DEQ's Storm Water Permitting Program
Traditional definitions of storm water have usually characterized it as non-point source runoff. However, most urban and industrial storm water 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. DEQ administers the federal program as the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit program, which is authorized under the State Water Control Law. The Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Regulation (9 VAC 25-31) sets forth the policies and procedures that are followed in the administration of the permit program. As mandated by the Clean Water Act and EPA's Phase 1 (11/16/90) and Phase 2 (12/8/99) storm water regulations, DEQ issues VPDES permits to dischargers of storm water from "Industrial Activities". The federal permitting requirements are incorporated into the VPDES Permit Regulation in section 9 VAC 25-31-120.
Construction Storm Water Permitting and MS4 Storm Water Permitting Responsibilities. The NPDES construction activity and NPDES municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) storm water permitting responsibilities were transferred from DEQ to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) on January 29, 2005. EPA approved DCR's VPDES storm water program on December 30, 2004. DCR's regulations became effective on January 29, 2005. DEQ continues to administer the VPDES industrial activity storm water permitting program. All outstanding issues and/or new permit registrations for construction storm water permits or MS4 permits should be sent directly to DCR. More information on DCR's storm water permitting program is available on DCR's web site: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/sw/vsmp.
Industrial Activity Permitting
Under the Phase 1 storm water regulations, storm water discharges from "industrial activities" are regulated by DEQ, and include 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 Phase 2 storm water regulations added a "no-exposure" exemption provision for industrial facilities.
Any industrial facility covered by these regulations that discharges storm water associated with industrial activity through a point source or through a separate storm sewer system (either municipal or non-municipal) must apply for a VPDES storm water permit, or for a "no-exposure" exemption from permitting (see below).
DEQ issues both individual and general permits to industrial activity storm water dischargers. DEQ's reissued Industrial Storm Water General Permit (VAR05) became effective on July 1, 2009. Facilities that do not have existing permit coverage, and existing permitted facilities reapplying for permit coverage should use the new Registration Statement form (SWGP-VAR05-RS [7/09]) to apply for general permit coverage.
Following are links to the current industrial storm water general permit regulation (9 VAC 25-151) and fact sheet. The documents are also available on the VPDES Permits, Fees and Regulations page. An industrial storm water permitting handout is also available which provides additional details on the industrial storm water permitting process.
Table SW-1 lists the regulated industrial activities that are eligible for coverage under the VPDES Industrial Storm Water 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.
Storm water 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 storm water discharges and other non-storm water discharges.
DEQ's industrial activity storm water permits are based upon EPA's Multi-Sector Storm Water General Permit (MSGP). All industrial activity storm water permits include the requirement that a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) be developed for the permitted facility.
The pollution prevention plan identifies all storm water discharges at the facility, actual and potential sources of storm water contamination, and requires the implementation of both structural and non-structural best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the impact of storm water runoff on the receiving stream to the maximum extent practicable, and to meet water quality standards. Industrial storm water 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 storm water controls. DEQ does not specify which best management practices a facility must implement, and does not specify any minimum best management practice design criteria.