Georgia’s EPD Releases Updated Storm Water Permitting Requirements
. . . The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) recently issued an updated General National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Industrial Activities. The permit requires that a facility develop and implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). While most of the requirements for a SWPPP remain the same, a few requirements have changed, and others have been added.
. . . In particular, the Notice of Intent (NOI) form needed to obtain a permit has an additional requirement. Facilities must now provide the geographic latitude and longitude of the approximate center of the facility to the nearest 15 seconds. This information can be obtained by consulting a United States Geological Service topographical map. The NOI must be submitted seven days before the start of industrial activity.
. . . There are also requirements for information that may require modification in a SWPPP. A summary of any sampling data of storm water discharged from a facility as well as a description of planned inspections and the schedule for inspections must be included along with a description of employee training programs with the appropriate schedules.
The State of Georgia requires that the live hang area of a poultry processing plant have containment zones to prevent feathers/droppings from the birds mixing with storm water.
(Photo courtesy of Bright Coop, Inc.)
. . . In addition, quarterly visual monitoring must now be added as part of a facility’s SWPPP. Samples must be collected within 30 minutes of the start of a rainfall of 0.1 inches or more. They must be collected more than 24 hours after the previous rainfall of 0.1 inches or more. The samples should be visually checked for color, odor, clarity, floating solids, settled solids, suspended solids, oil, scum, turbidity, materials associated with sewage, and other objectionable items. No analytical tests are required; however, all outfalls (up to three of four) must be checked, and acquired data should be retained at the facility.
. . . Annual sampling with an analytical analysis of the sample may be required at some facilities. Poultry slaughter plants must conduct this sampling. Other facilities that submit the Toxic Release Inventory Form R for ammonia must also sample.
. . . Although grab sampling continues to be a requirement as part of a facility’s SWPPP (with one of two outfalls being sampled based on the facility’s record), composite sampling is not required.
The state’s general
permit standard can be downloaded from EPD’s website at
The NOI form can
be down-loaded from
. . . Containment areas are required wherever leaks and spills commonly occur. Oil storage areas with above-ground tanks may require that spill prevention control and countermeasures (SPCC) plans be in place. Facilities should implement safeguards for accidental releases, leak inspections, and dikes and berms.
. . . Jim Walsh, senior research engineer in Georgia Tech’s Electro-Optics, Environment, and Materials Laboratory, recommends that any facility without a permit should file a NOI as soon as possible. He notes that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes a guidance document for establishing a SWPPP. The document can be obtained by contacting the Environmental Information Service Center toll free at 1-800-241-1754.
. . . He also stresses that those facilities with existing SWPPPs should reassemble their pollution prevention teams to take a look at best management practices currently in place and decide if changes are needed. He adds that facilities can ensure the quality of their plans by following a checklist and keeping accurate records of employee training as well as inspections.