Adoption of Industrial General Permit Amendments

California State Water Resources Control Board

IGP Amendments

On November 6, 2018, the State Water Resources Control Board held a public meeting to consider adoption of amendments to the Industrial General Permit (IGP).   The key amendments adopted include the following:

  • Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).  The amended order includes TMDLs specific to affected waterbodies/watersheds.  Each TMDL includes specific Numeric Action Levels (TNALs) and/or Numeric Effluent Limitations (NELs), defined based on the water body criteria applicable to the TMDL.  These TMDLs are focused on impaired waterbodies, primarily found in Los Angeles and San Diego, with a couple limits defined in San Francisco and Santa Ana.Notably, facilities that discharge stormwater to the Los Angeles or San Gabriel Rivers, or tributaries of these rivers, could be subject to NELs.
  • Compliance Options.  The amendment incorporates options for implementing on-site and off-site storm water capture.  Dischargers implementing best management practices meeting the criteria set forth in Attachment I will be deemed in compliance with several of the IGP's technology and water quality-based requirements.
  • Sufficiently Sensitive Analytical Method Results.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) issued updates to the Clean Water Act approximately four months after the issuance of the 2014 IGP. These updates require the use of analytical methods capable of measuring or detecting pollutants at levels specified in NPDES permits. The amended IGP now requires dischargers to use the methods specified by EPA, which have been deemed to be sufficiently sensitive to detect and measure pollutants at or below the applicable water quality criteria, action level, or effluent limitation.

Along with ALG, several other representatives from industry, engineering, consulting, and environmental firms spoke regarding their concerns with the IGP as proposed, key among these concerns was the timing for bringing dischargers into compliance with the new TMDLs.

Discussion between the Water Board and staff regarding key concerns resulted in the following revisions to the proposed amendments:

  • TMDL Effective Date: changed from June 19, 2019, to July 1, 2020. Responsible dischargers will have approximately 18 months (pending the timing of the next qualifying storm event) to begin the process of identifying applicable TMDL, evaluating necessary BMPs, obtaining funding for BMP improvements, and designing/installing/implementing the BMPs.
  • Compliance Options: Licensed Engineer: Staff revised Attachment I, Compliance Options to clarify that when a California Licensed civil engineer is required to certify that all hydrolytic analyses, hydraulic calculations, and BMPs comply with the BMP compliance option, it is to provide reasonable assurance that the constituents of concern will not cause a threat to the attainment of the groundwaters beneficial uses. The certification is not intended to bind the engineer and responsible discharger to any possible future/unforeseen discharge of one of the contaminants specified in Table B.
  • Compliance Options: MCL: Staff revised Attachment I, Compliance Options, to clarify that infiltration BMPs should be designed to meet the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) defined by the Regional Water Boards Basin Plan. If there is no applicable basin plan, then the MCL criteria defined in Table A of Attachment I should be met.

Next Steps

If you are a discharger in the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board, Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Board, or the San Diego Regional Water Quality Board, then you may have new TMDLs applicable to your operations. Compliance for most of the TMDLs is due by July 2020 (if applicable, other compliance dates are listed in Attachment E); facilities not in compliance with the new limits after this date will face financial penalties (i.e., Mandatory Minimum Penalties or MMPs) based on sample data exceeding the new TMDL limits. Any single exceedance of a NEL at any sample location is subject to MMPs, which usually start at $3,000 per violation per day.

ALG has Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioners (QISP) available to assist with evaluating whether a facility is subject to the new TMDLs, assist with developing a stormwater sampling program, and assess necessary BMPs to come into compliance with the TMDLs before the July 2020 compliance deadline.

Please call Jayme Dryden at 805-764-6005 or Elliott Ripley at 805-764-6004 to discuss how ALGs team of QISPs can help your business take the next step to insure continued compliance with the requirements of the Industrial General Permit.