DEQ's Stormwater Permitting Programs
Traditional definitions of stormwater have usually characterized it as non-point source runoff. However, most urban and industrial stormwater is discharged through conveyances, such as separate storm sewers, ditches, channels or other conveyances which are considered point sources under the Clean Water Act (CWA), and subject to regulation through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program.
Virginia is an authorized state under the federal water permitting program. As mandated by the Clean Water Act and EPA's Phase 1 (11/16/90) and Phase 2 (12/8/99) stormwater regulations, DEQ issues Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permits to dischargers of stormwater from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and to dischargers of stormwater from Industrial Activities, and Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) permits to dischargers of stormwater from Construction Activities.
Industrial Activity Permitting
Under EPA's Phase 1 stormwater regulations, the following "industrial activity" stormwater discharges are regulated: manufacturing facilities (SIC Code specific); hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facilities; landfills, land application sites and open dumps that receive or have received "industrial activity" wastes; recycling facilities (limited to SIC Codes 5015 and 5093); steam electric power generating facilities (including coal handling sites); transportation facilities (SIC Code specific) that have vehicle maintenance shops, equipment cleaning operations or airport deicing operations; and domestic sewage treatment plants (i.e., treatment works treating domestic sewage) with a design flow of 1.0 MGD or more, or required to have an approved pretreatment program. The EPA Phase 2 stormwater regulations added a "no-exposure" exemption provision for industrial facilities.
Any industrial facility covered by these regulations that discharges stormwater associated with industrial activity to surface waters through a point source or through a separate storm sewer system (either municipal or non-municipal) must apply for a VPDES stormwater permit, or for a "no-exposure" exemption from permitting (see below).
DEQ issues both individual and general permits to industrial activity stormwater dischargers. DEQ's current 2009 Industrial Stormwater General Permit (VAR05) became effective on July 1, 2009. The new 2014 Industrial Stormwater General Permit Regulation was adopted by the State Water Control Board on December 17, 2013. The new permit will become effective on July 1, 2014, and Registration Statements for existing permittees are due by May 2, 2014. The following link takes you to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website: 9VAC25-151 - Industrial Activity Stormwater Discharges (VAR05).
Documents relative to both the current 2009 Industrial Stormwater General Permit, and the new 2014 Industrial Stormwater General Permit are available on the VPDES Permits, Fees and Regulations page. An industrial stormwater permitting handout is also available which provides additional details on the industrial stormwater permitting process.
New facilities applying for permit coverage now should use the 2009 ISW GP Registration Statement (SWGP-VAR05-RS [7/09]) to apply for general permit coverage. Existing permittees reapplying for general permit coverage under the 2014 ISW GP should use the 2014 ISW GP Registration Statement (SWGP-VAR05-RS [7/14]) to reapply for general permit coverage.
Table SW-1 lists the regulated industrial activities that are eligible for coverage under the VPDES Industrial Stormwater General Permit (VAR05). Facility classifications are broken down by industrial sector, and within each sector by either 4-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code or 2-letter Industrial Activity Code. A list of regulated industrial activities sorted by SIC Code is also available.
Stormwater permits for industrial activity discharges require technology-based controls based on Best Available Technology (BAT) / Best Conventional Pollutant Control Technology (BCT) considerations or water quality-based controls, if necessary. An industrial facility may have a permit that covers both stormwater discharges and other non-stormwater discharges.
DEQ's industrial activity stormwater permits are based upon EPA's Multi-Sector Storm Water General Permit (MSGP). All industrial activity stormwater permits include the requirement that a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) be developed for the permitted facility.
The pollution prevention plan identifies all stormwater discharges at the facility, actual and potential sources of stormwater contamination, and requires the implementation of both structural and non-structural best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the receiving stream to the maximum extent practicable, and to meet water quality standards. Industrial stormwater permits may also contain water quality based effluent limits, as well as the requirement for storm event monitoring, and the regular assessment of the effectiveness of stormwater controls. DEQ does not specify which best management practices a facility must implement, and does not specify any minimum best management practice design criteria.