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San Luis Obispo Storm Water Management Program

919 Palm Street

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 783-7876

 

 


 
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                         - NPDES INFORMATION!

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BRIEF HISTORY ON NPDES

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was originally created as an amendment to the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972 and established a permit program to control water pollution by regulating the discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States.  Initially, NPDES permits focused on regulating point source pollution which originates from a definite source, such as industrial facilities, and discharges at a specific point.  In the early 1970s, only one-third of the nations waters were considered safe for fishing and swimming.  Through the advancement of CWA and NPDES, two-thirds of the nations waters were considered safe by the mid 1990s.

In 1987, an amendment to the CWA directed the NPDES program to address non-point source (NPS) pollution through a phased approach.  NPS pollution does not have a specific origin or discharge location but is considered to be general surface runoff containing pollutants from streets, parking lots, construction sites, homes, businesses and many other sources.

Phase I of the NPDES permit program began in 1990 and applied to construction sites disturbing 5 or more acres of soil and municipalities with populations equal to 100,000 or more.

Phase II of the NPDES permit program became effective on March 10, 2003 and applied to construction sites disturbing between 1 and 5 acres of soil and municipalities with populations between 10,000 and 100,000.  Phase II of the NPDES permit program specifically affects the City of San Luis Obispo region.  For detailed information, please refer to the State Water Resources Quality Control Board (SWRCB), San Luis Obispo Region website.

NPDES is a federally mandated program that is implemented and enforced locally.  Currently, all construction sites disturbing 1 or more acres of soil must obtain an NPDES General Permit from the State Water Resources Quality Control Board (SWRCB), San Luis Obispo Region.

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INDUSTRIAL PERMITS

The Industrial Storm Water General Permit Order No. 9703DWQ is an NPDES permit that regulates discharges associated with 10 broad categories of industrial activities.  The General Industrial Permit requires the implementation of management measures that will achieve the performance standard of best available technology economically achievable and best conventional pollutant control technology.  The general Industrial Permit also requires the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and a monitoring plan.  Through the SWPPP, sources of pollutants are identified and the means to manage the sources to reduce storm water pollution are described.  The general Industrial Permit requires that an annual report be submitted each July 1.

 The ten categories covered under the Industrial Storm Water general Permit include:

  1. Facilities subject to storm water effluent limitations guidelines, new source performance standards or toxic pollutant effluent standards.

  2. Manufacturing facilities.

  3. Oil and gas/mining facilities.

  4. Hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities.

  5. Landfills, land application sites and open dumps.

  6. Recycling facilities.

  7. Steam electric power generating facilities.

  8. Transportation facilities.

  9. Sewage or wastewater treatment works.

  10. Manufacturing facilities where industrial materials, equipment or activities are exposed to storm water.

The State Water Resources Quality Control Board (SWRCB), San Luis Obispo Region website has more information regarding Industrial Permits and associated requirements.

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MUNICIPAL PERMIT

Municipalities are required to obtain Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) Permits which regulate storm water discharges.  MS4 permits are issued by Regional Water Quality Control Boards {(RWQCB -State Water Resources Quality Control Board (SWRQCB), San Luis Obispo Region} and are usually issued to a group of co-permittees encompassing an entire metropolitan area.  The City of San Luis Obispo is regulated by just one RWQCB and has one MS4 permit.

The MS4 permit requires the discharger to develop and implement a Storm Water Management Program with the goal of reducing the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable.  The City has developed a Storm Water Management Plan which specifies what BMPs will be used to address which program areas.  The program areas include public education and outreach, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction activities, post-construction storm water management, and good housekeeping for municipal operations.

Visit the State Water Resources Quality Control Board (SWRQCB), San Luis Obispo Region website for more information regarding MS4 Permits and associated requirements.

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