Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hazardous Metals in Stormwater – Texas (TCEQ) Requirements

As general permits for stormwater discharges are revised, States will attempt to address requirements for impaired waters into the permit requirements. How these requirements are expressed in the permit varies widely from State-to-State. Some States have developed requirements which promote pollution prevention measures.

As one example, the State of Texas has detected levels of selected heavy metals in surface waters which are of concern, and has promulgated numeric discharge standards for “hazardous metals” into the industrial stormwater permit. However, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approach is to allow facilities to do a self-assessment for sources of hazardous metals and implement pollution prevention measures to avoid the higher costs of hazardous metal sampling and testing. To be exempted, facilities must certify that:

  • Facility does not use a raw material, produce an intermediate product, or produce a final product that contains one of the listed hazardous metals, or

  • Any raw materials, intermediate products, or final products which contain a hazardous metal are never exposed to stormwater or runoff, or

  • Facility collects and analyses stormwater samples from the facility and the results indicate that hazardous metal(s) are not present in detectable levels.

Waivers may be obtained on a metal-by-metal basis, or on an outfall-by-outfall basis. A waiver from hazardous metals monitoring does not exempt the facility from other benchmark monitoring requirements which may apply. [Read more about benchmark monitoring]

Caltha LLP provides support to facilities nationwide on meeting State stormwater permit requirements and developing effective stormwater pollution prevention programs, including SWPPP training and stormwater compliance training programs.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website

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