Engineering Department Home
Civil Engineering Divisions:
Enhancing Urban Sustainability in Clearwater
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System:
Documents and Publications
Forms and Applications
Invitation to Bid /
Frequently Asked Questions
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System
Industrial Activity Information
The Clean Water Act (CWA) amended in 1972, provides that discharges of pollutants into waters of the United States from any point source is unlawful without a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. For a number of reasons, United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and authorized NPDES States (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) have failed to issue NPDES permits for the majority of point source discharges of storm water. Recognizing this, Congress added section 402 (p) to the CWA in 1987 to establish a comprehensive framework for addressing storm water discharges associated with industrial activity.
Most storm water point source discharges related to industrial activities are required to obtain an NPDES permit. This may be accomplished by filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) for industrial activities. However, some facilities are eligible for the "no exposure" exemption. The "No Exposure Certification" form must be filed along with the NOI with FDEP.
Facilities subject to a point source discharge NPDES permit are also required to prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3). Existing environmental management plans most be evaluated also for consistency and determine which. If any, provisions can be incorporated into the SWP3.
Other related plans may include the Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency Plan (40 CFR Parts 264 and 265), the Spill Control and Countermeasures Plan requirements (40 CFR Part 112), The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Toxic Organic Management Plan (40 CFR Parts 413,433, and 469) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Response Plan (29 CFR Part 1910)
Because the conditions that affect the presence of pollutants in storm water discharges vary among industries, today's permit contains industry-specific sections that describe the storm water pollution prevention plan requirements, the numeric effluent limitation requirements and the monitoring requirements for the industry.
However, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) can prepared containing the following minimum criteria:
- Pollution Prevention Team
The Pollution Prevention Team is to:
- Decide who will be responsible for developing and implementing your Storm Water Pollution Plan
- Identify these individuals and describe each person's responsibilities at the site.
- Implementing all general permit and pollution prevention plan requirements.
- Site Map
A site map is a complete illustration of site features. At a minimum, the site map must include:
- Discharge points.
- Pollutants likely to be discharged.
- Direction of flow.
- Surface water bodies.
- Structural control measures.
- Locations of significant materials exposed to storm water.
- Materials Inventory
Each facility must inventory the types of materials that are handled, stored, or processed onsite. "Significant Materials" are of particular concern.
The material inventory section must contain:
- List materials that have been exposed to storm water in the past 3 years.
- Provide a narrative description of methods and location of storage and disposal areas, materials management practices, treatment practices, and any structural or nonstructural control measures.
- Past Spills and Leaks
Provide a list of significant spills and leaks of toxic or hazardous that have occurred in the past 3 years. "Significant spills" includes releases in excess of reportable quantities. Permittees are encouraged to list spills and leaks of nonhazardous materials and well as spills of hazardous materials.
- Non-Storm Water Discharges
If your facility has been tested or evaluated for non-storm water discharges, you must:
- Describe the method used and results of any test and/or evaluation for such discharges.
- Indicate the location of the onsite drainage points that were checked during for such discharges.
- Provide the date of the test or evaluation.
- Monitoring Data
Where existing storm water sampling data are available, the facility must:
- Provide a summary of any existing storm water sampling data.
- Describe the sample collection procedures used.
- Site Evaluation
Facilities must fulfill the following requirements:
- Provide a narrative description of activities with a high potential to contaminate stormwater at your site, including those associated with materials loading and unloading, outdoor storage, outdoor manufacturing or processing, onsite waste disposal, and significant dust or particulate generating activities.
- Describe any pollutants of concern that may be associated with such activities.
- Preventative Maintenance
Each permittee must develop a preventative maintenance program that involves inspections and maintenance of storm water management devices and routine inspections of facility operations to detect faculty equipment.
- Management of Runoff
Permittees must describe existing storm water controls found at the facility and any additional measures that can be implemented to improve the prevention and control of polluted storm water. Examples include: vegetative swales, reuse of collected storm water, infiltration trenches, and detention ponds.
- Employee Training
Permittees must develop an employee-training program that covers such topics as spill prevention and response, good housekeeping, and material management practices.
- Recordkeeping and Internal Reporting
Your facility must record and maintain records of spills, leaks, inspections, and maintenance activities for at least one year after the permit expires. For spills and leaks, records should include information such as the date and time of the incident, weather conditions, cause, and resulting environmental problems.
- Plan Revisions
Major changes in a facility's design, construction, operation, or maintenance activities will necessitate changes in that facility's Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.
If the permitted industrial activity is terminated or changes ownership, a Notice of Termination (NOT) should be files with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In the case of new ownership, a Notice of Intent (NOI) should accompany it for the new owner.