El Niño: Stormwater Tips

ElNinoSeptember 23rd marked the first day of fall, and with fall comes the promise of many stormwater events thanks to a strong El Niño expected to hit the Northern Hemisphere this year. In past years, the Industrial General Permit (IGP) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), required the permit holder to sample at least two rain events during “wet season” (October 1st to May 30th). Under the new Industrial General Permit (IGP), the permit holder is required to collect and analyze storm water samples from each discharge location for two Qualified Stormwater Events (QSEs) within the first half of each reporting year (July 1 to December 31), and two (2) QSEs within the second half of each reporting year (January 1st to June 30th).

The new permit also redefines a QSE to mean a precipitation event that produces discharge from any industrial drainage area proceeded by 48 hours with no discharge. In addition, QSE discharges can start the night before (within 12 hours of facility operational start time). The new IGP also requires that all samples be collected within the first 4 hours of discharge. This is a significant change from the previous IGP, which defined a QSE as a precipitation event that produced discharge from any industrial drainage area proceeded by 72 hours with no discharge, only valid during hours of facility operation, and only valid if sampled within the first hour of discharge.

All Dischargers are now required to submit and certify all reports electronically via the Storm Water Multiple Application and Report Tracking System (SMARTS). After receiving data from the lab, the Discharger has 30 days to submit all analytical results to SMARTS.

If you haven’t looked at your stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) recently or are unsure of the monitoring parameters required under your Standard Industrial Code (SIC) with the new IGP, now is a good time to review your monitoring responsibilities. Monitoring locations are identified in the SWPPP and tests are typically specific to your industry and dictated by your SIC code. Review your SWPPP to ensure that your organization stays in compliance with your region’s stormwater program, particularly if this fall will be the first time you will collect samples under the new IGP. Click here to view information about Babcock Labs’ stormwater testing services, or contact your project manager to schedule sampling/testing services today!

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