Industrial Stormwater Permit Guide

Your link to federal and state compliance resources

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Lesson 1: Compliance Background and Applicability

What is Stormwater Runoff?

Storm water runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like paved storage yards, driveways, parking lots, roof tops, sidewalks and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.

Many types of stormwater discharges associated with industrial or commercial activities are considered point sources and require coverage under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The primary method for businesses to control stormwater discharges is through the prevention of contamination and implementation of best management practices. In addition, use of methods to minimize the volume and rate of stormwater runoff provides further control.

EPA identifies a Point Source as any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, landfill leachate collection system, vessel or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flows from irrigated agriculture or agricultural stormwater runoff.

EPA identifies Best management practices ("BMPs") to mean schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the pollution of "waters of the United States." BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.

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