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Environmental Reporting & Permits Basics

Environmental Reporting & Permits Basics

Environmental compliance takes a tremendous amount of paperwork. While you might expect that a refinery or a tannery would have to fill out forms regarding their pollutants, many small businesses are also required to provide lengthy and detailed reports.

Here is a summary of typical permitting and reporting procedures and requirements that might confront a small business. This one is for South Carolina car wash businesses.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Application for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit to Discharge Vehicle Wash Waters to State Waters

Application No. SCG750000...................................................... Date: January 9, 1997

  1. Synopsis of Application
    1. Name of Applicant

      This permit authorizes the discharge of 10,000 gallons per day or less of wastewater from the following types of operations as further specified in this permit:

      1. Commercial, fixed, exterior, vehicle washing facilities (CFEVWF) which discharge to a waterway or the land.

      2. Fixed, exterior, vehicle washes on the vehicle owner's property, which discharge to a waterway or the land.

      3. Mobile washing of vehicle exteriors on the property of a vehicle owner, which discharges owner, has coverage in this case.

      4. Construction equipment washing which discharges to a waterway or the land. Erosion control facilities and/or other measures shall be utilized at all sites. Sites which are covered by NPDES General Permit SCR100000 ("Storm Water Discharges from Construction Activities that are Classified as 'Associated with Industrial Activity' by EPA Regulation") must use these facilities to meet the requirements of construction-related storm water permit coverage. These activities shall be incorporated into the Storm water Pollution Prevention Plan required by that permit.

      5. Wash water that is 100% recycled-no discharges.

    2. Facility Location

      Within the geographic boundaries of the State of South Carolina

    3. Description of Applicant's Operation

      Exterior vehicle washing activities

    4. Receiving Water Name

      A covered discharger may discharge to any water body or on any land within the geographic boundaries of the State of South Carolina, as defined in SC Regulation 61-68, Water Classification and Standards.

    5. Description of Existing Pollution Abatement Facilities

      Covered discharges should require no treatment. It is the permittee's responsibility to ensure the pollutant discharge limitations are met. If treatment is necessary, the treatment system must be properly permitted by this Department prior to use.

    6. Permitting Action

      First issuance of a General Permit for vehicle wash water discharges.

  2. Proposed Effluent Limitations

    See Part X. of the General permit.

  3. Rationale for Determining Effluent Limitations
    1. pH: The limits are consistent with S.C. Water Standards and are included due to cleaning materials used and/or contaminants removed from the vehicle during washing.

    2. Total Suspended Solids (TSS): The limits are based on BPJ due to solids (especially soils) being removed from the vehicle during washing.

    3. Oil & Grease: The limits are based on BPJ due to the likelihood of oils, greases, and other lubricating fluids being removed from the vehicle during washing.

  4. Monitoring Requirements
    1. Measurement Frequency: The measurement frequency is once per quarter for each parameter and is stated in Part X. of the permit.

    2. Submission of Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMR's): The permittee must submit monitoring results obtained during each reporting period running from June to May on DMR's postmarked no later than the 30th day of the following June. A separate DMR Form is required for each outfall. The data may be written on a photocopy of the original DMR form.

  5. Schedule for Meeting Limits

    The permittee is to obtain compliance with the permit limitations and conditions on the effective date of the permit.

  6. Proposed Special Conditions Which Will Have a Significant Impact on the Discharge

    See Part IX. of the permit.

  7. Permit Duration

    Five (5) years from the effective date of the permit.

  8. Procedures for the Formulation of Final Determinations

    1. Comment Period

      The Department of Health and Environmental Control proposes to issue an NPDES permit to this applicant subject to the effluent limitations and special conditions outlined above. These determinations are tentative.

      Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the permit application or on DHEC'S proposed determinations to the following address:

      South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
      NPDES Administration
      2600 Bull Street
      Columbia, South Carolina 29201

      All comments received during the thirty-day notice period will be considered in the formulation of final determinations with regard to this application.

    2. Public Hearing

      The Department of Health and Environmental Control Commissioner may hold a public hearing if there is a significant degree of public interest in a proposed permit or group of permits. Public notice of such a hearing will be circulated in newspapers in the geographical area of the discharge and to those on the DHEC mailing list at least thirty days prior to the hearing.

      Following the public hearing, the Commissioner may make such modifications in the terms and conditions of the proposed permit as may be appropriate and shall issue or deny the permit. Notice of issuance or denial will be circulated to those who participated in the hearing and to appropriate persons on the DHEC mailing list.

      If the permit is issued, it will become effective the first of the month following date of issuance and will be the final action of DHEC unless an adjudicatory hearing is granted.

    3. Adjudicatory Hearings

      Any person may submit a request for an administrative adjudicatory hearing to consider the final permit and its conditions. If you wish to request an administrative adjudicatory hearing, such request must be made in accordance with Regulation 61-79, Volume 25, S.C. Code of Laws, 1976, as amended. As required by this regulation, two (2) copies of the request must be served on the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201, within fifteen (15) days following issuance of the permit. Service may be effected by personal delivery or by first class mail.

      The following elements must, at a minimum, be included within the request:

      1. A title indicating the nature of the proceeding and the parties involved;

      2. The complete name and address of the party filing the pleading and, if applicable, the organizations(s) or interests which he represents;

      3. If the requesting party is to be represented by counsel, the name and address of the attorney;

      4. A clear and concise statement of the requesting party's affected interest;

      5. A clear and concise statement of the issues upon which the request is based and, where applicable, the contested sections of the permit. (It should be noted that any uncontested portions of the permit will become effective according to its terms on the effective date specified in the permit).

      6. A statement of the relief sought by the requesting party.

      In the event that such a request is filed, the contested provisions of the permit will be stayed and will not become effective until the administrative review process is complete.

      All uncontested provisions of the permit will be considered issued and effective on the effective date set out in the permit and must be complied with by the facility. Final determination of permit conditions following an adjudicatory hearing will be in accordance with Regulation 61-72.

      Information pertaining to adjudicatory matters may be obtained by contacting the Legal Office of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 or by calling 803/734-4910.

    4. Issuance of the Permit when no Hearings are Held

      If no public hearing or adjudicatory hearing is held, and, after review of the comments received, DHEC's determinations are substantially unchanged, the permit will issue and become effective the first of the month following date of issue. This will be the final action of the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

      If no hearing is held, but there have been substantial changes, public notice of DHEC's revised determination will be made. Following a 15-day comment period, the permit will be issued and become effective the first of the month following termination of the 15-day comment period and will be the final action of Department of Health and Environmental Control, unless an adjudicatory hearing is granted.

    Part X. Effluent Limitations and Monitoring Requirements (See Part IV.).

    During the period beginning on the effective date and lasting through the expiration date, the permittee is authorized to discharge from the outfall(s) 001(*1): Vehicle Wash Water

    Notes: MR means monitor and report only. S.U. means standard units

    (*1) If a site has multiple discharge points, only one representative (see Part IV.B) outfall need be sampled for adherence to the above limitations.

    (*2) Samples taken in compliance with the monitoring requirements specified above shall be taken at the following location(s): At the nearest accessible location prior to discharge and after final treatment (if necessary). See Part IV.E. for reporting requirements.

    (*3) See Section IX.D.

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