Monday, May 10, 2010

Preproduction Plastic Debris Program In California

Update: Preproduction Plastic controls are added to 2012 draft industrial general permit:

In 2007, Assembly Bill (AB) 258 was passed, and became effective January 1, 2008, which added Chapter 5.2 to Division 7 of the California Water Code, section 13367. Chapter 5.2 entitled “Preproduction Plastic Debris Program”. This law applies to facilities in California that manufacture, handle, or transport preproduction plastics.

Preproduction plastic is the raw plastic resin materials that are molded into finished plastic products. Preproduction plastics are often produced in a resin pellet format, occasionally termed as “nurdles.” These small, 1- to 5- mm diameter pieces are produced in various shapes, colors, and plastic types. Preproduction plastic resins are also produced in powder, granule, and flake form.

Once in the environment, preproduction plastic resin pellets, powders, and production scrap can be mistaken for food by marine life. They also contribute to California’s litter problem, which state and local agencies spend millions of dollars per year on collecting. Preproduction plastic discharges pose a significant threat to California’s marine environment, which is an important part of California's $46-billion dollar ocean-dependent, tourism economy.

State and Regional Water Board staff have conducted and are continuing to conduct compliance inspections of various types and scales of preproduction plastic manufacturing, handling, and transport facilities enrolled under California's Industrial General Permit (IGP) for storm water discharges. Additionally, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has conducted inspections of facilities suspected to be "non-filers," or facilities subject to the permit, but have not enrolled.

The State Water Board has issued an investigative order to all plastic-related facilities enrolled under the IGP to conduct a Self-Compliance Evaluation and to provide the State Water Board with information needed to satisfy the legislative mandates in AB 258. Facilities subject to this order must complete an online evaluation and assess their points of potential preproduction plastics discharge and means of controlling these discharges.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address Stormwater Permitting & Regulatory Support, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), Stormwater Monitoring and Stormwater Training.
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