Easing the Headache of Industrial Stormwater Submittals

May 22, 2019

Raindrops on pavement

Industrial stormwater can be a reoccurring administrative headache or a simple submittal. This runoff, caused by rain in locations as varied as manufacturing facilities to airports, can be polluted by materials onsite, and facilities are subject to regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and applicable state agencies on how those runoffs are managed.

As a new owner at an industrial facility, finding out the requirement to manage onsite stormwater can come as a shock, especially if the previous owner or occupant operated without coverage. Industrial facilities are grouped using the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) based on their operations and activities, which requires stormwater permit coverage for certain facility types. After digging deeper, it is often revealed that an improperly completed checklist (application for conditional no exposure exemption) allowed the previous tenant to avoid responsibility for stormwater management where it is actually required.

If regulators have reviewed your facility and are waiting for answers, finding the right help doesn’t need to be complicated.

When your site requires coverage under the state general industrial stormwater permit, initially you would likely need to apply through a notice of intent (NOI) or similar notification to start the permit coverage process. Terracon’s team can assist and provide support with all steps of obtaining proper permit coverage. Our team can perform site research, and request documentation, such as available plans and aerial photography for review. After the initial review, a team member will perform an in-person site meeting.

Did you know?

An Industrial Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is more than just a sediment and erosion control plan – it commonly describes all the site operator’s activities to prevent stormwater contamination, control sedimentation and erosion, and comply with the requirements of the Clean Water Act. (source US EPA). The Industrial SWPPP is either a general and/or very specific plan that applies to developed facilities conducting industrial activities that discharge to a surface water body.  


Source of copper- industrial stormwater

Source of zinc - industrial stormwater

Discharge lines - industrial stormwater

On one recent industrial stormwater project, Terracon established an understanding of the facility’s operations and briefed the client on expectations and work to be performed, including providing a scope of services for permit coverage requirements, sampling, and reporting. In addition, it was identified during the site walk that the client would need an Industrial SWPPP and that it would be beneficial for the onsite storm drains and catch basins to be cleaned out. The client was relieved to know they had the support and assurance to address their industrial stormwater concerns and interactions with regulators.

Terracon teams assist hundreds of clients per year with these important environmental services. These services range from the full range of compliance monitoring covering everything from, SWPPPS, notice of intent submittals, inspections, and reporting.

Eric A. Dubcak, CESCL is a Group Manager at Terracon’s Seattle office specializing in environmental and storm water project work for a wide variety of clients throughout the Pacific Northwest.



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