Concrete & Industrial Storm Water Permitting
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 6, has issued a final general permit (TXG110000) that regulates the discharge of facility wastewater and contact storm water from ready-mixed concrete plants, concrete products plants, and their associated facilities in Texas. Facilities with a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code 3271, 3272, or 3273 may apply to the TCEQ for coverage under this general permit. The general permit’s effective date is February 2000. New facilities must submit an NOI 30 days prior to the date of initial discharge. On midnight February 14, 2005, this general permit expired. A renewal has been proposed and the 30-day public notice was published in the Texas Register on May 20, 2005. As authorized by 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 205.5(b), existing discharges covered by this general permit will maintain coverage until the commission takes final action on the proposed renewal. Therefore, no new discharges can be authorized under this general permit or notices of intent (NOIs) accepted until issuance of the proposed renewal.
Key requirements of the general permit include the establishment of effluent limitations and requirements to:
- Conduct whole effluent toxicity testing once per year
- Sample for specified metals once per year
- Develop a pollution prevention plan
Who is required to comply?
This permit covers discharges of facility wastewater and contact storm water from ready-mixed concrete plants, concrete products plants and their associated facilities in Texas. These facilities have Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes 3273 (manufacture of Ready-Mixed Concrete), 3272 (manufacture of concrete products, except block and brick) and 3271 (manufacture of concrete block and brick). Ready-mixed concrete plants are facilities, including temporary concrete batch plants, primarily engaged in mixing and delivering ready-mixed concrete as classified by SIC Code 3273. Concrete products plants are facilities primarily engaged in manufacturing concrete products as classified by SIC Code 3272, and facilities primarily engaged in manufacturing concrete building blocks and bricks from a combination of cement and aggregate as classified by SIC Code 3271. Associated facilities are facilities associated with such plants and establishments where maintenance and washing of ready-mix vehicles or equipment occurs. Contact storm water means storm water which comes in contact with any raw material, product, by-product or waste material. Facility waste water means any waste water which is generated at the plants or associated facilities authorized by this permit, but not including domestic sewage.
What is involved in compliance?
A Pollution Prevention Plan must be implemented for each facility which discharges contact storm water. The plan shall identify potential sources of pollution that may reasonably be expected to affect the quality of contact storm water discharges from the facility. In addition, the plan shall describe and ensure the implementation of practices used to reduce the pollutants in contact storm water discharges at the facility and to assure compliance with the terms and conditions of this permit. Facilities must implement the provisions of the storm water pollution prevention plan as a condition of this permit. The plan shall be kept onsite at the facility that generates the storm water discharge. In addition, a Notice of Intent must be filed with the TCEQ.
So What if I Don’t?
Enforcement authorities are empowered to bring charges under three classifications.
- Negligent Violations. Any person who negligently violates permit conditions is subject to a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $25,000 per day, or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.
- Knowing Violations. Any person who knowingly violates permit conditions is subject to a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 per day, or by imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both.
- Knowing Endangerment. Any person who knowingly violates permit conditions and who knows at that time that he is placing another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury is subject to a fine of not more than $250,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 15 years, or both.
- False Statements. Any person who knowingly makes any false material statement or certification in any application or other document or who knowingly falsifies, tampers with, or renders inaccurate, any required monitoring device or method shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by both. For a second conviction, punishment shall be by a fine of not more than $20,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment of not more than 4 years, or both.
Regarding civil penalties, any person who violates a permit condition is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $27,500 per day for each violation.
Any person who violates a permit condition is subject to an administrative penalty, as follows:
- Class I Penalty. Not to exceed $11,000 per violation nor shall the maximum amount exceed $27,500.
- Class II Penalty. Not to exceed $11,000 per day for each day during which the violation continues nor shall the maximum amount exceed $137,500.
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