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9VAC25-31-120. Storm water discharges.

A. Permit requirements.

1. Prior to October 1, 1994, discharges composed entirely of storm water shall not be required to obtain a VPDES permit except:

a. A discharge with respect to which a permit has been issued prior to February 4, 1987;

b. A discharge associated with industrial activity; or

c. A discharge which either the board or the regional administrator determines to contribute to a violation of a water quality standard or is a significant contributor of pollutants to surface waters. This designation may include a discharge from any conveyance or system of conveyances used for collecting and conveying storm water run-off, except for those discharges from conveyances which do not require a permit under subdivision 2 of this subsection or agricultural storm water run-off which is exempted from the definition of point source.

2. The board may not require a permit for discharges of storm water run-off from mining operations or oil and gas exploration, production, processing or treatment operations, or transmission facilities, composed entirely of flows which are from conveyances or systems of conveyances (including but not limited to pipes, conduits, ditches, and channels) used for collecting and conveying precipitation run-off and which are not contaminated by contact with or that has not come into contact with, any overburden, raw material, intermediate products, finished product, by-product or waste products located on the site of such operations.

3. In addition to meeting the requirements of subsection B of this section, an operator of a storm water discharge associated with industrial activity which discharges through a large or medium municipal separate storm sewer system shall submit, to the operator of the municipal separate storm sewer system receiving the discharge no later than May 15, 1991, or 180 days prior to commencing such discharge: the name of the facility; a contact person and phone number; the location of the discharge; a description, including Standard Industrial Classification, which best reflects the principal products or services provided by each facility; and any existing VPDES permit number.

4. For storm water discharges associated with industrial activity from point sources which discharge through a nonmunicipal or nonpublicly owned separate storm sewer system, the board, in its discretion, may issue: a single VPDES permit, with each discharger a co-permittee to a permit issued to the operator of the portion of the system that discharges into surface waters; or, individual permits to each discharger of storm water associated with industrial activity through the nonmunicipal conveyance system.

a. All storm water discharges associated with industrial activity that discharge through a storm water discharge system that is not a municipal separate storm sewer must be covered by an individual permit, or a permit issued to the operator of the portion of the system that discharges to surface waters, with each discharger to the nonmunicipal conveyance a co-permittee to that permit.

b. Where there is more than one operator of a single system of such conveyances, all operators of storm water discharges associated with industrial activity must submit applications.

c. Any permit covering more than one operator shall identify the effluent limitations, or other permit conditions, if any, that apply to each operator.

5. Conveyances that discharge storm water run-off combined with municipal sewage are point sources that must obtain VPDES permits in accordance with the procedures of 9VAC25-31-100 and are not subject to the provisions of this section.

6. Whether a discharge from a municipal separate storm sewer is or is not subject to VPDES regulation shall have no bearing on whether the owner or operator of the discharge is eligible for funding under Title II, Title III or Title VI of the CWA.

7. a. On and after October 1, 1994, for discharges composed entirely of storm water, that are not required by subdivision 1 of this subsection to obtain a permit, operators shall be required to obtain a VPDES permit only if:

(1) The board or the EPA regional administrator determines that storm water controls are needed for the discharge based on wasteload allocations that are part of "total maximum daily loads" (TMDLs) that address the pollutant(s) of concern; or

(2) The board or the EPA regional administrator determines that the discharge, or category of discharges within a geographic area, contributes to a violation of a water quality standard or is a significant contributor of pollutants to surface waters.

b. Operators of nonmunicipal sources designated pursuant to subdivisions 7 a (1) and (2) of this subsection shall seek coverage under a VPDES permit in accordance with subdivision B 1 of this section.

c. Operators of storm water discharges designated pursuant to subdivisions 7 a (1) and (2) of this subsection shall apply to the board for a permit within 180 days of receipt of notice, unless permission for a later date is granted by the board.

B. Application requirements for storm water discharges associated with industrial activity.

1. Dischargers of storm water associated with industrial activity are required to apply for an individual permit or seek coverage under a promulgated storm water general permit. Facilities that are required to obtain an individual permit, or any discharge of storm water which the board is evaluating for designation under subdivision A 1 c of this section, shall submit a VPDES application in accordance with the requirements of 9VAC25-31-100 as modified and supplemented by the provisions of this subsection.

a. Except as provided in subdivisions 1 b and c of this subsection, the operator of a storm water discharge associated with industrial activity subject to this section shall provide:

(1) A site map showing topography (or indicating the outline of drainage areas served by the outfall or outfalls covered in the application if a topographic map is unavailable) of the facility including: each of its drainage and discharge structures; the drainage area of each storm water outfall; paved areas and buildings within the drainage area of each storm water outfall, each past or present area used for outdoor storage or disposal of significant materials, each existing structural control measure to reduce pollutants in storm water run-off, materials loading and access areas, areas where pesticides, herbicides, soil conditioners and fertilizers are applied, each of its hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities (including each area not required to have a RCRA permit which is used for accumulating hazardous waste under 40 CFR 262.34); each well where fluids from the facility are injected underground; springs, and other surface water bodies which receive storm water discharges from the facility;

(2) An estimate of the area of impervious surfaces (including paved areas and building roofs) and the total area drained by each outfall (within a mile radius of the facility) and a narrative description of the following: Significant materials that in the three years prior to the submittal of this application have been treated, stored or disposed in a manner to allow exposure to storm water; method of treatment, storage or disposal of such materials; materials management practices employed, in the three years prior to the submittal of this application, to minimize contact by these materials with storm water runoff; materials loading and access areas; the location, manner and frequency in which pesticides, herbicides, soil conditioners and fertilizers are applied; the location and a description of existing structural and nonstructural control measures to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff; and a description of the treatment the storm water receives, including the ultimate disposal of any solid or fluid wastes other than by discharge;

(3) A certification that all outfalls that should contain storm water discharges associated with industrial activity have been tested or evaluated for the presence of nonstorm water discharges which are not covered by a VPDES permit; tests for such nonstorm water discharges may include smoke tests, fluorometric dye tests, analysis of accurate schematics, as well as other appropriate tests. The certification shall include a description of the method used, the date of any testing, and the onsite drainage points that were directly observed during a test;

(4) Existing information regarding significant leaks or spills of toxic or hazardous pollutants at the facility that have taken place within the three years prior to the submittal of this application;

(5) Quantitative data based on samples collected during storm events and collected in accordance with 9VAC25-31-100 of this part from all outfalls containing a storm water discharge associated with industrial activity for the following parameters:

(a) Any pollutant limited in an effluent guideline to which the facility is subject;

(b) Any pollutant listed in the facility's VPDES permit for its process wastewater (if the facility is operating under an existing VPDES permit);

(c) Oil and grease, pH, BOD5, COD, TSS, total phosphorus, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and nitrate plus nitrite nitrogen;

(d) Any information on the discharge required under 9VAC25-31-100 G 7 f and g;

(e) Flow measurements or estimates of the flow rate, and the total amount of discharge for the storm event or events sampled, and the method of flow measurement or estimation; and

(f) The date and duration (in hours) of the storm event or events sampled, rainfall measurements or estimates of the storm event (in inches) which generated the sampled run-off and the duration between the storm event sampled and the end of the previous measurable (greater than 0.1 inch rainfall) storm event (in hours);

(6) Operators of a discharge which is composed entirely of storm water are exempt from the requirements of 9VAC25-31-100 G 2, G 3, G 4, G 5, G 7 c, G 7 d, G 7 e, and G 7 h; and

(7) Operators of new sources or new discharges which are composed in part or entirely of storm water must include estimates for the pollutants or parameters listed in subdivision 1 a (5) of this subsection instead of actual sampling data, along with the source of each estimate. Operators of new sources or new discharges composed in part or entirely of storm water must provide quantitative data for the parameters listed in subdivision 1 a (5) of this subsection within two years after commencement of discharge, unless such data has already been reported under the monitoring requirements of the VPDES permit for the discharge. Operators of a new source or new discharge which is composed entirely of storm water are exempt from the requirements of 9VAC25-31-100 K 3 b, K 3 c, and K 5.

b. The operator of an existing or new discharge composed entirely of storm water from an oil or gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operation, or transmission facility is not required to submit a permit application in accordance with subdivision 1 a of this subsection, unless the facility:

(1) Has had a discharge of storm water resulting in the discharge of a reportable quantity for which notification is or was required pursuant to 40 CFR 117.21 or 40 CFR 302.6 at any time since November 16, 1987;

(2) Has had a discharge of storm water resulting in the discharge of a reportable quantity for which notification is or was required pursuant to 40 CFR 110.6 at any time since November 16, 1987; or

(3) Contributes to a violation of a water quality standard.

c. The operator of an existing or new discharge composed entirely of storm water from a mining operation is not required to submit a permit application unless the discharge has come into contact with any overburden, raw material, intermediate products, finished product, byproduct or waste products located on the site of such operations.

d. Applicants shall provide such other information the board may reasonably require to determine whether to issue a permit.

2. No application for a VPDES permit authorizing direct or indirect discharge of stormwater runoff from a new municipal solid waste landfill into a local watershed protection district established and designated as such by city ordinance prior to January 1, 2006, shall be considered complete unless it contains certification from the local governing body of the city in which the discharge is to take place, that the discharge is consistent with the city's ordinance establishing and designating the local watershed protection district. This requirement shall apply to applications for new or modified individual VPDES permits and for new or modified coverage under general VPDES permits. This requirement does not apply to any municipal solid waste landfill in operation on or before January 1, 2006.

C. Application deadlines. Any operator of a point source required to obtain a permit under this section that does not have an effective VPDES permit authorizing discharges from its storm water outfalls shall submit an application in accordance with the following deadlines:

1. Individual applications.

a. Except as provided in subdivision 1 b of this subsection, for any storm water discharge associated with industrial activity as defined in this chapter which is not authorized by a storm water general permit, a permit application made pursuant to subsection B of this section shall be submitted to the department by October 1, 1992;

b. For any storm water discharge associated with industrial activity from a facility that is owned or operated by a municipality with a population of less than 100,000 that is not authorized by a general or individual permit, other than an airport, powerplant, or uncontrolled sanitary landfill, permit applications must be submitted to the department by March 10, 2003;

2. A permit application shall be submitted to the department within 180 days of notice, unless permission for a later date is granted by the board, for:

a. A storm water discharge which either the board or the regional administrator, determines that the discharge contributes to a violation of a water quality standard or is a significant contributor of pollutants to surface waters; or

b. A storm water discharge subject to subdivision B 1 d of this section;

3. Facilities with existing VPDES permits for storm water discharges associated with industrial activity shall maintain existing permits. Facilities with permits for storm water discharges associated with industrial activity which expire on or after May 18, 1992, shall submit a new application in accordance with the requirements of 9VAC25-31-100 and 9VAC25-31-120 B (Form 1, Form 2F, and other applicable forms) 180 days before the expiration of such permits.

D. Petitions.

1. Any person may petition the board to require a VPDES permit for a discharge which is composed entirely of storm water which contributes to a violation of a water quality standard or is a significant contributor of pollutants to surface waters.

2. The board shall make a final determination on any petition received under this section within 90 days after receiving the petition.

E. Conditional exclusion for no exposure of industrial activities and materials to storm water. Discharges composed entirely of storm water are not storm water discharges associated with industrial activity if there is no exposure of industrial materials and activities to rain, snow, snowmelt or run-off and the discharger satisfies the conditions in subdivisions 1 through 4 of this subsection. No exposure means that all industrial materials and activities are protected by a storm resistant shelter to prevent exposure to rain, snow, snowmelt, and run-off. 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. Material handling activities include the storage, loading and unloading, transportation, or conveyance of any raw material, intermediate product, final product or waste product.

1. To qualify for this exclusion, the operator of the discharge must:

a. Provide a storm resistant shelter to protect industrial materials and activities from exposure to rain, snow, snow melt, and run-off;

b. Complete and sign (according to 9VAC25-31-110) a certification that there are no discharges of storm water contaminated by exposure to industrial materials and activities from the entire facility, except as provided in subdivision 2 of this subsection;

c. Submit the signed certification to the department once every five years. As of the start date in Table 1 of 9VAC25-31-1020, all certifications submitted in compliance with this section shall be submitted electronically by the owner or operator to the department in compliance with this section and 40 CFR Part 3 (including, in all cases, 40 CFR Part 3 Subpart D), 9VAC25-31-110, and Part XI (9VAC25-31-950 et seq.) of this chapter. Part XI of this chapter is not intended to undo existing requirements for electronic reporting. Prior to this date, and independent of Part XI of this chapter, owners or operators may be required to report electronically if specified by a particular permit;

d. Allow the department to inspect the facility to determine compliance with the no exposure conditions;

e. Allow the department to make any no exposure inspection reports available to the public upon request; and

f. For facilities that discharge through an MS4, upon request, submit a copy of the certification of no exposure to the MS4 operator, as well as allow inspection and public reporting by the MS4 operator.

2. Storm resistant shelter is not required for:

a. Drums, barrels, tanks, and similar containers that are tightly sealed, provided those containers are not deteriorated and do not leak ("sealed" means banded or otherwise secured and without operational taps or valves);

b. Adequately maintained vehicles used in material handling; and

c. Final products, other than products that would be mobilized in storm water discharge (e.g., rock salt).

3. a. This conditional exclusion from the requirement for a VPDES permit is available on a facility-wide basis only, not for individual outfalls. If a facility has some discharges of storm water that would otherwise be no exposure discharges, individual permit requirements should be adjusted accordingly.

b. If circumstances change and industrial materials or activities become exposed to rain, snow, snow melt, or run-off, the conditions for this exclusion no longer apply. In such cases, the discharge becomes subject to enforcement for unpermitted discharge. Any conditionally exempt discharger who anticipates changes in circumstances should apply for and obtain permit authorization prior to the change of circumstances.

c. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the board retains the authority to require permit authorization (and deny this exclusion) upon making a determination that the discharge causes, has a reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an instream excursion above an applicable water quality standard, including designated uses.

4. The no exposure certification requires the submission of the following information, at a minimum, to aid the board in determining if the facility qualifies for the no exposure exclusion:

a. The legal name, address and phone number of the discharger.

b. The facility name and address, the county name and the latitude and longitude where the facility is located.

c. Certification that indicates that none of the following materials or activities are, or will be in the foreseeable future, exposed to precipitation:

(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, nonleaking containers, e.g., dumpsters);

(10) Application or disposal of process wastewater (unless otherwise permitted); and

(11) Particulate matter or visible deposits of residuals from roof stacks/vents not otherwise regulated, i.e., under an air quality control permit, and evident in the storm water outflow.

d. All no exposure certifications must include the following certification statement and be signed in accordance with the signatory requirements of 9VAC25-31-110: "I certify under penalty of law that I have read and understand the eligibility requirements for claiming a condition of no exposure and obtaining an exclusion from VPDES storm water permitting; and that there are no discharges of storm water contaminated by exposure to industrial activities or materials from the industrial facility identified in this document (except as allowed under 9VAC25-31-120 E 2). I understand that I am obligated to submit a no exposure certification form once every five years to the Department of Environmental Quality and, if requested, to the operator of the local MS4 into which this facility discharges (where applicable). I understand that I must allow the department, or MS4 operator where the discharge is into the local MS4, to perform inspections to confirm the condition of no exposure and to make such inspection reports publicly available upon request. I understand that I must obtain coverage under a VPDES permit prior to any point source discharge of storm water associated with industrial activity from the facility. I certify under penalty of law that this document and all attachments were prepared under my direction or supervision in accordance with a system designed to assure that qualified personnel properly gathered and evaluated the information submitted. Based upon my inquiry of the person or persons who manage the system, or those persons directly involved in gathering the information, the information submitted is to the best of my knowledge and belief true, accurate and complete. I am aware there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations."

Statutory Authority

62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; 402 of the Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 13, eff. April 11, 2001; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. February 15, 2002; Volume 21, Issue 9, eff. February 9, 2005; Errata 21:13 VA.R. 1941 March 7, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 3, eff. November 14, 2007; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 33, Issue 22, eff. July 26, 2017.


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