Under Pressure

Metal recycling company adapts to tightening storm water permit requirements

Calvin Noling

With growing water quality concerns over the past two decades, industrial storm water permit requirements have become ever more stringent. For more than 20 years, through its proactive environmental compliance program, a metal recycling company in the Pacific Northwest has adapted to these tightening storm water permit requirements and maintained compliance. Its program relies on a comprehensive strategy using combinations of storm water pollution control best management practices (BMPs), including source controls and structural and treatment BMPs. The combination of BMPs has resulted in consistent attainment and a monitoring waiver during each permit term.

While the national trend has been that industrial general permits impose additional requirements with each five-year permit renewal period, this facility added incremental improvements to its BMPs and processes to remain compliant. Thanks to its management team’s aggressive implementation of BMPs during the last 20-plus years, the company successfully has reduced concentrations of copper, zinc and total suspended solids (TSS) by more than 90%.

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Calvin Noling, P.E., is engineer and CEO for StormwateRx LLC.