Georgia NPDES Storm Water Permits Are Expiring

The Georgia 2006-2011 NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity, Permit No. GAR000000, will expire on July 31, 2011.   A draft of this permit is not yet available so we are not able to comment on any changes that might be in the works.   

When the previous permit expired, there was considerable lag time before a new permit was issued.  Don’t look for this to happen again.  A new permit is expected sometime in August.  As always, when a permit expires, permit holders continue to be covered until a new permit is issued.  Permit holders should keep up to date on the issuance of the new permit as there is generally only a 30 to 90 day period in which a new permit can be obtained and still remain in compliance.

If you have too much on your plate, DES can handle the process for you including filing a new Notice of Intent, reviewing your Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan to see if changes must be made to comply with the new permit conditions, and assessing your site.   If certain conditions are met, a facility can apply for the “No Exposure” certification which exempts the facility from certain sampling or reporting requirements.

Don’t wait until the deadline is upon you.  Call or e-mail Jeret Elwell, our storm water expert at DES Consultants, to find out how DES can help you.  He is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) and a Certified Professional in Storm Water Quality (CPSWQ).  Jeret also teaches storm water and erosion control training classes at our DES Training Center or at your location.  His contact information and class schedule is posted on the training section of this website.

Benefits of Staying Environmentally Compliant

Environmental compliance is in the news every day.  Which kind of publicity would you prefer for your business?

The following company received one of the EPA Environmental Quality Awards in 2009.

Toyota Motor Sales/Ryan McMullan
Torrance, California

The associates of Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, Calif. have focused their efforts on eliminating waste. Through these efforts, Toyota’s vehicle distribution centers send less than four ounces of waste to the landfill for each vehicle processed, and its parts operations saved 17.6 million pounds of wood and cardboard in 2008. This work has had regional and national impacts — with the company’s headquarters and nine facilities achieving zero waste to landfill, ten plants achieving 95 percent waste reduction, and 12 distribution centers achieving over 90 percent recycling rates. These efforts have saved more than 110,000 trees and conserved the equivalent of 1.6 million gallons of gas through recycling materials. Ryan McMullan, an Environmental Resource Specialist with Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, has led Toyota’s efforts to eliminate waste. He is a key regional environmental leader who has played a critical role in Toyota’s efforts to improve the environment, set aggressive goals, and educate the public and others in the business community.

Last week this company was fined for environmental violations.  It was one of many over the last year.

Usibelli Coal Mine, near Healy, Alaska, agrees to pay $60,000 EPA penalty for Clean Water Act violations

According to documents associated with the case, the Mine had 11 unpermitted discharges into the Nenana River, Hoseanna Creek, Sanderson Creek, and Francis Creek between April 2007 and July 2010. During that time, they also had 10 violations of their discharge permit limits.

According to Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Regional Office of Compliance and Enforcement, mining responsibly means paying attention and looking ahead to prevent future problems.

“Many of these discharges could have been minimized or avoided,” said EPA’s Kowalski. “By simply using and maintaining best management practices, we believe this penalty could have been avoided. Mining responsibly means making water quality protection a top priority.”

Sanderson Creek, Hoseanna Creek, Francis Creek, and nearby gravel ponds are all classified by the State of Alaska as suitable for use as water supply, water recreation, and growth and propagation of fish, shellfish, other aquatic life, and wildlife.

Usibelli has 30 days from the signature date to pay the fine and settle the case.

Noncompliance is usually more likely to receive publicity than compliance.  Staying environmentally compliant may not get you publicity, but lack of publicity is better than bad publicity. If you don’t know the environmental rules that govern your business, hiring an environmental consultant is the best and most cost effective way to avoid bad publicity.  Don’t wait till you’re in the bad news section of the paper to ask for help!