April Showers Bring May Flowers – And Stormwater Runoff Pollution
April showers bring May flowers, so the old adage goes. Unless of course, the stormwater runoff generated from the rainfall is contaminated with oils, chemicals, or other pollutants!
As precipitation impacts an industrial or agricultural source, the water will runoff surfaces such as the ground, rooftops, parking lots, roads, or process equipment, picking up pollutants as it flows. Pollutants can include oils, chemicals, sediment, and/or trash and debris. These pollutants can be carried offsite into drainage ways, having the potential to negatively impact waterways.
An industrial facility is likely subject to stormwater pollution prevention requirements, driven by the Clean Water Act. Subject facilities are required to obtain authorization under the federal or state program, often through a General Permit. Facilities are also required to implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
An SWPPP is designed to help a facility implement strategies to prevent stormwater runoff from being contaminated with pollutants. An SWPPP requires the implementation of SWPPP training and inspections. Additionally, an SWPPP provides guidance on what to do if a precipitation event leads to a pollutant release.
What are ways your facility can meet requirements and prevent stormwater pollutions?
- Ensure you have an updated SWPPP.
- Conduct inspections required by the SWPPP.
- Provide training to necessary staff on the requirements of SWPPP and program.
- Clean up spills immediately upon discovery, even if those are oil leaks from vehicles.
- Implement Best Management Practices, including Good Housekeeping, to prevent and reduce pollution potential.
- Obtain construction permit authorization for stormwater generated from construction activities.
Stormwater pollution controls and plan implementation will help any facility stay in compliance with related regulations and help those flowers bloom!
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