Resources for Industry

Working to Improve and Protect Water Quality

Material handling and storage, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and other activities at industrial facilities are often exposed to the weather. Runoff from rainfall or snowmelt that comes in contact with these activities can pick up pollutants, and transport them directly to a nearby river, or lake, or indirectly via a storm sewer and degrade water quality.

Due to the sheer volume of rooftops and parking lots, industries in Iowa generate a tremendous amount of stormwater runoff.

Regulated Activities

Some industrial and commercial activities classified as having “storm water discharge associated with industrial activity” are required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  

Most industrial activities covered under General Permit No. 1 or individual permits include, but are not limited to, material handling equipment or activities, industrial machinery, raw materials, intermediate products, by-products, final products, or waste products.

Material handling activities include the storage, loading and unloading, transportation, or conveyance of any raw material, intermediate product, final product, or waste product. 

Facilities such as asphalt plants, concrete batch plants, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and rock crushers are covered under General Permit No. 3.

Voluntary Action

Having a permit or not should not stop you from employing Best Management Practices (BMPs) in and around your business to improve and protect water quality.  Like households in Iowa, there are BMPs suitable for businesses and industries that prevent pollution, reduce stormwater runoff and manage what cannot be infiltrated.  

Clean Water BMP Plan

Begin by preventing pollution from being released in the first place.  When you take a minute to think about it, preventing stormwater pollution is directly connected to chores we do related to the upkeep and care of your business.  

Next, reduce what you can with appropriate control measures.  Stormwater runoff is generated by rainwater hitting impervious surfaces, such as rooftops, driveways, streets, and parking lots.  Making every attempt to prevent pollution, now try your hand at reducing stormwater runoff making its way to the closest storm drain.  

Finally, manage what you cannot reduce with Green Infrastructure BMPs.  In most cases, infiltration-based practices are sized to capture and infiltrate the 1.25″ rain or less.  However, sometimes it rains more than that in a 24 hour period.  That means these infiltration practices should have a backup plan to safely release the excess rainwater that flows through the BMP.

All of this can be accomplished with a detailed Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to identify potential sources of stormwater pollution, describe control measures, and develop procedures to monitor, inspect, and maintain BMPs.

Click here to download the EPA’s SWPPP Template.

Additional Resources

EPA has created a series of fact sheets for the 29 industrial sectors that are currently regulated. Each fact sheet describes the types of facilities included in the sector, typical pollutants associated with the sector, and types of stormwater control measures used to minimize the discharge of the pollutants.

Click here to view the EPA Fact Sheets & Guidance Documents