What are some of the primary concerns with the proposed permit?
Extensive changes in the draft grow the existing permit from its current 20 pages to more than 93 pages. The permit is prescriptive, inflexible and a one-size-fits-all approach to agencies across the state. Compliance with the proposed permit will have significant fiscal implications to permitted agencies and to businesses across the State.
Why should I be concerned if I own a business?
The draft permit includes new state-required programs such as water quality monitoring, trash abatement plans and inspection of a broad sector of the business community. The permit would require regulated agencies to inspect thousands of business for stormwater quality compliance. It requires local municipalities enforce the state regulation that existing businesses install stormwater quality controls. Compliance with these new regulations will be costly for both the municipality and the business community.
What would the proposed permit require of the local MS4 permit holders?
By May 2013, MS4 permit holders (cities and regulated agencies) must conduct an inventory of commercial and industrial facilities within their jurisdiction. Elements of the inventory are extensive. In the City of Roseville (population 118,000), it is estimated the permit would require inventorying as many as 1,000 businesses including the following: auto and other body repair, painting; gas stations; animal facilities and veterinary facilities; restaurants, bars, food markets; landscape supply operations; building material retailers; nurseries; and equipment repair and maintenance facilities.
What is the draft stormwater permit?
As a requirement of the federal Clean Water Act, the State must oversee a program to regulate storm water discharges under the National l Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System. Stormwater regulations were issued in a phase approach. Phase I applied to urbanized areas with a population in excess of 100,000 (as of 1990). The federal Storm Water Phase II rule was published on December 8, 1999 and generally requires operators of small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (urbanized areas as of the year 2000 with population less than 100,000) to develop and implement a storm water management program. To that end, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a General Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) to provide permit coverage for smaller municipalities, governmental facilities such as military bases, public campuses, prisons and hospital complexes. The original Phase II permit was adopted in 2003. The permit is now being reissued.
MS4 permits require the discharger to develop and implement a Storm Water Management Plan/Program with the goal of reducing the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable (MEP). The management programs specify what best management practices (BMPs) will be used to address certain program areas. The program areas include public education and outreach; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction and post-construction; and good housekeeping for municipal operations. In general, medium and large municipalities are required to conduct chemical monitoring, though small municipalities currently are not.
What is the State Water Resources Control Board doing with the permit?
The State Water Resources Control Board (Board) is in the process of updating the General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (the Phase II permit). This draft permit would apply to many cities and agencies throughout the state. The draft permit includes new state-required programs such as water quality monitoring, trash abatement plans and inspection of a broad sector of the business community.
What would the outcome be for businesses that are inventoried?
By May 2014, the agencies must require the inventoried businesses to select, install, implement and maintain storm water Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce or eliminate pollutants to the storm drain system. A partial listing of the BMPs include staff training, minimizing exposure of operations to rain and runoff, performing operations indoors, and infiltration or containing stormwater runoff.
What can I do?
There are several ways for you to voice your concerns. It is important you have your voice heard and place your comments on the record!