OKR05 Industrial Stormwater
Industrial facilities typically perform a portion of their activities such as material storage and handling, vehicle fueling and maintenance, shipping and receiving materials in outdoor areas exposed to the weather. Stormwater runoff from these activities picks up industrial pollutants and discharges them directly into nearby waterbodies or indirectly via storm sewer systems. In addition, accidental spills and leaks, improper waste disposal, and illicit connections to storm sewers may also lead to exposure of pollutants to stormwater. This increased pollutants load in the stormwater runoff can impair waterbodies, degrade biological habitats, pollute drinking water sources.
Most industrial stormwater discharges are covered under the OPDES General Permit OKR05, as opposed to individual OPDES permits issued by the State of Oklahoma to some facilities based on site-specific or industry-specific concerns. The owners/operators of regulated industrial facilities must obtain an Authorization under the OPDES General Permit OKR05 for Industrial Activity. Discharge of stormwater from an industrial activity without first obtaining a permit from DEQ is in violation of Title 27A O.S. §2-6-205 of the Oklahoma Statutes. As part of the application process, the owner or operator must develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWP3) that explains how it will control & reduce pollutants in the stormwater runoff and submit a notice of intent (NOI) or permit application to DEQ.
For more information about industrial stormwater, please view: OKR05 Industrial Activities Fact Sheet
Who needs a Permit?
You will need an OKR05 permit if you are the owner or operator of an Industrial facility operating under a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code identified in Table 1-3 of the 2017 OKR05 Permit. Certain facilities may qualify for and obtain a No Exposure Exclusion in accordance with Part 1.14 of the 2017 OKR05 Permit.
How to Apply for a Permit?
Before filling out an NOI, understand the requirements of the 2017 OKR05 permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activity, identify the latitude and longitude of the entrance gate of the facility, identify receiving water body, check whether the facility is located in Sensitive Waters or Watersheds or in Scenic River Watershed, and prepare or update a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) in accordance with the requirements of 2017 OKR05 Permit. Once the NOI and SWP3 have been prepared and completed for your industrial facility, submit the following to DEQ:
- Completed NOI
- An application fee $100 and annual fee $ 347.71 (all existing permittees will be invoiced for annual fee)
- A copy of the SWP3 if your industrial facility is located in Sensitive Waters or Watersheds or in Scenic River Watershed (see Part 1.9.5 of OKR05).
Attach a check for the applicable fees payable to DEQ with your NOI. You may pay the fees using a credit card (only Visa or Master Card are acceptable) by calling DEQ Finance at (405) 702-1130.
Where to Submit an NOI?
Stormwater Unit of ECLS
707 N Robinson Ave
P. O. Box 1677
Oklahoma City, OK, 73101-1677
NOI Processing Time
NOI processing time is approximately 14 days from the date of receipt. If you are required submit a SWP3 to DEQ for review, processing time will be approximately 30 to 45 days.
Who can sign a permit application (NOI)?
Corporation: a principal executive officer of at least the level of vice president or a designated corporate official.
Partnership or limited liability company (LLC): a general partner or managing member.
Sole proprietorship: the owner.
Municipal, state, federal, or other public facility: a principal executive officer or ranking elected official.
NOI Processing Time
NOI processing time is approximately 14 days from the receiving date. If you are required submit SWP3 to DEQ for review, processing time will be approximately 30 to 45 days.
Note that templates are suggestive; these are not part of the permit. Applicant may choose to use any or part of the templates or make their own to meet the permit requirements.
Technical Assistance & Outreach
If you would like on-site technical assistance, or have a question about stormwater enforcement, please contact the appropriate representative below:
DEQ offers various outreach and training opportunities, to schedule an event please contact:
Wayne T. Craney
Frequently Asked Questions
My company has two sites with activities that fall under two different sectors. Can I file one NOI for the two locations/facilities?
It depends on whether or not the two sites are right next to each other (contiguous).
If the two sites are located on properties right next to each other, you will just need to develop one SWP3 and one NOI for the entire industrial site. There may be different conditions that apply to each site and those different conditions/requirements must be reflected in both the SWP3 and NOI. However, if the sites are not contiguous, the company must then submit a separate NOI and prepare individual SWP3 for each site, if needed.
What are “co-located industrial activities”?
If there is more than one industrial activity at a facility that falls under another an SIC Code in Table 1-3 of the OKR05 Permit, these are called “co-located industrial activities.” Part 10 of the OKR05 Permit says these are industrial activities at a site – not counting your main industrial activity. They are defined by the EPA stormwater regulations at 40 CFR § 122.26(b)(14)(i)-(ix) and (xi). Co-located industrial activities are described in Part 1.7 of the OKR05 Permit. You must comply with Part 11 of the OKR05 Permit for your main (primary) industrial activity as well as any co-located industrial activities. Each industrial activity must be listed in Section 3.1 of the SWP3. The names of any pollutants from each industrial activity that might get into the stormwater from your plant must be listed in Section 3.2 of the SWP3.
How can I find out what my facility’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code is?
The SIC Code system is maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). You can search for your SIC code at www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sic_manual.html.
If my industrial activity doesn’t clearly fit the SIC Code that it was given, what should I do? Do I need to get coverage under the OKR05 Permit?
If your primary industrial activity has been assigned a SIC Code listed in Table 1-3 of OKR05 Permit and you discharge stormwater, you are required to obtain permit coverage, even if the activity does not clearly fit within that SIC Code.
If there is any uncertainties about whether or not your facility falls within a particular SIC Code, you should contact the ECLS Stormwater Unit of DEQ at (405) 702-6100 for assistance in making the determination of applicability. If it is determined that your facility is eligible for permit coverage, you will need to prepare/revise your SWP3 to reflect the actual activities that occur at your facility so that the pollution prevention measures employed at your facility for stormwater runoff are sufficient.
What if my facility doesn’t discharge stormwater to State waterbodies or an MS4?
You might be able to apply for a No Exposure Certification (NEC) exclusion (aka Conditional Exclusion for No Exposure) if none of your facility’s runoff could possibly come into contact with pollutants from materials or industrial activities. Look at the Exposure Checklist in Part III of the NEC form in Appendix D of the OKR05 Permit. If your answer is “No” to ALL of the 11 questions in that checklist, then you can apply to DEQ to have your NEC reviewed.
What is an Industrial No Exposure Certification?
An NEC means that there is no possible exposure of stormwater runoff from your facility (from rain, snow, and other types of precipitation) by means of controls or stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to any possible pollutants from materials or industrial activities. Examples of BMPs include structural controls (such as a storm-resistant shelter or a berm), or sustainable stormwater management (such as low impact development (LID) or green infrastructure/smart growth). The owner or operator of an eligible Industrial Facility must apply for the NEC exclusion and continue to keep all industrial materials and activities protected from stormwater. A facility with a No Exposure Certification must reapply every five-year Permit term since it is part of the Permit. There is no application fee for filing an NEC form to DEQ. See Part 1.14 of the OKR05 Permit. If an operator can certify that their facility meets the No Exposure Certification (NEC) exclusion, they might not have to get an OKR05 Permit, except for Sector AD (See Table 1-3 and Part 11 of the OKR05 Permit). But if your facility does not have a stormwater permit and a heavy rainfall or flooding results in stormwater from your facility getting into an Oklahoma waterbody or MS4, then your facility may be subject to enforcement action. However, if your facility doesn’t have any stormwater controls to prevent ALL possible stormwater discharge (runoff) from getting into a State waterbody or MS4; then your facility will need to get an OKR05 Permit.
How do I apply for a No Exposure exclusion?
Look at the Exposure Checklist in Part III of the NEC form in Appendix D of the OKR05 Permit. If your answer is “No” to ALL of the 11 questions in that checklist, then you can apply to DEQ to have your NEC form reviewed.
Do I have to pay any fees for an NEC?
No. Currently, facilities that have an NEC do not have to pay an application or annual fee.
Where do I send my NEC form?
Stormwater Unit of ECLS
707 N Robinson Ave
P. O. Box 1677
Oklahoma City, OK, 73101-1677
What will happen once I submit an NEC form to DEQ?
After DEQ receives a complete and accurate NEC form, DEQ personnel will inspect your facility to make sure it is in compliance with the No Exposure exclusion. Then if your facility qualifies for an NEC, DEQ will issue a written or electronic notification to your facility. Later if your facility completely stops all activities, you must submit a Notice of Termination (NOT) form at that time to terminate your certification.
If I already have a No Exposure Certification, do I have to re-apply for a new one?
Yes. The owner or operator of an Industrial facility with an approved NEC must re-apply for every five-year OKR05 Permit term since the NEC is part of that term’s OKR05 Permit which may have revisions.
How many NEC forms do I need to send to DEQ if I have multiple industrial activities at my site?
You just need to submit one form because the NEC for Exclusion applies to your entire facility. It is not issued for individual outfalls or activities. Generally if stormwater runoff could be exposed to industrial materials or activities at any part of your facility, your facility would not be eligible for the NEC exclusion.
Do I need to file a Notice of Termination (NOT) for my facility if it is currently covered under the OKR05 Permit before I apply for NEC?
No. If your facility meets the definition of No Exposure, then stormwater discharges from your facility are no longer considered to be associated with industrial activity. In this case, your facility only needs to submit an NEC form to DEQ.
When and how often do I have to submit an NEC form?
An NEC form must be submitted once in each five-year Stormwater Permit term (assuming your facility maintains its No Exposure status) since it’s an exemption from a specific permit requirement. Once DEQ issues the new OKR05 Permit, you must submit an NEC form to DEQ within 90 days from the effective date of the OKR05 Permit. If you don’t submit either a new NEC or NOI form for coverage under the OKR05 Permit or applied for a separate permit, your facility will be out of compliance and subject to enforcement.
What do I do if changes at my facility may cause stormwater to be exposed to possible pollutants?
If stormwater could EVER be possibly exposed to pollutants, whether it be from flooding or due to some planned changes at your facility, your facility should apply for and obtain coverage under an Oklahoma Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (OPDES) Permit (OKR05 or an alternate permit) in order to avoid for violating the Clean Water Act and/or OPDES Act.
Is the NEC transferable to a new facility operator?
No. Conditional Exclusion of No Exposure (NEC) is not transferable. If a new operator takes over your facility, the new operator must complete, sign and submit a new NEC form to DEQ to claim the no exposure exclusion. You will also need to submit an NOT form to DEQ to terminate your No Exposure Certification. See Part 1.15 of the OKR05 Permit.
Our facility pressure washes equipment and vehicles at an outdoor (closed-loop) wash rack. Does this mean we qualify for the No Exposure certification?
No. Cleaning of industrial machinery or equipment in an area that is exposed to rain or snow means that the stormwater runoff would be exposed to any pollutants from this industrial activity so your facility would not qualify for the conditional exclusion for No Exposure.
What do I need to do if I decide to move to another location or if I decide to close our facility entirely?
You will need to submit a Notice of Termination (NOT) form to DEQ.:
Stormwater Unit of ECLS
707 N Robinson Ave
P. O. Box 1677
Oklahoma City, OK, 73101-1677
What will happen once I submit an NOT form to DEQ?
After receiving a complete and accurate NOT form, DEQ may perform a site inspection before processing your NOT form. If approved, DEQ will let you know about the termination of your stormwater permit. Your authorization to discharge under the OKR05 Permit terminates at midnight (12:00 a.m.) of the day that DEQ issue a termination letter notifying you that you have met all termination requirements and your complete NOT has been processed.
Can I transfer my OKR05 Permit to new owners if I sell or change ownership of our facility?
No. Coverage under the OKR05 Permit cannot be transferred to any other person or entity. That is because they might have different pollutants or activities at that facility. If a facility is sold or ownership changes, the sellers must submit an NOT form to DEQ to terminate their stormwater permit. The new owner must complete and submit a new and accurate NOI and Permit Fee of $447.71 [application fee ($100) + annual fee ($347.71)]. For quicker processing, it is recommended that new owner submit both the NOT and new NOI forms together, if possible. The new owner may also need to submit a copy of the SWP3 if your facility is located in Sensitive Waters or Watersheds or in Scenic River Watershed (see Part 1.8 of OKR05). For additional information about these waters or watersheds, look at Section 2.2.4 of Completion Instructions for the industrial SWP3 Template. If you are an operator under Sector J or Sector L, you must submit a copy of the SWP3 to DEQ for review along with the NOI form to be covered under the OKR05 Permit.
What is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)?
A SWP3 is a written document that lists the industrial activities at the site as well as any associated pollutants that could possibly get into stormwater runoff. The SWP3 includes both structural and non-structural control practices (also called best management practices, BMPs) the facility operator has already implemented or will implement to prevent pollutants from getting into stormwater runoff. The SWP3 must also include other information such as the following (See Part 4.2 of the OKR05 Permit):
- Facility information such as its address, permit number (if you’ve had an OKR05 Permit before), the facility’s longitude/latitude.
- Names and contact information for your facility’s owner, operator (if different than owner), and SWP3 contact person.
- The names, contact information, and duties of members of your facility’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Team (see Part 4.2.1 of the OKR05 Permit).
- A description of the industrial activities at your facility (see Part 4.2.2 of the OKR05 Permit).
- Information about the stormwater from your facility such as:
- Does the stormwater go into an MS4?
- Do any of the stormwater dischargers have to comply with effluent limitation guidelines listed in Table 1-1 of the OKR05 Permit?
- What is the latitude/longitude of each stormwater outfall?
- What is the name of the waterbody that your facility’s stormwater goes into, and what is its Waterbody Identification Number (WBID)?
- Is the receiving waterbody impaired? If so, what is it impaired with?
- Is there a TMDL for that impairment?
- Is your stormwater discharge into sensitive waters or watersheds?
- A map or series of maps of your facility which shows:
- Location of the facility with its boundaries and size in acres.
- Locations of all waterbodies near your facility that could receive stormwater runoff.
- Location of all possible sources of pollutants.
- Location of all stormwater control measures such as structural BMPs.
- Locations of all stormwater conveyances including ditches, pipes, and swales.
- Location of where stormwater from your facility could enter your MS4s storm drain.
- Locations of all stormwater monitoring points.
- Identify all the potential sources of pollutants
- Description of stormwater controls to meet technology-based and water quality-based effluent limits
- The procedures for good housekeeping, spill prevention, preventive maintenance, erosion and sediment controls, conducting inspections, corrective actions, monitoring, and training of employees.
- Documentation to support other eligibility considerations.
- Certification. (See Part 9.16 of the OKR05 Permit.)
A SWP3 is a fundamental requirement of stormwater permits. The SWP3 does not contain effluent limits. It is a tool that helps permittees, inspectors, and other authorities in make sure and document how you are meeting your effluent limits. The SWP3 is an on-going document that should be updated whenever there are changes in your facility’s industrial activities or changes to your stormwater BMPs.
Does DEQ have any guidance on how to develop a SWP3?
DEQ doesn’t have a separate guidance document to develop a SWP3. However, Part 4 of OKR05 Permit describes what should be included in the SWP3 for your industrial facility. Also, DEQ’s website has an Industrial SWP3 Template along with a document entitled Completion Instructions for the Industrial SWP3 Template. These items are just developed this year to help permittees and consultants prepare an SWP3 that meets the requirements of the OKR05 Permit. However, the Industrial SWP3 Template is just a generalized template. You will need to include information in it that is specific to your individual facility and industrial sector. Depending on your facility and industrial sector (see Table 1-3 of the 2017 OKR05 Permit) and where your facility is located, you may need to address additional SWP3 requirements outlined in the OKR05 Permit. You will also need to check for appropriate BMPs for your industrial activity in the Sector-Specific Factsheets that is available on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/industrial-stormwater-fact-sheet-series. Another resource you might find helpful is the EPA document entitled, Developing Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan: A Guide for Industrial Operators (EPA 833-B-09-002, June 2015). But keep in mind that it references EPA’s MSGP – not Oklahoma DEQ’s OKR05 Permit!
Do I have to use DEQ’s SWP3 Template?
No. The template is just to make it easier for you to develop your facility’s SWP3. You can use any format for your SWP3 as long as it meets the requirements of 2017 OKR05 Permit.
Does the SWP3 Certification need to be re-signed each time the SWP3 is changed/modified?
Yes, the permittee needs to recertify the SWP3 every time it is modified due to changes at your facility.
Routine Facility Inspection
Does the person at my plant who conducts routine facility inspections need some type of certification that shows they are qualified to make those inspections?
According to the OKR05 Permit, a qualified person (see Part 4.1 of the OKR05 Permit) must do the inspections with at least one member of your facility’s stormwater pollution prevention team. Your inspector must have the education and ability to know:
- How to prevent pollution at your industrial facility from getting into stormwater by use of various controls, such as BMPs.
- How activities and conditions at your facility could pollute stormwater.
- How effective different stormwater controls are in order to select and install the most appropriate ones for your facility.
Though a professional certification isn’t required to inspect your facility, that inspector must be a qualified person as specified in Part 4.1 of the OKR05 Permit.
How often do we have to do routine inspections of our facility?
Routine facility inspections must be done at least once per quarter (i.e., 1 every 3 months). In some instances, frequency of inspection can be more frequently (e.g., monthly or weekly). You will need to check in sector-specific inspection requirements included in Part 11 of the OKR05 Permit. The four quarters of a year are usually these four time periods:
- January 1 – March 31
- April 1 – June 30
- July 1 – September 30
- October 1 – December 31
Do I have to do inspections every time there is a stormwater discharge?
No. You don’t have to do all of your inspections when it is raining, snowing, etc., but you must do at least one wet weather facility inspection a year when there is stormwater runoff from your facility. Routine facility inspections must be done at least once every three months, or more frequently (e.g., monthly or weekly), depending on sector-specific inspection requirements. EPA regulations [40 CFR Section §122.21(g)(7)(ii)] say, “For stormwater discharges, all samples shall be collected from the discharge resulting from a storm event that is greater than 0.1 inch and at least 72 hours from the previously measurable (greater than 0.1 inch rainfall) storm event.” This is known as a qualifying storm event. So for a qualifying storm event, this means you have to collect sample from a rain event that is greater than 0.1 inch and make sure that you have at least 3 days (72 hours) of dry weather from the previous rainfall of more than 0.1 inch of rain. A wet weather or a qualifying rain event has to result in runoff at the outfall. When possible, the amount of rain and duration of the storm should not vary by more than 50% from the average amount of rain and duration of storm. In order to know if a storm has produced 0.1 inches of rain, it is recommended that you keep a rain gauge on site. Some cities might require facilities to have and maintain a rain gauge on site if they are discharging into their storm sewer systems.
Does DEQ have a template to help us do these routine facility inspections?
Yes, DEQ’s website has a Routine Facility Inspection Report template that covers all the required elements for inspections at your facility. This template is generic and editable, so the permittee can modify the Report to meet the conditions at your facility, but permittee’s inspections must cover the minimum inspection requirements in Part 5 of the OKR05 Permit.
Do I have to use the DEQ template or can I use my own inspection report?
No, you are not required to use DEQ’s Routine Facility Inspection Report template as long as your inspection form covers all the OKR05 Permit minimum inspection requirements. These are listed in Part 5 of the OKR05 Permit along with the additional sector specific inspection requirements listed in Part 11 of the OKR05 Permit.
When will the DEQ review my Routine Facility Inspection Reports?
The Routine Facility Inspection Report and the other related documentation will be reviewed by DEQ staff during inspections of your facility. Inspections are generally conducted at least once per 5-year permit cycle.
What happens if I observe unnatural characteristics at the time of routine facility inspection?
If the Inspector of routine facility inspection observes any unnatural characteristics, spill & leaks or control measures needing repair/replacement, these observations will need to be documented on the routine facility inspection form. These unnatural characteristics may likely cause stormwater contamination and may require appropriate corrective actions in accordance with Part 6 of the OKR05 Permit.
Do I need to send my facility’s Routine Facility Inspection Reports to DEQ?
No. You just need to make sure that you keep all completed reports on file at your facility with all your other stormwater documents, such as your SWP3.
What is a visual monitoring or assessment?
Once a quarter (i.e., every three months), you need to collect a stormwater grab sample in a clear and clean glass jar from every outfall. Clear and clean plastic bottles can also be used. You must collect the samples and visually assess them once each quarter for the entire Permit term – the same frequency that you have to inspect your facility. From the moment stormwater first flows out of your facility’s outfalls, you have 30 minutes to collect and examine it within 60 minutes after collecting it. In the case of snow/ice melt, get your samples within 30 minutes after a measurable discharge begins. If you can’t get the samples during that time period, document that reason in your SWP3. Monitoring must be conducted during daylight hours, during normal hours of operation for the facility. Once you collect a sample for a particular quarter, you are not required to sample again until the next quarter. You must examine the sample in a well-lit area. Document your observations in accordance with Part 22.214.171.124 of the OKR05 Permit. You may use DEQ’s Quarterly Visual Monitoring Report template which can be downloaded from the DEQ’s website. Section 3.5 on Page 33 of the EPA document entitled, Industrial Stormwater Monitoring and Sampling Guide gives information about conducting visual assessments of stormwater discharges. There is additional information about what to look for in Table 7-1, entitled Visual Monitoring of Stormwater Discharges, in the OKR05 Permit.
Who can perform a quarterly visual monitoring at my facility? Does a person need professional certification for visual monitoring?
Quarterly Visual Monitoring must be performed by a qualified person with at least one member of your stormwater pollution prevention team participating. A qualified person is that who is knowledgeable in the principles and practices of industrial stormwater controls and pollution prevention, and who possess the education and ability to assess conditions at the industrial facility that could impact stormwater quality, and the education and ability to assess the effectiveness of stormwater controls selected and installed to meet the requirements of the OKR05 Permit. A professional certification is not required for Quarterly Visual Monitoring. However, the inspector must be a qualified person.
What is the required frequency for collecting stormwater samples for the visual monitoring?
You are required to perform the visual monitoring at least once per quarter (i.e., 1 every 3 months). The four quarters of a year are usually these four time periods:
- January 1 – March 31
- April 1 – June 30
- July 1 – September 30
- October 1 – December 31
Do I take a visual sample or a physical sample?
You must do both. You must visually observe the discharge and collect a stormwater sample that you can observe in a well-lit area within 60 minutes after collecting the stormwater sample.
When do I collect the stormwater sample for the visual monitoring?
The visual monitoring must be conducted on stormwater sample collected during the first 30 minutes of the discharge from a qualifying storm event. The visual observation must be performed in a well-lit area within 60 minutes after collecting the stormwater sample.
Where do I collect a stormwater samples for the quarterly visual monitoring?
According to Part 126.96.36.199 of the OKR05 Permit, you have to collect a stormwater sample from each outfall for the entire Permit term (see Part 188.8.131.52 of the OKR05 Permit). Your SWP3 should have a site map that shows areas where the rain drains, industrial activities in each of these drainage areas, and the locations of all stormwater outfalls. Using the site map, find where the stormwater runoff goes from the drainage areas near industrial activities at your facility. You need to make sure that you sample only the stormwater that comes from your facility. If the stormwater in a storm sewer pipe contains discharges from other facilities, move your sampling point to where the flow is only from your facility. For more information about where to collect stormwater samples, look at the EPA document, Industrial Stormwater Monitoring and Sampling Guide(EPA 832-B-09-003, March 2009), beginning at Section 2.1 on Page 4.
The following are examples of mixed sources of stormwater where you should NOT sample:
- Don’t get stormwater samples from puddles, ponds or retention basins.
- Don’t get stormwater samples from a common ditch where stormwater from your facility would be mixed with stormwater from facilities upstream. You should find a location or locations where you can sample only your facility’s stormwater.
- Don’t get stormwater samples from a partially submerged storm sewer pipe where it discharges into a receiving waterbody. That is because the stormwater discharge would be mixed with water from the receiving lake, river, or stream.
- Don’t get stormwater samples from a manhole that carries stormwater from other stormwater sources along with stormwater from your facility. If you are getting a grab sample from a manhole, make sure that your sample is from stormwater discharge entirely from your facility. If not, your sample will not be representative of the area you are monitoring.
If your stormwater discharge merges with discharges from other facilities/sources, you need to find and sample at a point before your stormwater mixes with stormwater from other facilities/sources. However if stormwater from a neighboring facility runs into drainage areas of industrial activity on your property in an uncontrolled fashion (for example, sheet flow), you should include that in your sample of stormwater discharge. If you are concerned about this offsite source, get stormwater samples at the points where it enters and leaves your property. If your sample shows significant pollution at the point where it enters your facility, be sure to document that in your Quarterly Visual Monitoring Report since that pollution can impact your results when the stormwater leaves your facility.
Does the 30-minute time frame for sample collection start at the beginning or end of the rain event?
The 30-minute time frame starts when the stormwater begins to discharge from your facility to waters of the State or a municipal separate storm sewer.
Can I take a grab sample for the visual monitoring or assessment?
Yes, grab samples shall be collected for quarterly visual monitoring.
Is an automatic sampler allowed for visual monitoring or assessment?
An automatic sampler is not recommended for collecting samples for quarterly visual monitoring. That is because in addition to collecting the sample, it is important to make a note of anything you see at the discharge location that might influence the sample results.
How large of a sample must be collected to conduct the visual monitoring or assessment?
The sample must be large enough so that the characteristics of the stormwater sample can be adequately observed and documented. A liter/quart sized clean and clear plastic or glass jar could be easily viewed.
How do I visually assess the sample?
After collecting samples for visual assessment, they should be examined in a well-lit area within 60 minutes after collecting it. Document your observations in accordance with Part 184.108.40.206 of the OKR05 Permit. You may use DEQ’s Quarterly Visual Monitoring Report template which can be downloaded from the DEQ’s website.
How do I document the visual monitoring?
DEQ’s website has a Quarterly Visual Monitoring Report template that covers all the OKR05 required elements for visual assessment of discharge points/outfalls at your facility. This template is generic and editable, so you can modify the Report to meet the conditions at your facility. You aren’t required to use that Template, but your visual assessments must cover the minimum requirements given in Part 7.2.1 of the OKR05 Permit. Another item you might want to include in your written Quarterly Visual Monitoring Report is a picture of your sample. Place a white background behind the sample so that any color in it can be seen.
Can I use one report form for documenting all discharge points?
You may use one report form for documenting all discharge points. However, you must develop a Quarterly Visual Monitoring Report form for your facility incorporating the entire reporting requirements for Visual Monitoring. You must collect a stormwater sample from each outfall/discharge point once per quarter and conduct visual monitoring of each of these samples. If you use DEQ reporting template, you must use one Quarterly Visual Monitoring Report form for each outfall to document your observations.
Do I need to document if there has been no discharge from a discharge point at our facility during the quarter?
Yes. The visual monitoring is a part of the required comprehensive inspection. If there is no discharge from a discharge point until the next inspection this will need to be documented using the Visual Monitoring Form.
What if I have multiple discharge points that discharge stormwater from similar use areas at my facility?
If your facility has two or more discharge points that discharge substantially identical stormwater, then your facility may conduct the visual monitoring on just one of the discharge points and report that the results also apply to the other substantially identical discharge points. The determination of substantially identical discharge points must be made based on the significant material evaluation conducted as part of the SWP3 development. The substantially identical discharge points must be identified on the site map too. Quarterly Visual Monitoring of each substantially identical discharge point must be conducted on a rotating basis of each substantially identical outfall throughout the period of your coverage under the OKR05 Permit.
What happens if I find something in my sample or I observe unnatural characteristics at the time of the discharge?
If you/the inspector finds evidence of stormwater pollution, such as turbidity, color, oil films, floating solids, foams, settle-able solids, suspended solids, or deposits, in the sample or at the time of the discharge, these observations will need to be documented on the visual assessment report form. These unnatural characteristics are likely indicative of stormwater contamination. Whenever the visual monitoring shows evidence of stormwater pollution, you must initiate the corrective action procedures in Part 6 of the OKR05 Permit to address the source of contamination. Corrective actions can include determining the source of the stormwater pollution and implementing additional controls to prevent further contamination.
When will the DEQ review my visual monitoring reports?
The visual monitoring reports and the other related documentation will be reviewed by DEQ staff during inspections of your facility.
Does a written report need to be sent to DEQ every time there is a visual monitoring?
No. You just need to make sure that you keep all completed reports on file at your facility with all your other stormwater documents, such as your SWP3.
What is corrective action?
According to the OKR05 Stormwater Permit, corrective actions are any action taken to:
- Repair, modify, or replace any stormwater controls used at your facility (see Part 3.1.1 of the OKR05 Permit).
- Clean up and dispose of spills, releases, or other deposits found on the site.
- Come into compliance because of a permit violation, such as if an effluent limit is exceeded.
- When do I have to take corrective actions?
You must review and modify your control measures if any of the following happen:
- Your facility experiences an unauthorized release or discharge.
- Your facility’s stormwater discharge violates an assigned effluent limit.
- Your facility’s control measures are not strong enough for your stormwater discharge to meet water quality standards.
- You notice during a routine evaluation that you need to make changes to your controls in order to meet the non-numeric technology-based effluent limits (see Part 3.1.2 of the OKR05 Permit).
- You find that control measures are not being properly operated and/or maintained.
- If during a routine facility inspection, quarterly visual assessment, or comprehensive site inspection, you find evidence of stormwater pollution.
How do I know when I should begin taking corrective actions?
If corrective actions are needed, you must begin immediately doing everything you can to minimize or prevent the discharge of pollutants until a permanent solution is installed and operational. For example, be sure to clean up any product that has spilled immediately so that the material will not get into stormwater runoff from your facility the next time it rains/snows. If you need to install and make operational new or modified control measures/structural BMPs, you must do everything you can to get it done before the next storm event. But you MUST get new and/or modified BMPs in place within 14 calendar days from the date when it was found that corrective actions were needed.
Do I require documenting the correction actions?
Yes, you are required to document the reason why you had to take corrective actions in accordance with Part 6.3.3 of the OKR05 Permit.
Does DEQ have any Corrective Action Report Template to help permittees conduct corrective action documentations?
Yes, DEQ’s website has a Corrective Action Report template that covers all the required elements for corrective action documentation. This template is generic and editable, so the permittee can modify the Report to meet the conditions at your facility.
Does a written report need to be sent to DEQ every time there is a corrective action?
No, you don’t have to send the Corrective Action Report to DEQ. However, you must keep a copy of the Corrective Action Report on file with your facility’s SWP3 so that it is easily available during an inspection.
How do I sign up to submit my Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) electronically?
Go to the DEQ’s Electronic Reporting hompage for instructions on how to sign up and submit DMRs whether you are a preparer or signatory. If you have questions please contact Keri Jernigan at 405-702-6206.
How do I find an accredited lab to analyze my samples?
In addition to the State Environmental Laboratory Services (SELS) located in Oklahoma City, there are several accredited labs throughout the state that can support stormwater analytical needs. Go to the following link to search for laboratories: https://labaccreditation.deq.ok.gov/labaccreditation/. Labs must use the approved methodologies found at 40 CFR Part 136. If you have questions regarding accredited laboratories, contact DEQ Lab Accreditation at 866-412-3057.Helpful Hint: To ensure your chosen laboratory is accredited, you can request a copy of their Scope of Accreditation showing they are certified to analyze environmental samples for the testing your permit requires. For general lab questions contact the SELS at their main number 866-412-3057.
Where do I get sample containers?
Contact your laboratory of choice for sampling materials and information on sampling protocols. You will need containers and sampling instructions on-hand prior to a stormwater discharge event. If using the SELS, you may contact the lab at 866-412-3057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request sampling supplies.
Important: Inform the laboratory that these samples are for industrial stormwater compliance.
Helpful Hint: Check your lab’s hours of operation for sample delivery times.
I have to test for pH or Dissolved Oxygen which have very short holding times. What do I do if I can’t get my samples to a laboratory in that time?
If you are unable to get the samples to an accredited laboratory within the required testing time frame there are two options.
- You can contact a laboratory to see if they offer on-site testing services.
- You can become accredited yourself to test for these parameters with short holding times. If you have any questions contact DEQ at 405-702-6100.
I took the required samples based on my proximity to an impaired stream last year and pollutants were not detected or were at very low levels. How do I discontinue monitoring for these pollutants?
In order to discontinue monitoring you must notify DEQ in writing and maintain supporting documentation in your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. This includes an explanation as to why these pollutants are not related to your industrial activity and data that shows any pollutants in your discharge are caused by background sources. (See Part 7.2.3 of OKR05 Multi-Sector General Permit). For additional information regarding sampling guidance review EPA’s Monitoring and Sampling guide at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-11/documents/msgp_monitoring_guide.pdf
How long do I need to keep all of our stormwater records?
You must keep a copy of your SWP3 along with all your Permit records, for at least three years after your Permit expires or you end coverage with a Notice of Termination (NOT). Here are some examples of Permit records that you must keep:
- Your facility’s SWP3 and all related records.
- Your signed NOIs covering all the years you had a stormwater permit.
- All correspondence your facility has had with DEQ.
- Documentation such as your authorization and maintenance and repair logs for controls measures.
- Records of all sampling and monitoring data.
- Records of all Routine Facility Inspection Reports, Quarterly Visual Monitoring Reports, Corrective Action Reports, and any other reports required by this Permit.
What reports do I need to submit to DEQ?
The following reports must be submitted to DEQ:
- Electronic Discharge Monitoring Report (e-DMR) within 15 days after you have received your complete laboratory results for all monitoring outfalls.
- Annual Comprehensive Site Compliance Evaluation Report (ACSCER) each year by March 1 using the Form 606-005 in Appendix F of the OKR05 Permit.
- Notification, as required under Part 220.127.116.11, as soon as you have knowledge of a leak, spill, or other release containing a hazardous substance or oil in an amount equal to or in excess of a reportable quantity.
- Written notice to DEQ no later than 30 days prior to making any planned physical alterations or additions to the permitted facility.
- Exceedance Report to DEQ no later than 30 days after you have received your laboratory results to the address listed in Part 2.4.
Also see Part 8.5 of the OKR05 Permit for additional reporting requirement.
My facility did not discharge stormwater (during normal working hours) this year. Do I still need to submit an electronic Discharge Monitoring Report (e-DMR)?
Yes, permittees must submit a e-DMR every year, regardless of discharges or sampling. There are checkboxes to indicate that there was not a discharge.
How do I submit an e-DMR?
Instructions on how to register as a Preparer or Signatory for electronic DMR (eDMR), as well as how to prepare and submits eDMR, can be found on DEQ’s Electronic Reporting hompage. Assistance is also available by contacting DEQ at (405) 702-0100 or email@example.com.
What is an impaired waterbody?
State water quality standards (Appendix A of Title 785, Chapter 45) list which uses (such as recreation, aquatic life use support, or drinking water supply) each waterbody has been assigned. Every two years, there is an inventory of every waterbody which must be assessed to find out if they are meeting their assigned, or designated, uses. This is one of the reports that is required under the Clean Water Act (CWA) [United States Code (U.S.C.) Title 33, Chapter 26] in Section §1315(b) [aka §305(b)] of Subchapter III which is entitled, State Reports on Water Quality. In Oklahoma, the assessment of all the waterbodies can be found in Appendix B of the Integrated Report (IR). If waterbodies aren’t meeting their designated uses, they are considered to be impaired. Under §303(d) [aka §1313(d)] of the CWA, States are required to identify and list these impaired waterbodies every two years. This is the second EPA-required list in Appendix C of the IR. Because this list is required under §303(d) of the CWA, it is called the 303(d) List. The Integrated Report is now uniformly called that across the country because it is the report that integrates the two lists that must be submitted to EPA under §305(b) and §303(d) every two years. The most recent report can be found under DEQ’s Watershed Planning’s page on the Integrated Report.
How do I know if I’m discharging to a 303(d)-listed waterbody?
A of impaired waterbodies is available in Appendix C of the IR. You can also get the name of your receiving waterbody on DEQ’s GIS Data Viewer (http://gis.deq.ok.gov/maps/).
Do I need to monitor stormwater discharges to an impaired waterbody?
Yes. If your facility is discharging to an impaired waterbody that doesn’t have a TMDL, you must monitor once a year at each outfall. Outfalls are those places at the boundary of your facility where stormwater runoff leaves your site. An outfall can also be a point within your facility just before stormwater runoff (discharge) enters a receiving waterbody. You need to monitor for those pollutants listed under “Cause of Impairment” under the WBID for that waterbody on the 303(d) list in Appendix C of the IR. Monitoring each outfall discharging stormwater to impaired waters must be done for those waterbodies without an established TMDL. If your facility is discharging stormwater to impaired waters where there is a TMDL, your facility must monitor all the pollutants for which there is a Wasteload Allocation (WLA). You have to monitor as often as is stated in your permit which is at least once per year. See Part 7.2.3 of the OKR05 Permit for the requirements regarding the discharges of stormwater to impaired waters.
What are TMDLs?
According to 303(d) of the CWA, states are required to develop total maximum daily loads (TMDL) for every impaired waterbody. The purpose of the TMDL is to set discharge limits so that the impaired waterbody can eventually meet their designated uses. A TMDL equals the sum of (∑) the loads from all waste load allocations (WLA) from point sources plus the sum of all the loads as load allocations (LA) from non-point sources along with background loads, plus a margin of safety (MOS) for the watershed where the impaired waterbody is located. So mathematically the TMDL equation is: TMDL = ∑WLA + ∑LA + MOS. For additional information, see the EPA document entitled, TMDLs to Stormwater Permits Handbook.
How do I find the receiving waters and TMDL information for my facility?
At the DEQ’s GIS Data Viewer (http://gis.deq.ok.gov/maps/), you can find answers to the following items:
- Name of the receiving water
- Whether or not the water is impaired
- The type of pollutant if the water is impaired
- Whether or not a TMDL has been conducted for that watershed
For the step-by-step instructions of where to find this information, please refer to Completion Instructions for DEQ’s OKR05 SWP3 Template.
What are watersheds?
A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that falls in it drains into a common outlet such as the outlet of a reservoir, the mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel. The word watershed is sometimes used interchangeably with drainage basin or catchment. A watershed consists of surface waters — lakes, streams, reservoirs; wetlands; and all the underlying ground water. Larger watersheds contain many smaller watersheds. It all depends on the outflow point. Divisions or boundaries that separate two watersheds consist of the high ground in an area such as ridges and hills from which all the water flows into a common waterbody. Watersheds are important because the streamflow and the water quality of a river are affected by things, such as human activity, that occurs in the land area “above” the river-outflow point. In all of the U.S., these drainage basins are made up of different sizes of watersheds that have been given a numeric hydrologic unit code (HUC) by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) ranging from 2 to 12 digits in order of two. All of Oklahoma is in the HUC 2 of 11 which is the Arkansas-White-Red Region. This is further divided into HUC 4 (sub-regions), HUC 6, HUC 8, HUC 10, and HUC 12s. EPA uses the 67 HUC 8 watersheds that Oklahoma is divided into. The location of these can be found at the EPA webpage for the Oklahoma Water Quality Assessment Report.
Oklahoma has seven Water Quality Management Planning Basins. Waterbody Identification (WBID) numbers are established based on a waterbody’s location in the State’s Water Quality Management Plan. Each of these is broken down into smaller basins that have their own six-digit number beginning with the number of the basin they are located in. Each of the six-digit basins is divided into a number of smaller sections that are identified by a two-digit number. The next four digits of a WBID number represent a hydrologic sequence of waterbodies, going from the most downstream point in the eight-digit watershed up to the furthest upstream point in the watershed. The last two digits of a WBID number allow a waterbody to be segmented further in order to identify specific portions. Then segments of a waterbody are identified by a segment ID made up of an underscore and two additional digits. Waterbodies are initially assigned a segment ID of _00. When additional segments are identified, upstream segments receive a number higher in value (e.g., _10, _20, _30). DEQ’s Integrated Report (aka Water Quality in Oklahoma) uses WBID numbers for all of the waterbodies.
What if I still have questions?
If you still have questions about DEQ’s Integrated Report, TMDLs, or impaired waters, please visit the DEQ’s Watershed Planning homepage.