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Industrial General Permitting

Most new construction, development and upgrade projects require some sort of industrial general permitting assessment.  Sometimes abbreviated as IGP, this permit puts regulations in place for how stormwater is discharged from industrial sites.

Facilities Subject to Regulations

Not all facilities are subject to regulations regarding stormwater discharge, or need an industrial general permit. However, some of the types of facilities that are usually subject to these regulations include:

  • Hazardous waste management
  • Landfills
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Recycling
  • Sewage or wastewater treatment
  • Transportation

This is by no means an exhaustive list. The IGP may differ as you move across state lines as some states prioritize natural resource management more than others. The facility’s Standard Industrial Code (SIC) determines if coverage is required.  If your facility has no outside exposure of the potential pollutants, then your facility can obtain non-exposure certification (NEC).

What Happens if Your Business or Project is Out of Compliance?

It is the responsibility of local government agencies to identify and report any facilities that are out of compliance. However, older establishments are more likely to be out of compliance than new organizations.  This is because many government agencies now check business license applications to see if you will need an industrial general permit, and will usually inform you at that time. If you are found out of compliance, you may be significantly fined or have the project put on “hold”.

How to Verify if Your Facility is in Compliance

The process of verifying your organization’s compliance status varies from state to state, or even across city and county lines. As a result, it is important to have professional consultants on your team, like the environment compliance experts at EEC Environmental.  We are experienced in all environmental compliance and permitting applications, and assist our clients in navigating complex industrial permitting laws.

Should we find that you are out of compliance, we will also assist you with getting your permit in place, whether it requires a new application or a renewal.  For more information on how we can assist you, contact our corporate office at (714) 667-2300 or send us a detailed message via the contact form on our website.  Industrial general permits can be daunting, let EEC Environmental help you navigate.

TSCA and the Pollution Prevention Act Compliance

Understanding an Environmental Site Assessment

ESA and the Pollution Prevention Act ComplianceAn ESA, short for Environmental Site Assessment, is an evaluation of a property for the purposes of identifying any existing or potential environmental issues. ESAs are ordered during the due diligence period of the sale of a property by lenders and purchasers to avoid contamination liabilities. ESAs are completed for commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential properties as well as undeveloped land. The Phase I ESA is also completed to support the “innocent landowner defense” pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The evaluation begins with a Phase I ESA and is followed by a Phase II ESA if necessary.

What Is a Phase I ESA?

The objective of the Phase I ESA is to assess the environmental condition of the property and identify recognized environmental conditions (RECs), as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), in connection with the property.  The Phase I ESA comprises the following steps:

  • Site inspection for petroleum products, hazardous chemical storage areas, chemical spills, underground storage tanks, clarifiers, sumps, and pits, among other things
  • Review of federal, state and local governmental files
  • Review of historical sources including aerial photographs, topographic maps, city directories, fire insurance maps, recorded land title records, building department records, and environmental reports
  • Interviews with tenants, current and past owners, key site managers, neighbors and government officials
  • Review of public records of neighboring properties that are hazardous or contaminated as per federal and state regulations to evaluate contamination risk
  • Review of the physical setting of the property, including general geology, topography, and hydrogeology
  • A review of recorded land title records, regulatory agency records, and State Institutional Controls/Engineering Controls databases for environmental liens or activity and use limitations (AULs)
  • Review potential vapor encroachment conditions (VECs) at the property
  • Out-of-scope, optional considerations may include mold, lead, radon, asbestos, wetlands, flood zone, and seismic hazards

What Is a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?

If RECs are identified during a Phase I ESA, a Phase II ESA may be requested. Phase II ESAs involve sampling of groundwater, soil, soil vapor, and indoor air to check for chemicals such as petroleum hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, metals, and other contaminants. The following tasks may be conducted during the second phase to verify the existence and concentrations of hazardous substances:

  • Surficial soil and water sampling
  • Subsurface soil, soil vapor, and groundwater sampling
  • Geophysical testing to identify buried drums and tanks
  • Sampling of indoor air to evaluate health risks to occupants
  • Installation of groundwater monitoring wells to evaluate groundwater beneath the site and neighboring properties

What Standards Should Be Followed for an Environmental Site Assessment?

Phase I ESAs must meet the most updated standards established by ASTM and the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule (AAI) under CERCLA. Phase II ESAs must comply with applicable USEPA, State, and local regulatory agency requirements. The assessments must be performed by environmental experts with professional registrations who are trained in the fields of geology, hydrogeology, environmental science, engineering, biology, and chemistry, among others.

EEC Environmental has over 20 years of experience providing consulting services to a variety of clients. If you are in search of an environmental site assessment company, need remediation help with a contaminated site or simply have questions regarding any of the assessment steps or services, contact us and one of our experts will assist you.

Wastewater Treatment Compliance

Wastewater Treatment Compliance and Meeting Regulatory Requirements

Wastewater Treatment ComplianceThe treatment of wastewater is essential to ensuring public health and clean water. The process involves converting the wastewater into an effluent, or an outflowing of water to a receiving body of water, which can be directly reused or returned to the water cycle with minimal impact on the environment. However, before treated wastewater can be discharged to the water cycle, it must comply with local, state, and federal regulations. So, how can wastewater treatment facilities and entities that produce wastewater remain compliant with these regulations?

Federal State and Local Regulations

The Clean Water Act (CWA) prohibits the discharging of pollutants from a point source into a water of the United States unless they have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The permit provides control for technology-based and water quality-based limits.

The national pretreatment program, a component of the NPDES program, is a cooperative effort of the federal, state, and local levels of environmental regulatory agencies that have been established to protect water quality. Local municipalities can then perform permitting, administrative, and enforcement tasks for discharges into the municipalities’ publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).

Wastewater Treatment Compliance

EEC Environmental (EEC) conducts local limits evaluations, develops industrial pretreatment ordinances and enforcement response plans, and assists in industrial user permitting. EEC also designs and builds wastewater pretreatment systems and performs pretreatment system evaluations for flows up to 2.5 millions of gallons per day (MGD).

Our team has unique expertise in developing technically based local limits and ensuring that industrial users have reasonable discharge permits. EEC has also created and conducts an operator training program for industrial wastewater dischargers and assists industries in achieving compliance with their wastewater discharge requirements.

EEC has developed a strong national reputation for helping public agencies, private industries, and commercial businesses come into complete compliance with their environmental regulations. We have experience negotiating favorable permit conditions for our clients resulting in reasonable regulations and millions of dollars in savings.

Industrial laundry washing machines in dry cleaner's workshop, PERC

Reducing PERC Contamination in Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Industrial laundry washing machines in dry cleaner's workshop, PERC ContaminationPerchloroethylene or Tetrachloroethene (PCE, PERC) has been used as an effective dry cleaning solvent in dry cleaning facilities for a number of years. Today, it is the most commonly used solvent. However, PERC can pose health hazards if exposure is not adequately controlled. So, how can one reduce PERC contamination and workplace exposure in dry cleaning and industrial laundry facilities?

Sources of PERC Contamination and Exposure

Employees in dry cleaners can be exposed to PERC while performing routine maintenance on machines and conducting various tasks such as removing clothes (especially thick items) before the drying cycle is finished or transferring solvent-laden garments into the dryer.  Working around uncontrolled “fugitive emissions” from dry cleaning machines can also expose workers to high levels of PERC.

Reducing PERC Contamination and Exposure

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented mandatory standards such as Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200); General requirements for personal protective equipment (29 CFR 1910.132); and Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) in order to reduce PERC exposure with employees. Laundry and dry cleaning facilities also must comply with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to control the release of PERC into the environment.

Machine operation and maintenance, building design and ventilation, work practices, as well as PERC storage and disposal are ways in which these facilities comply with these regulations. Air monitoring for PERC release, recordkeeping, and PERC use reporting are also critical when reducing contamination.

Environmental Solutions for Dry Cleaners, PERC Contamination

EEC Environmental (EEC) has significant experience with the evaluation of industrial laundry facilities that have been impacted by petroleum, chlorinated solvents, and other contaminants. EEC performs a wide range of activities for the laundry industry, including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments‎ (ESAs), compliance services, Phase II subsurface investigations, insurance cost-recovery, remedial services, regulatory negotiations, and litigation support. EEC provides a broad base of general compliance services to the industrial laundry industry, including regulatory compliance, permitting, emergency business plans, emergency response, safety, Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) compliance, and state-specific compliance such as compliance with California’s SB989.

EEC prides itself on working with landowners, managers, and individual dry cleaner owners to evaluate potential contamination and provide remedies, when necessary, in a manner that allows business to continue uninterrupted so that both the landowner and dry cleaner owner do not lose essential revenue. When dealing with an operating dry cleaner, decisions cannot always be driven by environmental factors alone.

EEC’s overall project goal in supporting the dry cleaning industry is about smart, common sense decisions that meet regulatory requirements that are manageable for the client.

Contact EEC for more information.

Regulatory Closure, Compliance & Negotiation for Litigation, EPA

EPA Compliance Requirements for Real Estate Construction and Property Development

Environmental and land use regulations can, frequently, become overwhelming. Understanding and complying with these regulations take away from time-sensitive projects, and unwanted fines ranging into the tens of millions of dollars for larger commercial or retail property can be more than daunting. So what are some of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance requirements for real estate construction and property development?

Clean Water Act (CWA) Permit Coverage
Regulatory Closure, Compliance & Negotiation for Litigation, EPA, Construction

If your real estate construction activity disturbs one or more acres of land, you may have to obtain Clean Water Act (CWA) permit coverage for discharge of stormwater runoff from your construction site. The EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program or the state NPDES permitting authority issues general permits for stormwater. However, to obtain permit coverage, you will need to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) or permit application to develop and implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and provide a Notice of Termination (NOT), if required by your permitting authority.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

If your site or project generates or handles hazardous wastes, such as lead-based paint (LBP); fluorescent lamps that contain mercury; and construction/demolition (C&D) wastes, such as wood, roof material, insulation, plaster, or sheet rock, then you may have to check their allowed concentrations are in the regulations that implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Assistance Meeting EPA Compliance

Industrial Wastewater – CERCLA Allocation ProjectThere are a number of other laws and regulations under the construction sector (NAICS 23) of the EPA. However, there’s help to meet the requirements. EEC Environmental (EEC) has assisted real estate and property developers throughout the United States on all aspects of environmental-related issues. Our professionals understand the nuances of this business sector, including the need for rapid response, quick turnaround, and discretion that must be maintained throughout the process. EEC’s services are utilized at the earliest stages of the real estate transaction and development process, often even before the due diligence phase, when we do a “Phase 0” to quickly determine if there will likely be significant environmental issues.

We have extensive experience in large portfolio and specialized due diligence necessary for property transactions, evaluation of costs associated with environmental liabilities, evaluation of fast-track remediation alternatives, evaluation of risk-based remedial strategies, and installation of preventive mitigation equipment such as those to prevent vapor intrusion. Further, EEC assists our clients in determining if the utility infrastructure (electrical, sewer, stormwater) and permitting abilities are sufficient for the intended property use, developing and implementing SWPPPs, and conducting facility audits.

Our construction personnel has diverse backgrounds, which include mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural concrete experience. All construction staff works under the direct supervision of a construction manager with more than 20 years of experience and are 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations, and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) trained to work at contaminated sites.

Contact EEC for more information.