CSPA and Coastkeepers Alliance Comment on Industrial General Permit

CSPA and the California Coastkeepers Alliance submitted a 38-page comment letter on the draft General Industrial Permit, which regulates stormwater discharges from industrial facilities.

The letter states:

  • The State Board is entirely justified in establishing numeric BAT/BCT effluent limitations based on limits equivalent to EPA’s published benchmark values.
  • Ample monitoring data exists on which the State Board can rely in assessing the statutory criteria for establishing BAT and BCT-based numeric effluent limitations.
  • A technical review of media treatment systems currently used by the best performers and adjustable to all industrial storm water facilities shows that compliance with staff’s proposed numeric effluent limitations (“NELs”) is feasible and reasonably expected to be achieved by the best performing facilities.
  • A daily average may be applied to measure compliance with numeric BAT/BCT effluent limitations.
  • The State Board should clarify that monitoring for compliance with applicable water quality standards must be located at the point where discharges leave a facility.
  • The Permit should require analysis of the dissolved fraction of metals present in discharges.
  • The Proposed corrective action levels improperly delay implementation of BAT/BCT.  Numeric effluent limitations must be established now, without the proposed three-year compliance schedule.
  • Because the State Board has no authority to exclude any industrial activities from the permitting requirements, the Board needs to clarify that the permit is not limited to the listed SIC industrial categories but rather extends to any industrial activities. The State Board also should specify other SIC categories that pose significant pollution threats or are plainly industrial in nature.
  • BMPs designed to only a 10-Year, 24-Hour storm event are not BAT/BCT. A 25-year, 24-hour compliance storm event is reasonably achievable by the best performing facilities.
  • The Permit should not contain any exclusions based upon the implementation of LID or other measures that may not prove effective in most industrial contexts.
  • The Permit’s proposed monitoring scheme should be strengthened. Four samples should be required during the rainy season rather than spread out over the entire year. The expectation that all facilities will properly maintain and review an onsite rainfall measurement device is overly optimistic – monitoring should be conducted when discharges are occurring based on government rainfall devices. The State Board needs to expand the list of monitored parameters to address all of the pollutants likely to be discharged from some facilities, including boatyards and landfills. No reductions in storm water sampling frequency should be included in the Permit. The Permit should not allow monitoring from separate drainages at a facility to be combined. And sampling should not be limited to “scheduled facility operating hours.”
  • The State Board should eliminate the group monitoring provisions.
  • CCKA agrees with the proposed storm event design for No Discharge Certification, but the no discharge exclusion should be verified through appropriate photographic and visual monitoring in addition to certification.
  • The State Board should clarify that the 90-day public comment period for new coverage notices does not alter the federal prerequisite for a citizen to bring an enforcement action under the CWA.
  • Facilities should be required to submit revised storm water pollution prevention plans (“SWPPPs”) to SMARTS, and all documents submitted to the State Board’s Storm Water Multi-Application and Report Tracking System (“SMARTS”) must be accessible via SMARTs to the public.  2011 4 29 Industrial Permit Comments – Final
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