and surface drainage. Industrial facilities are required to obtain permit coverage for stormwater if:

Point Source
  • You have a point source stormwater discharge associated with an industrial or commercial activity from your property either directly to waters of the United States or to a municipal separate storm sewer system.
  • And either:
  • Unless:
    • You qualify for and obtain a No Exposure Exclusion (described in Lesson 3).

Note: Facilities that already have a NPDES wastewater discharge permit may also need a stormwater permit, or have stormwater addressed in their discharge permit.

Storm water discharge associated with industrial activity means the discharge from any conveyance that is used for collecting and conveying stormwater and that is directly related to manufacturing, processing or raw materials storage areas at an industrial plant. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • discharges from industrial plant yards;
  • immediate access roads and rail lines used or traveled by carriers of raw materials, manufactured products, waste material, or by-products used or created by the facility;
  • material handling sites;
  • refuse sites;
  • sites used for the application or disposal of process waste waters;
  • sites used for the storage and maintenance of material handling equipment; and
  • sites used for residual treatment, storage, or disposal and shipping and receiving areas.

Other areas included are:

  • manufacturing buildings;
  • storage areas (including tank farms) for raw materials, and intermediate and final products; and
  • areas where industrial activity has taken place in the past and significant materials remain and are exposed to stormwater.

Material handling activities include storage, loading and unloading, transportation, or conveyance of any raw material, intermediate product, final product, by-product or waste product. The term excludes areas located on plant lands separate from the plant's industrial activities, such as office buildings and accompanying parking lots as long as the drainage from the excluded areas is not mixed with stormwater drained from the above described areas.

Facilities meeting the two conditions identified above are required to obtain a permit from US EPA or from their state's environmental permitting agency, as appropriate, for their stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity.

Lesson 1 | Page 1 of 7Home | DictionaryNext Page