Clean Water Act

4 Ways to Mess Up Stormwater Sampling

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Storm Water Drain

Storm Water DrainYour facility may require stormwater sampling as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).    If so, make sure your stormwater specialist knows what not to do.

One huge problem inspectors see is that stormwater samples don’t reflect what is actually running off-site.  This could be due to poor timing or inconsistent sampling location.   Either way, you don’t want to face fines for not being in compliance.

Here are 4 ways to mess up stormwater sampling

  1. Sampling At The Wrong Time. Stormwater sampling should take place when there is a discharge during a rain storm or snowmelt.  Sampling must be taken within 30 minutes of a measurable storm event.  Remember, storm events need to be at least 72 hours apart.
  2. Wearing Latex Gloves. Nitrile gloves are always recommended.   Some latex gloves can contain zinc particles, which will contaminate the samples.
  3. Using Non-Glass Bottles to Store Samples.  Glass bottles are easier to clean and remove traces of chemicals or residue.   So skip the plastic containers and opt for glass, or even silicone.  Don’t let residue ruin your samples.
  4. Keeping the sampling location “dirty”. Inspect the sampling area on a routine basis to make sure there is no trash or debris.  Don’t risk capturing more pollutants.

Take the Guesswork Out of Stormwater Sampling. Call an SRP Environmental Consultant at (866) 222-4972 or email us below. 

Source: Environmental Compliance Alert, November 15, 2017, Vol 25 No 570

EPA Increases Violation Fines: Makes Non-Compliance Riskier

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EPA Increases Violation Fines: Makes Non-Compliance Riskier

The Environmental Protection Agency has received the ability to increase their violation fines in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

Below is a quick reference guide to the fines you could be faced with for not being in environmental compliance.

Type of Violation  Current Civil Penalty New Civil Penalty
Emergency Planning & Community Right To Know Act $25,000 per day in violation $53,907 per day in violation
Clean Air Act $25,000 per violation $44,539 per violation
Clean Water Act $25,000 per violation $44,539 per violation
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act  $25,000 per violation  $56,467 – $70,117 per violation

Air, water, and hazardous waste violations receiving maximum penalties also got an increase by 78%.

Smoke Stack Air Pollution

  • Make sure state and local emergency responders have an inventoried list of hazardous chemicals in your facility, as well as the Safety Data Sheets. (EPCRA)
  • Immediately report all accidental releases of hazardous substances to the National Response Center, as well as state and local agencies. (CERCLA, EPCRA)
  • Submit Your Toxic Release Inventory report each year by July 1. (EPCRA)
  • Make Sure You Have an Updated Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan.
  • Obtain proper air pollution permits. (Clean Air Act, NPDES)
  • Obtain wastewater discharge permits prior to releasing into navigable waterways. (Clean Water Act)
  • Monitor Emissions Limits

Read More About NextGen Compliance

In July of 2016, SRP released information regarding OSHA penalty increases due to the Inflation Adjustment Act.  Safety compliance is also something to pay attention to in your facility.

Read More About OSHA Fine Increases

If you are concerned about environmental compliance within your facility or company, contact an SRP Environmental Consultant.  SRP  provides environmental compliance audits, annual reporting services, permitting assistance and risk evaluations .   Call SRP Today at (318) 222-2364 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.   We have seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.  Located elsewhere?  Let SRP come to you.