Could your stormwater discharges be certified as “no exposure”?

Date Posted: 03/21/2022
no exposure stormwater discharge

Facilities that fall into one or more of 11 categories of “storm water discharges associated with industrial activity” are required to obtain stormwater permit coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). However, under the conditional no exposure exclusion, operators of these facilities have the opportunity to certify to a condition of “no exposure” if their industrial materials and operations are not exposed to stormwater.

What are steps that can help achieve “no exposure”?

Many efforts to achieve no exposure can employ simple good housekeeping and contaminant cleanup activities, such as moving materials and activities indoors into existing buildings or structures.

In limited cases, industrial operators may make major changes at a site to achieve no exposure. These efforts may include:

  • constructing a new building or cover to eliminate exposure, or
  • creating structures to prevent run-on and storm water contact with industrial materials and activities.


How does one achieve this no exposure situation?

As long as the condition of “no exposure” exists at a certified facility, the operator is excluded from NPDES industrial storm water permit requirements. An operator seeking to qualify for the conditional no exposure exclusion must:

  • Submit written certification that the facility meets the definition of “no exposure” to the NPDES permitting authority once every 5 years.
  • Submit a copy, upon request, of the Certification to the municipality in which the facility is located.
  • Allow the NPDES permitting authority or, if discharging into a municipal separate storm sewer system, the operator of the system, to inspect the facility and make such inspection reports publicly available upon request.

How Safety Management Suite Can Help

Safety Topic Webcasts

If you do have potential stormwater discharges, developing and maintaining a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is a key element in your compliance program. Watch our archived webcast “3 Steps to a Compliant Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan” from March 31, 2022, where we will walked through the required elements of a SWPPP and how to ensure you get them covered. Developing a new SWPPP and keeping an existing plan up to date can be an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. Login or sign up of a free trial to view the archived webcast and gain a clearer path to minimize stormwater-related pollution at your facility or construction site.

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