Industrial Storm Water Program

As a result of the federal regulations governing storm water discharges, the State of Michigan began issuing permit coverage in 1994. There are three types of permits available in Michigan: a general permit, a general permit with monitoring requirements, or a site specific individual permit. There are approximately 4,000 facilities with storm water discharge authorization.

Michigan's industrial storm water permit authorization requires facilities to obtain an industrial storm water certified operator who has supervision over the storm water treatment and control measures at the facility. In addition the facility must develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) which describes nonstructural and structural controls implemented onsite and eliminate any unauthorized non-storm water discharges.  The certification process for industrial storm water certified operators is currently an on going process in each of the district offices.

Industrial Storm Water Program Staff Contact Information 


MiWaters Information - (required system for permittees)

All NPDES permitting activity is required to be submitted via MiWaters.  MiWaters establishes a streamlined electronic permitting process, allowing Michigan to fulfill federal electronic reporting requirements and providing an online component for access to public information.  The focus of MiWaters is permitting and compliance, including industrial storm water permits.

The step-by-step videos below are provided to help applicants/permittees be successful working with MiWaters.

  1. How to obtain certifier status - This process is required to obtain an approved electronic signature
  2. How to submit a Notice of Intent for Reissuance
  3. How to submit a SWPPP Annual Review Report (video)

Storm Water Program Permit Information

The industrial storm water regulations apply to a wide range of industrial and municipal facilities.  Facilities will need to consider their primary industrial activity, their industrial exposure, and their storm water discharge when determining if a permit is necessary.  If it is determined that an industrial storm water permit is needed, the facility will need to understand the requirements listed in the appropriate permit associated with the applicable Watershed Cycle Year.  Storm water permits are issued based on the Watershed Cycle Year schedule and are reissued every 5 years.  The information below is intended to help facilities understand the process:


No Exposure Certification Information

This section provides information regarding Michigan’s No Exposure Certification which allows regulated facilities to forgo the need to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) industrial storm water permit if specific conditions can be met.  The No Exposure Certification is applicable to all facilities regulated by the industrial storm water regulations and is the ultimate goal of the storm water program.  Facilities that obtain a No Exposure Certification must maintain their condition of no exposure and are required to renew the certification every 5 years.  The documents below will provide more detail:


Storm Water Program Compliance Assistance

The following compliance assistance documents and web links are intended to help facilities better understand the storm water program regulations.


Conducting Visual Assessments of Industrial Storm Water Discharges

Conducting visual assessments of storm water discharges from areas of industrial activity is a new permit requirement for facilities in Michigan with industrial storm water permit coverage under the newly issued general permits and individual permits with storm water coverage. The visual assessment is part of the comprehensive inspection conducted by the Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator at the facility. The following compliance assistance documents, webinars and tutorials have been developed to help facilities better understand this permit requirement.


Benchmark Monitoring Information

In an effort to align with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) storm water regulations, the DEQ's Water Resources Division began implementing Benchmark Monitoring requirements in the 2016 storm water permits associated with special use areas.  The purpose of Benchmark Monitoring is to provide data to help characterize the quality of the storm water being discharged from facilities within selected industrial sectors which include sectors classified under Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes 5015 (Motor Vehicle Parts, Used) and SIC code 5093 (Scrap and Waste Material).  Data obtained during the course of the Benchmark Monitoring Study are compared to benchmark concentrations as a means of evaluating the storm water management controls at the facility.  Permittees should utilize the assistance documents and videos available in the visual assessment section of this webpage along with the documents below when implementing the Benchmark Monitoring requirements.


Certificate of Entry Process for Unpermitted Facilities

The General Administrative Consent Order for Unpermitted Discharges No. ACO-UD12-100 (Consent Order) is for industrial storm water facilities that are currently discharging storm water to surface waters of the state without industrial storm water permit coverage from the DEQ's Water Resources Division. Please review the compliance assistance document titled "Certificate of Entry Process for Unpermitted Facilities" below to see if your facility qualifies to use the Notice of Intent and Certificate of Entry application form (NOI/COE form). In order to fulfill the requirements of the Consent Order, eligible facilities must submit a completed NOI/COE form via MiWaters.


Storm Water Program Training Videos

The video below was developed to help understand what is involved with the Industrial Storm Water Program.

The video below was developed to assist permittees and certified operators with their annual employee training program.

The video below was developed to make permittees aware of what to expect during a DEQ industrial storm water permit compliance inspection.


Activity Specific Controls

This section is a supplement to the operator training manual. This section of the training looks at some common activities or locations at industrial facilities where specific controls could be used to prevent storm water pollution, store contaminated water or treat contaminated storm water. Activity specific controls are designed to keep the site clean, keep your facility in compliance with the storm water regulations and ultimately to protect the water resources for future generations.


Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator Training Options and Information

The DEQ has created a training manual to inform permittees and Industrial Storm Water Certified Operators of the program and permit obligations. In addition the manual is designed to assist in the development of an acceptable SWPPP. The training manual should be reviewed before a training session is attended.

Training and Exam Session to Obtain a NEW Certification Industrial Storm Water Operator Certification is required for all facilities that require industrial storm water permit coverage. The Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator Training is conducted in the district offices. In order to obtain your certification you must attend one of the DEQ WRD industrial certified operator training sessions. Contact the registration contact to register for one of the certification training sessions. At the training session you will receive a certification application form that needs to be completed and submitted to the DEQ with a $30 certification fee. Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator Certification is valid for 5 years from the year that it is issued.

Training Session to RENEW a Current Certification Storm Water Operator Certification is valid for 5 years from the year that it is issued. Certificates expire on July 1. In order to renew your certification you must attend one of the DEQ WRD recertification training sessions. At the training you will receive a recertification form that needs to be completed and submitted to the DEQ with a $95 recertification fee. Contact your district industrial storm water staff person to register for one of the recertification training sessions. Please be aware that the recertification form needs to be post marked by August 31st to be accepted.

A list of current Industrial Storm Water Certified Operators is maintained by the Wastewater Operator Certification Program staff.


Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)

The DEQ has created a SWPPP template to assist permittees in the development of an approvable SWPPP. A sample SWPPP is also provided as a reference.

The SWPPP review annual report must be submitted via MiWaters on or before January 10th of each year.  Please refer to the MiWaters information above.


Storm Water Sampling Info

The documents below will assist in the development of an approvable Short Term Storm Water Characterization Study (STSWCS) plan. An STSWCS plan needs to be developed by facilities in order to comply with the required monitoring conditions in the general permit.