CWA | Wastewater & Stormwater Program Compliance
The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires regulating authorities, i.e., states and local governments, to adopt water quality standards that are protective of the nation’s waters. In doing so, these authorities, with EPA approval, periodically review and develop a list of waterways that are impaired by pollutants. The EPA identifies the maximum amount of a pollutant the waterway can receive to achieve the current water quality standards.
For those living and working in the mid-Atlantic region of the country, particularly southeastern PA, it is important to consider our impacts to two primary watersheds:
Schuylkill Watershed – which includes parts of 11 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, and
Chesapeake Bay – which stretches from Havre de Grace, Maryland to Norfolk, Virginia. At roughly about 200 miles long, it is the largest estuary in the United States.
US EPA regulates commercial businesses, industry, and construction activities via two primary mechanisms. The first establishes a permit program that regulates point sources, i.e., discharges through a pipe or into a ditch, discharging pollutants into waters of the United States. Such industrial discharges are permitted as either direct sources under a “typical” NPDES permit or as pretreatment sources regulated by categorical requirements or under the terms of a municipal sewer authority permit.
The second program regulates runoff from land and impervious areas such as streets, parking lots, and roofs during rain and snow events. Industrial facilities must obtain a permit for this stormwater discharge if the stormwater is exposed to industrial materials on site. If the stormwater is not exposed to industrials materials on site, facilities may obtain an exemption from stormwater permitting by filing a No Exposure Certification.
The overriding regulatory program for these activities was established in 1972 – the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
ESC has established experience in providing our clients support and guidance to understand their obligations under these requirements and ensure regulatory compliance.
We look forward to assisting you.
Compliance Project Successes
The following is a sampling of key project services that have been provided to just a few of our satisfied customers:
- Investigated the applicability of stormwater regulations to a company’s NOI (Notice of Intent) and stormwater discharge permit application. Additional services included the development of the facility stormwater management plan and supporting drawings.
- Determined that facilities with general permits for Stormwater associated with industrial activity, were not subject to Stormwater permitting and obtained approval from the agency to terminate the permit and replace it with a no-exposure certification.
- Maintain clients compliance with municipal authority industrial user program through management of sampling program, development and submittal of IDMR reports, resampling for exceedances, investigations of exceedeances, correspondence and submittal of key information for affirmative defense, negotiation of fines.
- Assisted client in development and submission of industrial discharge permit application. In doing so, ESC assessed the possible viewpoint of the regulating authority and the probability of acceptance of anticipated permit terms and conditions. ESC negotiated on behalf of the client to achieve acceptable conditions for industrial discharge and testing.
- ESC led efforts in the evaluation of a priority pollutant discharges (heavy metal and oil) and completed survey documentation for the sewer authority. As part of the permitting process, ESC recommended options for determining the source of the contaminants, including the development of correspondence and strategies for negotiating with the municipality.
- Assessed the impact and applicability of City of Philadelphia wastewater regulations upon an industrial discharger. This investigation determined that the City had misclassified the facility – determining the client was not subject to the regulations.
- ESC negotiated significant reduction in NJDPES fees for a plant that resulted in the refund for previous reporting years.