Effective 1 January 2020, Senate Bill (SB) 205 requires that cities and counties in California must determine if an applicant for issuance or renewal of a business license has appropriate National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) coverage.
SB 205 does not change the requirements for which industrial facilities must comply with the California Industrial Stormwater General Permit (IGP) or the rules of the IGP. Rather, the goal of SB 205 is to increase the number of industrial facilities that are enrolled in the IGP program, thereby leveling the playing field for industries operating in California. The costs of complying with the IGP, including implementing best management practices (BMPs), collecting stormwater samples, and potentially installing treatment facilities and paying fines, are nontrivial for many facilities. While facilities complying with regulations pay the permit fees and compliance costs, some facilities have not yet enrolled in the program, and Regional Water Quality Control Boards have insufficient staff to identify them (for example, as stated in the Senate Floor Analysis for SB 205, there are only 5 inspectors in Los Angeles County). As a result, industrial stormwater from these “non-filers” flows freely – in violation of state and federal law, as well as at no cost to the facility. SB 205 was supported by industrial organizations such as the California Metals Coalition.
To put this in context, the State Water Resources Control Board and various Regional Water Quality Control Boards shared numbers in a panel discussion at the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) 15th Annual Conference. In October 2019, they reported there were approximately 8,700 Dischargers with active Notices of Intent (NOI) in California. This number does not include industrial facilities that have No Exposure Certification (NEC) coverage or certified notices of non-applicability (NONAs), so there are more than 8,700 industrial facilities in California enrolled in the IGP program. However, it is hard to believe that this reflects all industrial facilities in the state of California with a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code on this list. According to the Senate Floor Analysis for SB 205, the California Coastkeeper Alliance estimates as many as 6,000 non-filers in Los Angeles County alone.
SB 205 added sections 16000.3 and 16100.3 to the Business and Professions Code and section 13383.10 to the Water Code. When applying for a new business license or a renewal, a business will need to: 1) determine its SIC code; 2) determine if its SIC is regulated under the IGP; and, if it’s a regulated SIC code, 3) provide the facility’s Waste Discharge Identification (WDID) number and application number, NEC identification number, or NONA identification number, or obtain one of those types of coverages.
More information is available on the State Water Resources Control Board website: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/stormwater/sb_205_business_license_requirements.html
If you’re a non-filer—we understand. The IGP can be daunting. We can help. If this is the first you’ve heard of SB 205, we can help. Call us with any questions about SIC codes, whether you need coverage, or what IGP coverage means for your facility. Hope is not a BMP – but we can help you identify the right strategy for compliance for your facility.
If you’re a city or county that has questions about the IGP or how to determine if a facility should be covered under the IGP, we can also help you!
- Ross Dunning (RossDunning@kennedyjenks.com)
- Charlie Wyatt (CharlieWyatt@kennedyjenks.com)
- Rachel Morgan (RachelMorgan@kennedyjenks.com)
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