Ohio’s New Industrial Storm Water General Permit

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (OEPA) new industrial storm water general permit (OHR000005) will be replacing the previous industrial storm water general permit (OHR000004) which expired on May 31, 2011.  In order to help industry more easily identify Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) requirements and effective best management practices (BMPs) for specific operations, the OEPA has adopted framework from the federal Multi-Sector General Permit.  The new OEPA general permit will provide more clarity regarding compliance responsibilities including implementation and monitoring.  The intent of this article is to assist facilities and provide information showcasing the changes in the new general permit (OHR000005) and what requirements facilities seeking coverage will need to follow.

Who is Required to apply for the Permit?
Only industrial activities and/or facilities within 29 different Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code categories are required to get an industrial storm water permit.  If the SIC code associated with your facility is not eligible for coverage then that facility must apply for an individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit of alternative general permit from the OEPA.

Basic Requirements of the OHR000005 Permit
The main requirements of the OHR000005 Permit are similar to those of the U.S. EPA’s current Multi Sector General Permit in that they require a facility to implement BMPs and to develop an SWP3 to minimize or eliminate the potential for storm water contamination from the site.  The general permit has been broken down into four (4) parts which focus on certain criteria for each facility. 

The permits outline is as follows:

  • Parts 1-5 – General requirements and SWP3 conditions
  • Part 6 – Analytical monitoring requirements applicable to facilities subject to benchmark and/or annual effluent limitation guideline monitoring requirements
  • Part 7 – Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Part 8 – Sector-specific requirements

Visual Assessments and Benchmark Monitoring
Quarterly Visual Assessments are used as a reference in which the permittee may act quickly upon the visual evaluation and inspection of the effectiveness of their control measures.  On a quarterly basis, the facility will collect a sample in a clear container from each outfall (unless identified as substantially identical) in order to visually assess the appearance (color, odor, clarity, solids, oil sheen and foam).

Benchmark monitoring requirements are based off the sector specific guidelines in which the SIC code for each facility will provide the facility with a Subsector in which specific parameters and concentrations for sampling will have to be met.  These concentrations are used to monitor and gauge the effectiveness of the facility’s SWP3.

Comparison of Previous General Permit and New General Permit
The eligibility of certain facilities under the New General Permit…

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