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ISGP: Other Considerations

Looking to achieve compliance with the Washington State Industrial Stormwater Permit can be a complex and challenging process. While there are basic requirements that must be met, there are additional factors that can impact compliance.

These factors can include site-specific issues, the use of best management practices, and the involvement of stakeholders. Understanding and addressing these additional considerations can help ensure successful compliance with the permit and protect Washington's water resources.

Response to Lawsuit

Because every citizen of the U.S. has the right to “fishable” and “swimmable” water in perpetuity under the Clean Water Act (CWA), there are some organized groups that use the legal system to motivate change. Lawsuit costs can be very costly in terms of money and emotional expenditure.

 If you were to ever receive a Notice of Intent to sue, it is important to act immediately. Two things to consider are engaging an attorney who is familiar with NPDES permitting and hiring a consultant, if not already on your team. You will be asked to get all your SWPPP paperwork together and it is important that your recordkeeping is orderly and easily accessible to help the attorney defend your position.

Business Growth and Expansion

As a business grows and expands, stormwater permit requirements may change to reflect increased potential impacts on the environment. This could include modifications to the site’s sampling requirements, the need for additional Best Management Practices (BMPs), or increased monitoring and reporting obligations. Failing to account for these changes could result in a compliance violation and potential legal or financial consequences.

Considerations as Your Business Grows

1. If you are building new buildings or expanding the footprint of your operation and that causes over an acre of land disturbance, you will need to get all the local permitting, but will also need to apply for a Construction Stormwater General Permit. More details are on the CSGP page. You will also likely need to complete a Modification of Coverage form, especially if adding more impervious surfaces.

2. If the growth triggers you to do additional services or support to your original operation (ex. purchasing fleet trucks and having a maintenance shop to deliver your goods rather than contracting a third-party delivery service), it may trigger a secondary NAICS classification for your business. This would trigger a modification of the permit and likely new permit benchmarks to be sampled.

3. If buying a new piece of property, it is always prudent to see how much paperwork exists related to the stormwater system and what challenges the site has had in managing stormwater. By purchasing the property you will inherit those risks.

Moving Operations

In several cases, your business may expand into another State or you may move your operation to another location within Washington. If moving out of State, it is important to note that each State has different triggers, monitoring requirements, and corrective action responses. The operation that triggered a permit in Washington will likely, but not always, trigger the need for an industrial (sometimes referred to as a Multi-Sector General Permit) stormwater permit in the destination location. There are things in your SWPPP that will be relevant, but the vast majority of the SWPPP will need to change and be site specific to the new operation. That is the same if your operations are moving into Washington. Taking the SWPPP from another state and applying it to a Washington facility is highly likely to be missing the necessary elements of an ISGP.

If moving operations within Washington, the existing operation will need to file for a NOT (Notice of Termination) and the new operation will need to file for an NOI 60 days prior to starting the operation.

*Facilities that are shutting down operations or going out of business will also need to file a NOT.