Raining in New Requirements: Maryland Issues Draft General Industrial Stormwater Permit

For Industries in Maryland, the time has come for your current General Stormwater Permit (12-SW) to be replaced by a new General Stormwater Permit (20-SW).  According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, this permit is applicable to over 1,000 industrial facilities in Maryland.  Once the final draft of the permit has been issued, facilities that were previously covered under the 12-SW permit have to reapply for the new permit.   Those facilities that are not subject to the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Requirements have 6 weeks after the effective date to apply.  Those facilities that are subject to the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Requirements have 6 months after the effective date to apply.  These applications must include the Notice of Intent (NOI), Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), and fee payment.

The real question is, what changed?

There were many changes to benchmark values – so many that it would be impossible to include it in this short newsletter article. There may also be additional monitoring requirements for impaired watersheds.  Any sources of PFAs or PCBs are required to be included in the SWPPP. Good news – if you are subject to the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Requirements and have implemented those restoration requirements, those requirements won’t be expanded on.  The draft does include nutrient trading for individuals who have additional credits that others may need.

One major change is what occurs when your stormwater results exceed a benchmark value.  Under this new permit corrective actions must be implemented under the Additional Implementation Measures (AIM) level approach.  Note that these corrective actions must be documented in the SWPPP and completed within a certain time period which are expanded upon in the permit.  For the AIM benchmark action approach depending on the length of time the exceedance occurs and how far of the benchmark the results are.  If the facility continues to exceed the quarterly benchmark value(s), MDE has the option to revoke the facility’s cover under this permit and require the facility to apply for an individual permit.

The draft is also requiring that facilities post a sign or notice of your permit coverage in a publicly accessible location in close proximity to your facility.  Some of the requirements of the sign include permit number, contact name, and phone number.

For those that are subject to this new permit, it would be best to review the new draft to see what will be required.  Public comment period has not ended and people can make comments up until April 19, 2021. 

If you would like to review the new requirements or audit your current facility practices, please feel free to reach out to August Mack.

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