Frequently Asked Questions

What is the T.P.D.E.S.?
How is a TPDES General Permit obtained?
Who is required to obtain a TPDES General Permit?
What are the TPDES Permit requirements?
What is a S.W.P.P.P.?
What are the consequences for non-compliance?
Why Elim Industries for compliance assistance?

WHAT IS THE T.P.D.E.S.?

The Texas Pollution Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) is a system created to help ensure quality drinking water for all Texans by keeping rainwater from carrying debris and contaminants into Texas rivers and lakes.

The TPDES is governed and enforced by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ, formerly known as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission or TNRCC).  The TCEQ requires certain industries to obtain a TPDES General Permit covering eligible storm water and certain non-storm water discharges from industrial facilities.  The permit was signed into effect on Monday, August 20, 2001 and is therefore issued and effective as of that date.

HOW’S A TPDES GENERAL PERMIT OBTAINED?

Each type of activity listed (See WHO’S REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A TPDES GENERAL PERMIT) must obtain a permit and perform periodical maintenance to ensure compliance with the permit regulations continues.

To obtain a permit and comply with its requirements the applicant must:

•Develop and produce a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) that fully complies with all TPDES laws and regulations as well as any additional area or local regulations.

•Complete and file a Notice of Intent (NOI) application for permit coverage.  The NOI must be completed in its entirety along with its Core Data Forms.

•Perform periodical site inspections and produce inspection reports as required by the individual permit and/or sector in which the activity is listed.

•Collect and perform lab testing of runoff samples as required by permit.

•File additional paperwork such as Notice of Change (NOC), Notice of Termination (NOT), or NOI’s with TCEQ where applicable.

•Properly maintain the SWPPP according to state, area and local laws and regulations.

WHO’S REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A TPDES GENERAL PERMIT?

Industrial activities fall into grouped sectors (30 in all), according to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes that are assigned to all businesses during application for state tax license.  This provides the state with a list of those companies that should be noted as having a permit; many are not on that list.  Coverage under the TPDES General Permit must be obtained in order to allow storm waters and non-storm waters to flow from facilities or sites that contain or house industrial activities listed in the following sectors or those that are classified as related.
(See TPDES Permit No. TXR050000 for a full listing by individual SIC codes).

Sector A

Timber Products

Sector Q

Water Transportation

Sector B

Paper and Allied Products

Sector R

Ship and Boat Building or Repairing Yards

Sector C

Chemical and Allied Products

Sector S

Air Transportation

Sector D

Asphalt Paving and Roofing Materials and Lubricants

Sector T

Treatment Works

Sector U

Food and Kindred Products

Sector E

Glass, Clay, Cement, Concrete and Gypsum Products

Sector V

Textile Mills, Apparel, and Other Fabric Product Manufacturing, Leather and Leather Products

Sector F

Primary Metals

Sector W

Furniture and Fixtures

Sector G

Metal Mining (Ore Mining and Dressing)

Sector X

Printing and Publishing

Sector H

Coal Mines and Coal Mining Related Facilities

Sector Y

Rubber, Miscellaneous Plastic Products, and Miscellaneous Manufacturing Industries

Sector I

Oil and Gas Extraction

Sector J

Mineral Mining and Dressing

Sector Z

Leather Tanning and Finishing

Sector K

Hazardous Waste Storage Facilities

Sector AA

Fabricated Metal Products

Sector L

Landfills and Land Application Sites

Sector AB

Transportation Equipment, Industrial or Commercial Machinery

Sector M

Automobile Salvage Yards

Sector N

Scrap Recycling Facilities

Sector AC

Electronic, Electrical, Photographic, and Optical Goods

Sector O

Steam Electric Generating Facilities

Sector P

Land Transportation and Warehousing

Sector AD

Miscellaneous Industrial Activities

Construction activities that disturb one or more acres, or construction activities that are a part of or adjacent to an area of construction that disturbs one or more acres.
(See TPDES Permit No. TXR150000).

TPDES PERMIT REQUIREMENTS

•Site specific SWPPP that will pass the EPA/TCEQ compliance checklist

•Posted Annual Employee Training that covers the basics of the TPDES permit and its requirements

•Periodical Inspections as per the applicable permit’s requirements

•Annual Heavy Metals Sampling as per the applicable permit’s requirements

•Periodical Lab Sampling as per the applicable permit’s requirement

•Lab results submitted annually to TCEQ

•Record Keeping of all materials removed from the facility

•Posted Application

•Posted copy of SWPPP permit issued by the TCEQ

•Posted Spill Response Plan

SWPPP Updated as needed in order to ensure continual compliance

SPCC Plan for individual above ground storage tanks larger than 665-gallons in capacity or above ground storage that reaches or exceeds 1320-gallons combined capacity or 42,000 gallons underground storage.

 

WHAT’S A S.W.P.P.P.?

A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan is a detailed document explaining how facilities or sites are attempting to eliminate or minimize known pollutants or potential pollutants, as well as the efforts and Best Management Practices employed to control or halt the amounts of these pollutants exiting the facility during rain events.

To be fully in compliance, the SWPPP must include:

See “TPDES PERMIT REQUIREMENTS”.

 

CONSEQUENCES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE

•TCEQ has the jurisdiction to levy fines in any of the environmental programs it oversees.  Currently, with non-compliance under Permits No. TXR150000 and TXR050000, fines can reach as high as $32,500.00 a day for every day of operation without the proper permitting, supporting paperwork, and/or both.  These can be assessed against the company, managing individuals, and/or the owners of the facility or property, whichever TCEQ deems necessary to bring about full and proper compliance.  These can be filed as civil, judicial or administrative cases.  Cases not reaching a satisfactory closure, as defined by TCEQ, are passed to the federal level and the jurisdiction of the EPA.

•EPA has recently set its minimum fine to $15,000.00 with administrative cases and the amount goes up from there depending on the severity of violation or whether or not it is a perceived violation with “intentional” motives.  More cases each year are pursued as civil or judicial because these laws have been in place for over 10 years.

•It is important to note that TCEQ enforcement does not originate in Austin but in each of the 16 Texas regional offices located in communities throughout the state.  Backed by scientific, technical, and environmental specialists, these offices are responsible for the largest part of investigative activities as well as complaint investigations.  These offices are (listed by city):

Abilene

Region 3

Dallas/Ft. Worth

Region 4

Midland

Region 7

Amarillo

Region 1

El Paso

Region 6

San Angelo

Region 8

Austin

Region 11

Harlingen

Region 15

San Antonio

Region 13

Beaumont

Region 10

Houston

Region 12

Tyler

Region 5

Corpus Christi

Region 14

Laredo

Region 16

Waco

Region 9

Lubbock

Region 2

 

•The Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force was created in 1991 in order to increase cooperation between federal and state enforcement activities in the pursuit and prosecution due to violations of federal and state environmental law.  The task force fights environmental crime directly by training the Texas law enforcement, conducting stakeouts, tracking down financial assets, obtaining fingerprints and, when necessary, obtaining search warrants and making arrests.

Many banking and financial lending corporations have paid heavy losses or have made loans to those who have paid heavy fines due to enforcement actions taken against themselves and/or their companies.  Due to this, many of these lending institutions are now requiring that loans be preceded by environmental audits in which the existence and proper upkeep of these materials are noted.

Due to historical and recent enforcement actions against companies, managers, and owners, individuals and corporations alike have paid excessive fines and/or lost their companies, their clients, their products, and even their freedom when paying the price of jail time for breaking environmental law.

Can you afford non-compliance?

WHY ELIM INDUSTRIES FOR COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE?

Elim Industries works with regulatory entities as well as our clients, therefore, providing the best in comprehensive compliance assistance with both state and local regulations.  This translates into better understanding and a higher level of environmental law compliance for you and your company.

We represent your needs and are on your side.

We help you anticipate future needs and deal with present regulatory requirements.

Storm Water compliance assistance is our job and not just an additional product that we represent or service.

Our management is EnviroMentor Listed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and has over 7 years experience working with federal, state, and municipal regulatory entities in the areas of stormwater and water/waste water treatment.

Elim Industries is “listed” by two of Texas’ largest municipalities, as a company that is available to provide assistance to both industrial and construction business sectors.

We know and work with EPA/TCEQ/OSHA laws on a continual basis.

We know the municipal, state, and federal inspector’s concerns and are willing to do the additional work to keep you in compliance.

We are known by our clients for keeping them well-informed, in compliance, and free to pursue their primary business concern – “producing a profit”.

 

 

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