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Water: Stormwater

Industrial Activities


Empty and Unused 55-Gallon Drums Outside Industrial Facility

Activities that take place at industrial facilities, such as material handling and storage, are often exposed to the weather. As runoff from rain or snowmelt comes into contact with these activities, it can pick up pollutants and transport them to a nearby storm sewer system or directly to a river, lake, or coastal water. To minimize the impact of stormwater discharges from industrial facilities, the NPDES program includes an industrial stormwater permitting component that covers 10 categories of industrial activity that require authorization under an NPDES industrial stormwater permit for stormwater discharges.

All but five states are authorized to implement the Stormwater NPDES permitting program. Therefore, the vast majority of industrial facilities will need to obtain NPDES permit coverage through their state. For industrial facilities located in areas where EPA is the permitting authority, coverage is available under the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). On June 4, 2015, EPA published its final 2015 MSGP.


General Industrial Highlights
  • Industrial Stormwater Permit Guide Exit EPA Site - This tool explains the federal stormwater regulations for businesses and the permitting and waiver options available.  The site also includes a photo gallery with discussion of 16 different types of stormwater control measures documenting compliant and non-compliant situations.
  • Water Locator Tool - This tool is designed to help facilities complete a Notice of Intent (NOI) by locating receiving waters and determining whether that waterbody is considered "impaired" under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.
  • Industrial Sector Fact Sheets - EPA deleloped individual fact sheets for each of the 29 industrial sectors (7 pp, 250K, About PDF). Each sector fact sheet summarizes the types of facilities included in that sector, the pollutants associated with this sector, and the types of stormwater control measures used to minimize the discharge of those pollutants.
  • Conditional "No Exposure" Exclusion - If an industrial facility can certify that its industrial materials and operations are not exposed to stormwater, it is excluded from NPDES industrial stormwater permit requirements provided that the operator notifies the permitting authority at least every five years.
EPA-Specific Information

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