Region 1: EPA New England

Industrial Activities Owned or Operated by a Municipality


EPA New England has determined that municipal highway vehicle maintenance facilities that are owned or operated by a municipality are not categorically subject to Phase I permitting requirements of the NPDES Storm Water Program. At this time, these facilities are not required to submit an NOI for permit coverage under the NPDES Storm Water Multi-Sector Permit for Industrial Activities (MSGP). However, EPA Region 1 is considering the possibility of designating under 122.26(a)(9)(i)(D) storm water discharges from this category of facilities as a "significant contributor" of pollutants to waters of the United States. EPA would notify affected municipalities if such a designation proceeds and of any future permitting requirements.

Please note however, if a municipal highway vehicle maintenance facility is located at a common site with another municipally-owned or -operated industrial activity that is covered by the MSGP, the storm water runoff from the vehicle maintenance activity must be addressed in the permitted facility’s Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

With the exception of power plants, airports, and uncontrolled sanitary landfills, storm water discharges associated with specific industrial activities at facilities owned or operated by municipalities with populations of less than 100,000 were temporarily exempted from the need to obtain coverage under an NPDES industrial storm water permit. Under the provisions of the NPDES Storm Water Program Phase II Final Rule, these industrial facilities now require permit coverage as of March 10, 2003. Unless excluded from the category definitions under 122.26(b)(14), operators of industrial facilities or sites with activities included in one of 11 categories must obtain coverage under an NPDES industrial storm water permit. A description of these categories is provided in EPA's document entitled Who is subject to Phase I the NPDES Storm Water Program and needs a Permit? (PDF) (1 pg, 15 K, about PDF). These permit requirements are separate, and are in addition to, the requirement for designated municipalities to obtain coverage for their storm water discharges under the General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Regulated Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) (PDF) (56 pp, 265 K, about PDF) (a.k.a. the Phase II or MS4 Permit).

Some municipalities may own or operate one or more industrial facilities that are likely to require permit coverage for their storm water discharges to Waters of the United States. Relevant sector categories and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes Exit from the NPDES Stormwater Multi-Sector Permit for Industrial Activities are provided as guidance to assist in determining permit eligibility. This information is provided as summary guidance only; municipalities should review 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(i)-(xi) Exit to determine which of their facilities may be subject to Phase I industrial permitting requirements.

  • Sand and Gravel Operations (Sector J: Mineral Mining and Dressing; SIC Code 1442)
    This sector includes mineral exploration, mine development, and active or inactive mineral mining and dressing activities. This includes washing, screening, or otherwise preparing sand and gravel for construction use. In addition to storm water discharges, dewatering discharges composed entirely of storm water or groundwater seepage are covered.
  • Landfills, Land Application Sites, and Open Dumps (Sector L: Landfills and Land Application Sites; SIC Code LF)
    This sector includes operational and closed facilities that receive or have received industrial waste, including sites subject to regulations under Subtitle D of RCRA. Discharges not authorized by the permit include leachate, gas collection condensate, drained free liquids, contaminated groundwater, laboratory wastewater, and contact washwater from washing truck and railcar exteriors and surface areas that have come in direct contact with solid waste at the facility.

    Inactive, closed, or capped landfills are no longer subject to storm water permitting requirements when EPA determines the land use has been altered such that there is no exposure of significant materials to storm water. These determinations will be made by EPA or the NPDES Permitting Authority on a case-by-case basis.
  • Recycling Facilities (Sector N: Scrap Recycling Facilities; SIC Code 5093)
    This sector applies to facilities primarily engaged in processing, reclaiming and wholesale distribution of scrap and waste materials; and reclaiming and recycling liquid wastes. The MSGP (Part 6.N.4.2 through 6.N.4.4) prescribes different requirements based on the type of recycling facility. Facility types include: 1) Scrap and Waste Recycling Facilities (Non-Source Separated, Non-Liquid Recyclable Materials), 2) Waste Recycling Facilities (Liquid Recyclable Materials), and 3) Recycling Facilities (Source Separated Materials). Although municipalities may not own or operate either of the first two facility types, many do operate the third type, or so called material recovery facilities (MRFs) that typically receive source separated paper, newspaper, glass, cardboard, plastic containers, aluminum and tin cans from non-industrial and residential sources.
  • Steam Electric Generating Facilities (Sector O: Steam Electric Generating Facilities; SIC Code SE)
    This sector applies to steam electric power generation using coal, natural gas, oil, etc. to produce a steam source. It includes dual-fuel co-generation facilities, coal handling areas, and coal pile runoff. Not authorized by the MSGP are storm water discharges from ancillary facilities that are not contiguous to the generating facility and heat capture cogeneration facilities.
  • Marinas (Sector Q: Water Transportation; SIC Code 4493)
    This sector applies to operations that rent boat slips and store boats, and generally perform a range of other services including cleaning and incidental boat repair. This sector applies only to that portion of the facility, if any, where vessel maintenance and equipment cleaning occurs. Not authorized by the permit is bilge and ballast water, sanitary wastes, pressure wash water and cooling water originating from vessels.
  • Waste Collection and Hauling (Sector P: Land Transportation and Warehousing; Subsector 3: Motor Freight Transportation and Warehousing; SIC Code 4212; MSGP, Table 1)
    This sector applies to facilities engaged solely in the collection and hauling of waste. The sector does not apply where the operation also includes disposal of the waste (e.g., landfills and incinerators). Further, this sector applies only to that portion of the facility, if any, where vehicle and equipment maintenance or equipment cleaning occurs.
  • Municipal Airports (Sector S: Air Transportation; SIC Code 4581)
    This sector includes airports, flying fields, airport terminal services, and related airport and aircraft service and maintenance activities. This sector applies only to those portions of the facility, if any, where vehicle maintenance (including vehicle rehabilitation, mechanical repairs, painting, fueling and lubrication), equipment cleaning, or deicing/anti-icing activities occur. Not authorized by the MSGP are aircraft, ground vehicle, runway and equipment washwaters; and dry weather discharges of deicing chemicals.
  • Wastewater Treatment Works (Sector T: Treatment Works; SIC Code TW)
    This sector includes facilities that treat sewage or sewage sludge with a design flow of 1.0 MGD or more, or that are required to have an approved pretreatment program under 40 CFR Part 403. Not authorized by the MSGP is sanitary and industrial wastewater, and equipment or vehicle washwater.

    EPA Region 1 has developed a "model" Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for wastewater treatment facilities that can be used as the basis for your facility’s SWPPP:

    Model SWPPP for Wastewater Treatment Facilities (MS Word) (19 pp, 270 K)

No Exposure Certification Exclusion

Municipalities have the opportunity to certify to a condition of "no exposure" if their industrial materials and operations are not exposed to storm water. As long as the condition of "no exposure" exists at a certified facility, the operator is excluded from NPDES industrial storm water permit requirements.