Ready to Show Your Storm Water Permits, SWPPP
By Michael R. James
The new EPA Multi Sector Storm Water General Permit (MSGP) is now available and auto recyclers have probably already heard quite a bit about it. The changes were not significant but a new clause in the permit may cause problems for facilities that do not have the correct paper work. If the permit and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is in place, and if the listed Best Management Practices (BMP) are being implemented, then a business is ahead of the game. If not, then it would be a good time to be concerned and get these things in place.
In the last couple of weeks, James Environmental Management, Inc. has participated in discussions with the EPA on behalf of auto salvage facilities where the absence of the correct paper work and the absence of completing the requirements of the permit have led to pretty stiff fines by the EPA. In the new permit is a clause that can only lead to more of this kind of thing.
In June, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) notified James Environmental and its members of a very important change in the new Storm Water Permit affecting the US EPA regulated states. States still regulated by the EPA are in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
At the last possible second, during the re-write of the permit, one of the national environmental groups succeeded in getting language included in the permit that "requires facilities to provide a copy of their storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) to anyone that requests a copy in writing." In the past, businesses that must have SWPPP were required to provide a copy when requested by those regulating the facility. What does this new clause mean in English? Any individual or environmental activist now can ask for a copy of a facility's SWPPP and the business is obligated to provide it to them. Not providing a copy of the SWPPP when requested in writing can lead to the facility being sued under the citizen suit provisions of the Clean Water Act.
What should auto recyclers and others who are required to have a SWPPP do?
Should a facility receive a written notice, ARA has suggested the facilty "either provide a copy of the document to the requesting party immediately or seek the advise of your attorney without delay."
For other questions or information, contact James Environmental Manage-ment, Inc. at 512-244-3631.