Information presented in this publication is intended to provide a general understanding of the statutory and regulatory requirements governing storm water. This information is not intended to replace, limit or expand upon the complete statutory and regulatory requirements found in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code.
Storm water runoff is rain water and snow melt that runs off the land and enters streams, rivers, and lakes. Storm water runoff can contain toxic chemicals, oil and grease, pesticides, metals, and other contaminants that are a major source of water pollution and that can pose a threat to public health and the environment. Small businesses can do their part to protect our waters by taking steps to prevent storm water pollution. To protect our water resources, many small businesses are required by the Illinois EPA to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and to develop Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPP.) This fact sheet will help you determine whether you need an NPDES permit, highlight requirements for developing a SWPP Plan, and highlight ways to reduce pollution runoff from your property.
NPDES permits regulate wastewater discharges, such as storm water, into the waters of the United States. In general, the permit sets limitations on what can be discharged to a lake or stream, typically for a period of five years.
Certain businesses may require an NPDES permit for stormwater discharge. These business identified by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code, include, but are not limited to, the following:
Manufacturing facilities only require an NPDES storm water permit if material handling equipment or activities, raw materials, wastes, or industrial machinery are exposed to storm water. If you are one of these facilities, you may be able to avoid the need for an NPDES permit by preventing exposure of your equipment, wastes and materials to storm water; and filing a No Exposure Certification with the Illinois EPA. For more information, call the Illinois EPA at the phone number listed on Page 4 or see the What is Phase II of the NPDES Storm Water fact Sheet. To obtain a no exposure certification, contact the Illinois EPA.
If your business performs construction activities, please see the Storm Water Management for construction Activities fact sheet or contact the office of Small Business for more information.
To obtain an NPDES permit, you must submit an Illinois EPA Notice of Intent (NOI) form, which may require sampling data from your storm water discharge, to the Illinois EPA Division of Water Pollution Control Permit Section.
Some municipalities and counties have additional local requirements for storm water discharges. For more information on requirements in your area, contact your local government agency or the Illinois EPA.
You must develop a SWPP Plan before submitting the NOI. SWPP Plans identify potential sources of pollution that may affect the quality of storm water discharges at your business. The plan also describes and ensures the implementation of best management practices (BMP), which reduce the pollutants in your storm water discharges. The five major steps in developing a SWPP Plan include the following:
These 5 steps are described in more detail below.
To initiate the development of your SWPP Plan, you should
To identify potential sources of pollutants to your storm water discharges, you should
Proper BMPs must be selected to address sources of storm water pollution. SWPP Plans typically include the following BMPs:
Examples of each of these BMPs are provided below. For more information on BMPs, contact the Illinois EPA.
Good housekeeping involves maintaining a clean, orderly work area. Examples of good housekeeping practices include the following:
Preventive maintenance practices include, but are not limited to, the following:
Visual inspection practices should include the following:
Examples of spill prevention and response practices include the following:
Sediment and erosion prevention practices are methods for limiting areas at your facility that have a high potential for significant soil and sediment erosion. These practices may include covering areas that have recently been excavated.
BMPs make good business sense for small businesses whether or not you are required to obtain an NPDES permit. Do your part -- help protect human health and the environment by initiating BMPs at your business.
Traditional storm water management practices include the following:
To implement your SWPP Plan, you must
To keep your SWPP Plan up-to-date, you must
In addition to the SWPP Plan requirements, your business may be subject to additional "special" requirements. Special requirements apply to businesses that
Businesses that have an NPDES storm water permit are required to submit annually a one-page form that describes your annual facility inspection, which identifies any spills and releases that may have occurred during that year. This form can be obtained from the Illinois EPA.
For more information on NPDES permits or developing SWPP Plans, please call the Illinois EPA Division of Water Pollution Control Permit Section at (217) 782-0610 or the Office of Small Business toll-free at (888) EPA-1996.