It’s Out: The Latest Draft Permit For California Industrial Storm Water Dischargers

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The State Water Board is moving closer to reissuing the Industrial General Storm Water Permit (IGP) with the release of a draft for public review and comment. This lengthy draft differs substantially from current requirements and contains significant revisions from the draft circulated in 2011.

The new draft is the latest in a series of efforts in the last decade to replace the 1997 permit currently in effect. The prospect of numeric effluent limits (NELs) made early proposals highly contentious, prompting the State Water Board to pull back and engage a panel of experts to evaluate the feasibility of enforceable numeric standards for storm water. After the panel found NELs feasible for industrial and construction discharges, the State Water Board first issued numeric standards in the Construction General Storm Water Permit in 2009, but they were shot down by a California court as the sun set on 2011. Not surprisingly, the NELs proposed in the 2011 draft IGP have been removed from the new draft, to the relief of many dischargers.

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