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Obtaining Coverage under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System's Industrial Stormwater

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Introduction: The National Pollution Discharge Elimination System's (NPDES) Industrial Stormwater Permit is a vital environmental regulation in the United States. It aims to prevent pollution from industrial activities, particularly stormwater runoff, which can carry harmful contaminants into water bodies. To ensure compliance with the permit, it is crucial for facilities to understand the coverage requirements, determine their sector, and comply with the regulations specific to their industry.

Facilities Covered under the Industrial Stormwater Permit: The Industrial Stormwater Permit applies to various facilities engaged in industrial activities that have the potential to discharge pollutants into stormwater runoff. Examples of such facilities include manufacturing plants, industrial facilities, construction sites, mining operations, transportation yards, and certain agricultural operations.

The Utah MSGP, like most state industrial permits, mirrors the EPA’s permit very closely. Similar requirements and considerations are included depending on your specific sector.

Determining Your Sector: The industrial sector classification is a crucial step in determining the specific requirements applicable to a facility under the Industrial Stormwater Permit. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established six sectors, each with its own set of regulations and guidelines. The sectors include:

  1. Sector A: Timber Products

  2. Sector B: Paper and Allied Products Manufacturing

  3. Sector C: Chemical and Allied Products Manufacturing

  4. Sector D: Asphalt Paving and Roofing Materials and Lubricant Manufacturing

  5. Sector E: Glass, Clay, Cement, Concrete, and Gypsum Product Manufacturing

  6. Sector F: Primary Metals

Requirements for Coverage and Compliance: To obtain coverage under the Industrial Stormwater Permit, facilities must follow a systematic approach:

  1. Obtain Permit Coverage: Facilities falling within one of the six sectors must apply for coverage under the Industrial Stormwater Permit. The application process may vary by state, but generally, facilities must complete a Notice of Intent (NOI) and submit it to the appropriate regulatory agency.

  2. Develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP): Once covered, facilities must develop an SWPPP tailored to their specific operations. The SWPPP outlines measures to prevent or reduce pollutant discharges in stormwater runoff. It includes procedures for inspecting, maintaining, and monitoring the facility, as well as implementing best management practices (BMPs) to control pollution.

  3. Implement Best Management Practices (BMPs): Facilities must establish and implement BMPs to minimize the pollutants in their stormwater discharges. BMPs vary depending on the industry sector and may include erosion and sediment control measures, spill prevention and response protocols, employee training, and regular site inspections.

  4. Sampling and Monitoring: Regular monitoring of stormwater discharges is essential to assess the effectiveness of the BMPs and ensure compliance with permit requirements. Facilities are often required to collect and analyze stormwater samples, keep records of the monitoring results, and report the data to the regulatory agency.

Differences in Sector-Specific Regulations: While the basic requirements for obtaining coverage and complying with the Industrial Stormwater Permit are similar across sectors, there are some sector-specific differences. These differences arise due to variations in the nature of industrial activities, the types of pollutants generated, and the appropriate control measures. Facilities must carefully review and understand the specific regulations applicable to their sector to ensure compliance.

For instance, the timber products sector (Sector A) may need to implement BMPs for log handling, log sorting, and milling activities, while the paper and allied products sector (Sector B) may focus on addressing pollution from paper manufacturing processes. Similarly, the chemical and allied products sector (Sector C) may have specific requirements for hazardous material handling and storage.


Compliance with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System's Industrial Stormwater Permit is vital for preventing pollution and protecting water bodies. Facilities must determine their sector accurately, obtain permit coverage, develop and implement a SWPPP, implement BMPs, and conduct required sampling and monitoring. Having a great stormwater team is critical to efficiently and effectively complying with the MSGP. Need help getting started? Contact Accena SWPPP services now.

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