Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Draft Georgia Industrial General Permit Released For Public Comment

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has released a draft Industrial General permit (“2011 IGP”) that will replace the previous general permit (”2006 IGP”) which will expire in August 2011. The draft 2011 IGP is based to a large degree on the US EPA Multi-sector General Permit promulgated in 2008 (“2008 MSGP”). Below are some key changes in the proposed Georgia storm water permit

Current permittees covered under the 2006 IGP will be required to submit a new Notice of Intent (NOI) within 30 days after the effective date of the new permit. New dischargers commencing discharge after the effective date of the 2011 IGP must submit an NOI for coverage 7 days prior to commencing discharge. Also, existing facilities which had previously filed for a “No Exposure Exclusion‟ (NEE) must submit a new NEE form no later than 30 days after the effective date of the 2011 IGP. The 2011 IGP requires facilities that claim they have no storm water discharges associated with industrial activity file a “No Discharge Exclusion” (NDE) form which must be certified by a professional engineer

If a facility failed the benchmark sampling required by the 2006 permit, then the facility may not be authorized to discharge storm water under the proposed permit and may be required to apply for an individual NPDES permit or alternative general permit. The facility has the options to conduct 12 months of flow-weighted composite sampling to demonstrate the discharge does not cause or contribute to an exceedance of water quality standards or make the necessary improvements to the facility to achieve the instream water quality standard as an effluent limit within 18 months

The 2011 IGP stormwater benchmarks are a combination of benchmarks from the 2006 IGP and the 2008 MSGP. The 2011 IGP requires all analytical sampling performed during the term of the previous 2006 IGP be summarized and the summary retained until the end of the next permit term. In the 2011 IGP, all monitoring data not prepared in situ is required to be prepared by a laboratory registered or accredited by the State or by a State certified Laboratory Analyst. If there is an exceedance of a benchmark value, under the 2011 IGP the facility is required to make modifications of best management practices (BMPs) and sample each subsequent quarter until the benchmark is met, or must make a determination that no further pollutant reductions are technologically available and economically practicable.

At least once during the term of the 2011 IGP, a dye or smoke test must be conducted to evaluate for the presence of non-storm water discharges into the storm sewer system, where applicable

The impaired stream segment sampling and requirements of the 2011 IGP apply to all dischargers located within one linear mile of an impaired water. In the 2006 IGP, only those facilities discharging to streams with an approved total maximum daily load (TMDL) had requirements associated with an impaired stream segment. In the 2011 IGP, dischargers to all impaired waters identified in the Georgia 305(b)/303(d) list are required to monitor for appropriate parameters, and corrective action is required if the discharge exceeds the benchmark value, pollutant of concern (POC) listed in the TMDL, as appropriate. Compliance alternatives in the 2011 IGP include a) preventing all exposure, b) documenting that the POC is not present at the site, c) showing that the discharge containing the POC is not likely to cause or contribute to an exceedance of water quality standards, or if the ability of a discharge to cause or contribute to an exceedance of water quality standards is unknown, then d) executing BMPs and evaluating their effectiveness.

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

For further information contact Caltha LLP atinfo@calthacompany.comorCaltha LLP Website