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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
PUBLIC GOVERNMENT BUSINESS A to Z LIST

Questions/Answers
 
  • Who is covered?
    A. Industrial facilities (including municipally-owned facilities) that fall into one or more of the 11 categories of "storm water discharges associated with industrial activity" may need to apply for the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) if the facility discharges storm water directly to waters of the US or into a municipal storm drainage system. The facility operator must determine if the facility meets the eligibility requirements of the MSGP. However, a facility may be excluded from the permit process if the operator can certify that their industrial materials and operations are not exposed to storm water. This is called the "conditional no exposure exclusion".

    Regulated industrial operators (including municipal operators) need to either apply for the MSGP by filing the Notice of Intent (NOI) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbolapplication form or submit a "No Exposure" certification form.

    Some of the 11 categories are defined by the facility's Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code or by a description of the facility's industrial activities. Eleven regulated categories of industrial activities:

    • Category One (i): Facilities with effluent limitations
    • Category Two (ii): Manufacturing
    • Category Three (iii): Mineral, Metal, Oil and Gas
    • Category Four (iv): Hazardous Waste, Treatment, or Disposal Facilities
    • Category Five (v): Landfills
    • Category Six (vi): Recycling Facilities
    • Category Seven (vii): Steam Electric Plants
    • Category Eight (viii): Transportation Facilities
    • Category Nine (ix): Treatment Works
    • Category Ten (x): Construction Activity*
    • Category Eleven (xi): Light Industrial Activity

    One-page description of all 11 categories of "storm water discharges associated with industrial activity" Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol

    *Although Category Ten (x), Construction Activity, is included in the definition of "storm water discharges associated with industrial activity," construction activities require construction storm water permits, not industrial storm water permits, under the NPDES Storm Water Program.

    For more information about what activities are covered in each category, please go to the EPA Web site.

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  • Do I need a storm water permit if I don't have storm sewer pipes?
    A. You need a stormwater permit if storm water runs off your property (from a ditch, swale, catch basin, etc.) to a wetland, brook, stream, river, other waterway or municipal drainage system.

    If your industrial materials and activities do not come into contact with storm water runoff at your facility, you can apply for the No Exposure Exclusion (see below).

    My facility is small. Does this still apply?
    Yes. The industrial stormwater program is governed by the industrial activity, not the size of the facility.

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  • What does the Multi-Sector General Permit require?
    A. By March 10, 2003, you must
    • Apply for a permit or file a no exposure certification form every 5 years (see below).
    • Have developed and implemented a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). This includes a map showing a facility's drainage system, location of material and waste storage areas, and receiving waters or sewers. The plan must also describe methods used to minimize exposing materials to storm water. A model SWPPP has been developed for highway garages and wastewater treatment facilities. Feel free to use these models as the basis for your plan.

      Model SWPPP for Highway GaragesMicrosoft Word Symbol
      Model SWPPP for Wastewater Treatment FacilitiesMicrosoft Word Symbol

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  • How Do I Apply for the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) with the Notice of Intent (NOI)?
    A.The NOI requests a variety of information, including latitude/longitude of the facility and information related to the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Permit applicants must be sure to address:
    1. No impact to endangered species: This means federally listed species only. These species include the Dwarf Wedge Mussel in the Ashuelot River and the Connecticut River and the Short Nosed Sturgeon in the Merrimack River. If the species are being impacted by MS4 discharges, then implementation measures must be in place to protect the species. The NH Natural Heritage can check their database to see if you have any rare plant, rare animal, or exemplary natural community records on your property.
    2. No impact to essential fish habitat: Essential Fish Habitat is defined by the National Marine Fisheries Council in Fisheries Management Plans and only includes marine species. Communities must contact the National Marine Fisheries council if a pipe(s) discharges into Essential Fish Habitat and NMFC will let the community know if the pipe is impacting the fish habitat.
    3. No impact to historic places: This includes historic places or those eligible for listing with the National Registry of Historic Places.
    4. To discontinue permit coverage, a facility operator must complete and submit a Notice of Termination (NOT) form. Permit coverage may be discontinued when the facility no longer has any storm water discharges associated with industrial activity or when another operator has assumed control of the site.
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  • What does the "No Exposure" Certification require?
    A. "No Exposure" defined:
    "No Exposure" means that all industrial materials and activities are protected by a storm resistant shelter to prevent exposure to rain, snow, snowmelt, and/or runoff. Industrial materials or activities include, but are not limited to, material handling equipment or activities, industrial machinery, raw materials, intermediate products, by products, final products, or waste products.

    Requirements
    If a facility operator can fulfill the conditions of "No Exposure" certification the facility is not required to obtain the MSGP.

    In order to qualify for the conditional no exposure certification, an operator must:

    1. Submit a written certification that the facility meets the definition of "No Exposure" to the NPDES permitting authority (this is EPA in NH) every 5 years.

      The No Exposure Certification Form Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbolis a four-page document with a series of yes/no questions to aid facility operators in determining whether they have a condition of no exposure. Listed below are the questions asked on the form. If any of the answers to the questions (1-11) are yes than the facility is not eligible for the no exposure certification. Guidance on completing the No Exposure Certification Form Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol is available.

      Are any of the following materials or activities exposed to precipitation, now or in the foreseeable future?

      1. Using, storing or cleaning industrial machinery or equipment, and areas where residuals from using, storing or cleaning industrial machinery or equipment remain and are exposed to storm water.
      2. Materials or residuals on the ground or in storm water inlets from spills/leaks.
      3. Materials or products from past industrial activity.
      4. Material handling equipment (except adequately maintained vehicles)
      5. Materials or products during loading/unloading or transporting activities
      6. Materials or products stored outdoors (except final products intended for outside use [e.g., new cars] where exposure to storm water does not result in the discharge of pollutants)
      7. Materials contained in open, deteriorated or leaking storage drums, barrels, tanks, and similar containers
      8. Materials or products handled/stored on roads or railways owned or maintained by the discharger
      9. Waste material (except waste in covered, non-leaking containers [e.g., dumpsters])
      10. Application or disposal of process wastewater (unless otherwise permitted)
      11. Particulate matter or visible deposits of residuals from roof stacks and/or vents not otherwise regulated (i.e., under an air quality control permit) and evident in the storm water outflow
    2. Submit a copy, upon request, of the Certification to the municipality in which the facility is located.
    3. Allow the NPDES permitting authority or, if discharging into a municipal separate storm sewer system, the operator of the system to:
      1. Inspect the facility
      2. Make the inspection reports publicly available upon request
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  • What happens if the condition of No Exposure is not maintained?
    A.Under the Phase II Final Rule, the no exposure exclusion Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbolis conditional and not an outright exemption. Therefore, if there is a change in circumstances that causes exposure of industrial activities or materials to storm water, the operator is required to comply immediately with all the requirements of the NPDES storm water program, including applying for and obtaining the MSGP.

    Any permit held becomes null and void once a certification form is submitted. Even when an industrial operator certifies to no exposure, the NPDES permitting authority still retain the authority to require the operator to apply for an individual or general permit if the NPDES permitting authority has determined that the discharge is contributing to the violation of, or interfering with the attainment or maintenance of, water quality standards.

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