Mar 10, 2020

EPA Proposes Tougher Rules to Monitor Runoff

The U.S. EPA is seeking comments on proposed alterations to regulate activities at motor freight transportation facilities and other industrial sectors

storm water

The U.S. EPA is seeking comments on proposed changes aimed at strengthening permitting authority to regulate activities at motor freight transportation facilities and other industrial sectors.

According to the agency, the major changes in its upcoming five-year Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges are based on terms stipulated in a settlement agreement of recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s National Research Council, and from meeting with the regulated community and environmental group stakeholders.

Storm water permits are generally required for transportation facilities that perform vehicle maintenance, repairs, equipment cleaning, deicing, fueling, and washing if activities are conducted outdoors and are exposed during storm events, reported Transport Topics. 

Depending on the changes to the new federal requirements, state storm water programs may need to amend their current standards.

“Right now, they’re allowing visual inspections,” said Glen Kedzie, energy and environmental affairs counsel for American Trucking Associations. “Now they’re going to be requiring for most sectors, including our sector, quarterly monitoring. Now, you’re going to have to pay for this, whether you’re actually polluting or not. This has the potential for more onerous requirements in their storm water permits.”

EPA said the draft proposal would streamline and simplify language throughout the permit process, reported Transport Topics. The changes could also require that permit holders consider implementing enhanced measures for facilities located in areas that could be impacted by storm water discharges from major storm events that cause extreme flooding conditions.

The agency’s current five-year storm water permit regulation expires June 4.

EPA also is requesting comment on viable alternative approaches to benchmark monitoring for characterizing industrial sites’ storm water discharges, quantifying pollutant concentrations, and assessing storm water control measure effectiveness.

Comments on the notice must be received on or before May 1, according to the agency.

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