Industrial Permits


General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities

The State adopted the latest version of the General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities (IGP) on April 1, 2014. The 2014 IGP regulates industrial facility operators that discharge stormwater. The IGP became effective on July 1, 2015. This fact sheet summarizes the main compliance requirements in the 2014 IGP. For all of the requirements, visit the California Industrial Program.

Industrial facilities covered by this permit

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes or narrative descriptions are used to identify regulated facilities. SIC codes describe the primary nature of the business in which a facility is engaged. Please visit the California Industrial Program link above for full descriptions of all coverage categories. Below is a generalized list of coverage categories:

  • Manufacturing 
  • Refining
  • Processing
  • Mining
  • Hazardous Waste Storage and Treatment 
  • Landfills 
  • Recycling Facilities 
  • Steam Electric Power Plants 
  • Transportation facilities 
  • Wastewater Treatment

If coverage is required, the facility operator and its duly authorized representative will need to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) and register with the State Water Board through a website called SMARTS at California Storm Water Multiple Applications and Report Tracking System.

Industrial facilities covered by this Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs)

Industrial facility operators are required to develop and implement a site-specific SWPPP that contain the following information:

  • Facility Name and Contact Information 
  • Site Map
  • List of Industrial Materials 
  • Description of Potential Pollution Sources
  • Assessment of Potential Pollutant Sources
  • Minimum Best Management Practices (BMPs) which includes a designated Pollution Prevention Team 
  • Advanced BMPs if applicable 
  • Visual monitoring, and stormwater sampling and analysis
  • Annual Evaluation, pertinent dates, and amendments

Minimum Best Management Practices (BMPs)

This IGP requires the industrial facility operator to implement a set of BMPs. BMPs are necessary to serve as the basis to protect water quality and compliance with the permit’s technology-based standards. BMPs are specific to the facility type, however, minimum BMPs are:

  • Good Housekeeping
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Spill and Leak Prevention Response
  • Material Handling and Waste Management
  • Erosion and Sediment Controls
  • Employee Training Programs
  • Quality Assurance and Record Keeping

Stormwater Sampling and Analysis

Stormwater samples are to be collected at all locations that discharge stormwater during qualifying storm events within the first half of each reporting year (July 1 to December 31) and two events within the second half of each reporting year (January 1 to June 30). 

Stormwater samples need to be collected from each drainage location soon after it begins to rain. All samples typically need to be sent to a laboratory and analyzed for suspended solids, pH, and oil & grease. Additional parameters may be required for analysis based on the SIC code of the facility. 

The industrial facility operator must submit all sampling and analysis results to the State Water Board through the SMARTS website within 30 days of obtaining all results for each sampling event.  

If the water quality samples collected onsite do not meet the IGP standards, a Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioner (QISP) may have to assist with assessments, and establishing and reporting Advanced BMPs.

Water Treatment Plant

Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioner (QISP)

The IGP requires industrial facilities to be rated according to their compliance status level. If a facility has reached Level 1 compliance status according to their water quality samples, the industrial facility is required to designate a QISP who must complete a state-sponsored training course, register online, and obtain an identification number. 

Professionals certified with the California Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors can participate in a self-guided registration and online training program. A QISP can represent either one facility or multiple facilities but must be able to perform the functions required by the permit at all times. Specific tasks that require a QISP include: Level 1 and 2 reporting and action plans.

Advanced Best Management Practices

If the water quality samples collected onsite do not meet the IGP standards, Advanced BMPs may be required. Advanced BMPs include:

  • Shelters which prevent materials to be in contact with stormwater;
  • Stormwater containment and discharge reduction; and
  • Treatment Controls which consist of mechanical, chemical, or biologic technology.

Special Requirements for Plastic Materials

Please note that facilities handling plastic materials are required to implement additional BMPs to eliminate plastic in stormwater. Plastic materials may be recycled plastic resin pellets, powders, flakes, powdered additives, regrind, dust, and other similar types of preproduction plastics. The requirements include, but are not limited to special containment systems, sealed containers, vacuum systems, and additional training.

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