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Avoiding Non-Compliance: A Guide to Achieving Stormwater Compliance and Protecting the Environment

Updated: Feb 2


Stormwater compliance is essential for protecting the quality and quantity of water in stormwater runoff and preventing water pollution. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets guidelines for managing stormwater runoff, and it is important for businesses to follow these guidelines to protect the environment and avoid potential fines and legal action. So, how can your company achieve stormwater compliance and do its part to protect the environment? Here are five steps to get you started:

  • Understand the regulations: Familiarize yourself with the EPA's stormwater management regulations and any state or local guidelines that may apply to your business.

  • Identify potential sources of pollution: Look for potential sources of pollution on your property, such as hazardous materials storage areas, outdoor industrial activities, or areas prone to erosion.

  • Implement best management practices (BMPs): BMPs are activities or measures that are taken to prevent or reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the environment. Some examples of BMPs include implementing erosion and sediment controls, using permeable pavement, and developing and implementing a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP).

  • Monitor and test stormwater runoff: Regularly monitor and test stormwater runoff to ensure that it is in compliance with EPA guidelines. This may include conducting visual inspections, collecting and analyzing samples, and recording and reporting findings.

  • Seek assistance as needed: If you are having trouble achieving compliance or maintaining it, consider seeking assistance from a professional environmental health and safety (EHS) firm like EHSPro Solutions. Our team of experts can help you develop and implement a SWPPP, identify potential sources of pollution, provide training on stormwater management and compliance, and offer a range of services to help you maintain compliance.

There are several ways a company can be in non-compliance with stormwater management regulations. Some common causes of non-compliance include:

  • Failing to obtain necessary permits: In order to discharge stormwater runoff, a company may need to obtain a permit from the EPA or a state or local regulatory agency. If a company discharges stormwater without the proper permit, it can be in violation of regulations.

  • Failing to implement best management practices (BMPs): BMPs are activities or measures that are taken to prevent or reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the environment. If a company fails to implement BMPs, it can be in non-compliance with stormwater regulations.

  • Discharging pollutants: It is illegal to discharge pollutants into stormwater runoff. If a company releases pollutants such as oil, grease, chemicals, or untreated waste into stormwater, it can be in violation of regulations.

  • Failing to properly store or dispose of hazardous materials: Improper storage or disposal of hazardous materials can lead to contamination of stormwater runoff. If a company fails to store or dispose of hazardous materials properly, it can be in non-compliance with regulations.

  • Failing to properly maintain control measures: If a company has implemented control measures to prevent stormwater pollution, it is important to regularly maintain and repair these measures to ensure they are functioning properly. If a company fails to maintain control measures, it can be in non-compliance with regulations.

Non-compliance with stormwater management regulations can lead to fines, legal action, and damage to a company's reputation. By understanding and following stormwater regulations, a company can avoid non-compliance and protect the environment. When a company is found to be in non-compliance with stormwater management regulations, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may assign the company to a Tier group based on the severity of the non-compliance and the potential for environmental harm. There are three Tier groups: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Tier I companies are those that have a history of significant non-compliance and/or a high potential for environmental harm. These companies may be required to implement additional controls and monitoring measures and may face stricter enforcement actions if they do not come into compliance. Tier II companies are those that have a history of minor non-compliance or a moderate potential for environmental harm. These companies may be required to implement additional controls and monitoring measures and may face enforcement actions if they do not come into compliance. Tier III companies are those that have a history of minor non-compliance and a low potential for environmental harm. These companies may be required to implement additional controls and monitoring measures and may face enforcement actions if they do not come into compliance. It is important for companies to understand their Tier group and take steps to come into compliance in order to avoid potential fines and legal action. Partnering with a professional environmental health and safety (EHS) firm can help a company achieve and maintain compliance with stormwater management regulations.




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