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ARE YOU IN COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR NPDES PERMIT?

09.03.19   Jeffrey R. Lanier, PE | More by this Author

ARE YOU IN COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR NPDES PERMIT?

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit program was put into place to help regulate pollutants discharged directly into Michigan's waterways by imposing effluent limitations to protect the environment. Anyone discharging, or proposing to discharge, waste or wastewater into the surface waters of the State is required by law to obtain an NPDES Permit.

Going through an audit by EGLE can be a painful process if you are not organized and in compliance with your NPDES Permit. Based on our experience, here are some examples of the most common Permit violations and possible solutions.

Violation: Lack of documentation of completed permit activities (e.g. training, maintenance)
Solution: Create and implement a new filing system at your facility or organize and track your completed Permit activities. Organize the filing system to match the requirements in your Permit. For example, MS4 Permit holders could create a new folder titled "Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping" to store invoices and manifests from catch basin sediment clean-out activities.

Violation: Poor housekeeping habits
Solution: Move significant materials (e.g. chemicals, fuels, salt) away from storm water drains, doorways and vehicle traffic.

Violation: Storm water exposed to outdoor materials/pollutants
Solution: Conduct a visual inspection of the facility to look for potential significant materials exposed to storm water. Uncovered dumpsters and hydraulic compactors are commonly overlooked as a potential concern.

Violation: Out-of-date site plans and outfall maps
Solution: Conduct a comprehensive review of the current site plans to look for inaccuracies. The plans should be reviewed and modified when structural changes to the facility are made (e.g. new parking lots, sewer modifications, etc.).

Are you in compliance with your permit? For more information, or help with the audit process, contact Jeff Lanier, PE. 



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