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Industrial Storm Water Program

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Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Industrial Storm Water Program

As a result of the federal regulations governing storm water discharges, the State of Michigan began issuing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage for storm water discharges associate with industrial activity in 1994. There are three types of NPDES permits authorizing the discharge of industrial storm water available in Michigan: a general permit, a general permit that includes authorization for discharges from special use areas, or a site-specific individual permit. There are approximately 4,000 facilities operating in Michigan with industrial storm water discharge authorization.

Michigan’s industrial storm water permit authorization requires facilities to have 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. Information and resources available on this webpage are intended to help facilities understand the program requirements and institute a successful storm water program.

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Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator Information

All facilities that require industrial storm water permit coverage are required to have an Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator who has supervision over the facility's storm water treatment and control measures.  The information below discusses how to become a new certified operator and how current certified operators can renew their certification that is due to expire:

  • New Certified Operator Information: If you are looking to become an Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator for the first time or have allowed your certification to expire, you will need to pass the Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator exam with at least a 70% and pay the $30 certification fee to obtain a new certification. The new certification will be valid for 5 years.
  • Certification Renewal Information: Certified operators will receive notice from EGLE WRD when their certification is due to expire. Certified operators looking to renew their certifications for another 5 years will need to submit a complete recertification form and pay the $95 recertification fee prior to August 31. Once the recertification form and the fee are received by WRD, the certification will be reissued for another 5 years.

Additional information related to the exam, self-training, fees, and forms can be found on the Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator training web page.

The Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator Training Manual was developed by EGLE WRD to inform permittees and Industrial Storm Water Certified Operators of the program and permit obligations. The training manual should be reviewed when individuals are preparing for the Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator exam or renewing their Industrial Storm Water certification.

Certified operators that have forgotten their certification number or certification expiration date can obtain the information from the current list of Industrial Storm Water Certified Operators  which is maintained by the Wastewater Operator Certification Program staff.

Click here to view the current list of Industrial Storm Water Certified Operators.

MiEnviro Portal Information

All NPDES permitting activity is required to be submitted via MiEnviro.  MiEnviro 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 MiEnviro is permitting and compliance, including industrial storm water permits.

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.

Visual Assessment Information

Conducting visual assessments of storm water discharges from areas of industrial activity is required for all facilities in Michigan with industrial storm water permit coverage. The visual assessment is required to be conducted by the facility’s Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator. The following compliance assistance resources have been developed to help facilities with this permit requirement.

Benchmark Monitoring Information

EGLE's Water Resources Division began implementing Benchmark Monitoring requirements in the 2016 storm water permits authorizing discharges from special use areas. The purpose of Benchmark Monitoring is to provide data to help characterize the storm water quality being discharged from facilities 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 concentration values as a means to evaluate the effectiveness of the facility’s storm water management controls. 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 intended for facilities that are currently discharging storm water associated with regulated industrial activity to surface waters of the state without industrial storm water permit coverage. 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). To fulfill the requirements of the Consent Order, eligible facilities must submit a completed NOI/COE form via MiEnviro.

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 facilities with their storm water annual employee training program.  The video below was developed to inform facilities on what to expect during an EGLE industrial storm water permit compliance inspection. 

Activity Specific Controls

This section is a supplement to the Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator Training Manual. The compliance assistance document below describes 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. 

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)

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

The SWPPP Annual Review Report must be submitted via MiEnviro for many permittees though it should be noted that the SWPPP Annual Review Report requirements are changing.  Permittees operating under a permit that authorizes the discharge of industrial storm water issued after 4/1/2021 will no longer need to submit a SWPPP Annual Review Report via MiEnviro.  However, these permittees must still complete a SWPPP Annual Review Report and retain a copy (written or electronic) with the storm water program records onsite for 3 years.  Permittees are responsible to review their permit to ensure compliance.  For those permittees that do not have to submit the SWPPP Annual Review Report via MiEnviro, the document below can be used to meet the related permit requirements.

Short Term Storm Water Characterization Study (STSWCS) Information

A STSWCS is a requirement identified in the industrial storm water general permit that authorizes discharges from special use areas. A STSWCS includes collecting storm water samples from special use areas and having them analyzed to ensure the discharge meets the conditions of the permit. Facilities will be notified on their Certificate of Coverage if they need to perform a STSWCS. The documents below will assist in the development of an approvable STSWCS plan.



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