The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) recently notified the public that it will consider for adoption the final draft of the general NPDES permit that regulates storm water discharges associated with industrial activity. The State Board will hold a public hearing on adoption of the permit at its meeting on April 1, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at the Cal/EPA headquarters in Sacramento.
The State Board is soliciting comments by the public regarding revisions that have been made to the draft permit since July 19, 2013. Those revisions are mostly minor, but importantly include a change to the effective date of the new permit, moving it back to July 1, 2015, from the previously proposed effective date of January 1, 2015. Written comments must be submitted to the State Board by Tuesday, March 4 at 12:00 noon. Oral comments may be made at the April 1 hearing.
As previously discussed here and here, the State Board’s proposed general permit would impose a new set of permitting requirements for industrial storm water discharges and would expand the scope of the program to cover new categories of industrial facilities. With storm water discharges continuing to be the most active area of citizen enforcement under the Clean Water Act, California industrial facilities should review these proposed changes and confirm with counsel that they will be ready to obtain coverage under the new permit in 2015.