November 27, 2023

SCS Engineers Due Diligence

USEPA – Region 7 has been working on a mobile air emissions inventory (dubbed Gmap) to identify major immediate health concerns in the St. Louis area. On Oct 25, they also held two community meetings in the Lemp neighborhood to provide a status update on air monitoring efforts. So – if you don’t have your facility properly permitted and in compliance with construction or operational air emissions, you’re in for increased scrutiny from the agency and the public alike. The USEPA officials we work with stress that accuracy and timeliness in submitting your permit and responsiveness to agency questions are the keys to successful and relatively painless permitting, which many environmental consultants can assist with.

Another issue related to air permitting is keeping on top of the changing landscape of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). East St. Louis and St. Louis, as well as St. Charles and Jefferson Counties, are currently mapped as non-attainment zones for ozone. Proposed reductions in the allowable limits for particulate matter (PM) 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) under the Clean Air Act, which could go into effect at any time, will result in the designation of additional non-attainment areas in the region and, accordingly, far greater difficulty in air permitting for new or expanding facilities. The current annual average primary standard for PM 2.5 is 12 µg/m³, whereas the proposed standard will likely fall to between 9-10 µg/m³. It’s also important to know that EPA recently announced $3.5 million for Environmental Justice projects across Missouri and that EJ is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge for industrial facilities housed in EJ communities, so if your facility is an air emitter, even if properly permitted, you could face operational and PR challenges.

Another important thing to be proactive about is National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for construction and wastewater or stormwater runoff. NPDES non-compliance is becoming a major concern for MDNR and EPA as Missouri has a higher non-compliance rate than many other states. And ditto for spill prevention, control, and countermeasure (SPCC) and stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPP). Facility compliance audits are a great tool to ensure you have everything in place so you don’t end up with unexpected notices of violation.

Finally, as hopefully many of you are aware, due diligence and permitting requirements will become increasingly strict as polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) are declared hazardous substances under CERCLA. There is likely to be a great deal of litigation over this. PFAS have already been added to other regulatory frameworks, such as the recent requirement for toxic release inventory reporting to include them as chemicals of special concern, removing the de minimis exemption formerly in place.

Successful industrial facilities I work with are proactive in their permitting and compliance efforts. They carve out ample time for due diligence and – if needed – remediation work before facility acquisitions and expansions. My advice is to know what you’re getting into and that front-end costs are nothing compared to fines or cleanup costs you might be subject to if you don’t get your ducks in a row. For example, the USEPA recently issued a sizeable fine related to a Clean Water Act violation for a scrap metal recycling facility in St. Louis alleged to have illegal discharges into the Mississippi River.


About the Author: Rachel McShane, LEP, has over 15 years of experience in environmental due diligence projects (Phase I, II and III Environmental Site Assessments) as well as Brownfields redevelopment, risk-based corrective action, and remediation projects. She is familiar with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental assessments, vapor investigations and mitigation, radon, asbestos, lead-based paint surveys, and leachate monitoring/solid waste management. Reach Ms. McShane at  or via LinkedIn.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

August 11, 2023

NPDES General Industrial Permit
Industry sectors must update site-specific SWPPPs to comply with the 2023 NPDES General Permit. Here’s how.


On July 1, 2023, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) posted and updated General NPDES Permit No. ILR00 for Industrial Storm Water Discharges (2023 General Permit). The 2023 General Permit is effective July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2028.

Multiple industry sectors must now update their site-specific Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to comply with the 2023 General Permit. Three key updates in the 2023 General Permit are:

1-Permittees are required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for renewal no later than 150 days after the 2023 General Permit is issued (i.e., by November 28, 2023).

2-Permittees must place a sign of permit coverage (except in instances where other laws or local ordinances prohibit such signage) in a safe, publicly accessible location in close proximity to the facility and include the following:

      • The NPDES ID Number;
      • Information about how the public can request the facility’s SWPPP; and
      • How to contact the facility and IEPA if stormwater pollution is observed.

3-Benchmark sampling requirement updates, varying based on the industry sector’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code classification:

      • Certain SIC Code groups will be required to re-evaluate existing benchmark sampling constituent thresholds (See the list of these SIC Code groups below, titled List 1); and
      • Certain SIC Code groups will have new reporting requirements associated with constituents for which a benchmark threshold has not been established (See the list of these SIC Code groups below, titled List 2).


List 1 – SIC Code Groups with Updated Benchmark Sampling Constituents

Subsector C1 & C2

  • Agricultural Chemicals (SIC Code 2873-2879)
  • Industrial Inorganic Chemicals (SIC Code 2812-2819)

Subsector E1 & E2

  • Clay Product Manufacturers (SIC Code 3251-3259; 3261-3269)
  • Concrete and Gypsum Product Manufacturers (SIC Code 3271-3275)

Subsector F1 & F2

  • Steel Works, Blast Furnaces, and Rolling and Finishing Mills (SIC Code 3312-3317)
  • Iron and Steel Foundries (SIC Code 3321-3325)

Subsector H1

  • Coal Mines and Related Areas (SIC Code 1221-1241)

Subsector L1

  • All Landfills, Land Application Sites, and Open Dumps (Industrial Activity Code “LF”)

Subsector M1

  • Automobile Salvage Yards (SIC Code 5015)

Subsector Q1

  • Water Transportation Facilities (SIC Code 4412-4499)

Subsector AA1

  • Fabricated Metal Products, except Coating (SIC Code 3411-3499; 3911-3915)


List 2 – SIC Code Groups with New Benchmark Sampling Requirements for Reporting Purposes Only

Subsector B2

  • Pulp Mills (SIC Code 2611); Paper Mills (SIC Code 2621); Paperboard Containers and Boxes (SIC Code 2652-2657); Converted Paper and Paperboard Products, Except Containers and Boxes (SIC Code 2671-2679)

Subsector C5

  • Medicinal Chemicals and Botanical Products; Pharmaceutical Preparations; in vitro and in vivo Diagnostic Substances; and Biological Products, Except Diagnostic Substances (SIC Code 2833-2836); Paints, Varnishes, Lacquers, Enamels, and Allied Products (SIC Code 2851); Industrial Organic Chemicals (SIC  Code 2861-2869); Miscellaneous Chemical  Products (SIC Code 2891-2899); Inks and Paints, Including China Painting Enamels,  India Ink, Drawing Ink, Platinum Paints for  Burnt Wood or Leather Work, Paints for  China Painting, Artist’s Paints and Artist’s Watercolors (SIC Code 3952 (limited to list of inks and paints)); Petroleum Refining (SIC Code 2911)

Subsector D2

  • Miscellaneous Products of Petroleum and Coal (SIC Code 2992, 2999)

Subsector E3

  • Flat Glass (SIC Code 3211); Glass and Glassware, Pressed or Blown (SIC Code 3221, 3229); Glass Products Made of Purchased Glass (SIC Code 3231); Hydraulic Cement (SIC Code 3241); Cut Stone and Stone Products (SIC Code 3281); Abrasive, Asbestos, and Miscellaneous Nonmetallic Mineral Products (SIC Code 3291-3299) Miscellaneous Products of Petroleum and Coal (SIC Code 2992, 2999)

Subsector F5

  • Primary Smelting and Refining of Nonferrous Metals (SIC Code 3331-3339); Secondary Smelting and Refining of Nonferrous Metals (SIC Code 3341); Miscellaneous Primary Metal Products (SIC Code 3398, 3399)

Subsector I

  • Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas (SIC Code 1311); Natural Gas Liquids (Sic Code 1321); Oil and Gas Field Services (SIC Code 1381-1389)

Subsector J3

  • Clay, Ceramic, and Refractory Materials (SIC Code 1455,1459); Chemical and Fertilizer Mineral Mining (SIC Code 1474-1479)

Subsector L2

  • All Landfills, Land Application Sites, and Open Dumps, except Municipal Solid Waste Landfill (MSWLF) areas closed in accordance with 40 CFR 258.60 (Activity Code LF)

Subsector N2

  • Source-separated Recycling Facility (SIC Code 5093)

Subsector O1

  • Steam Electric Generating Facilities, including coal handling sites (SIC Code SE)

Subsector P1

  • Railroad Transportation (SIC Code 4011, 4013); Local and Highway Passenger Transportation (SIC Code 41114173); Motor Freight Transportation and Warehousing (SIC Code 4212-4231); United States Postal Service (SIC Code 4311); Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals (SIC Code 5171) Steam Electric Generating Facilities, including coal handling sites (SIC Code SE)

Subsector R1

  • Ship and Boat Building or Repairing Yards (SIC Code 3731, 3732)

Subsector T1

  • Treatment Works treating domestic sewage or any other sewage sludge or wastewater treatment device or system, used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of municipal or domestic sewage, including land dedicated to the disposal of sewage sludge that is located within the confines of the facility, with a design flow of 1.0 mgd or more, or required to have an approved pretreatment program under 40 CFR Part 403. Not included are farmlands, domestic gardens, or lands used for sludge management where sludge is beneficially reused and which are not physically located in the confines of the facility, or areas that are in compliance with section 405 of the CWA (Activity Code TW)

Subsector U3

  • Meat Products (SIC Code 2011-2015); Dairy Products (SIC Code 2021-2026); Canned, Frozen, and Preserved Fruits, Vegetables, and Food Specialties (SIC Code 2032-2038); Bakery Products (SIC Code 2051-2053); Sugar and Confectionery Products (SIC Code 2061-2068); Beverages (SIC Code 20822087); Miscellaneous Food Preparations and Kindred Products (SIC Code 2091- 2099); Tobacco Products (SIC Code 2111-2141)

Subsector V1

  • Textile Mill Products (SIC Code 2211-2299); Apparel and Other Finished Products Made from Fabrics and Similar Materials (SIC Code 2311-2399); Leather and Leather Products (note: see Sector Z1 for Leather Tanning and Finishing) (SIC Code 3131-3199)

Subsector W1

  • Wood Kitchen Cabinets (SIC Code 2434); Furniture and Fixtures (Sic Code 2511-2599)

Subsector X1

  • Printing, Publishing, and Allied Industries (SIC Code 2711-2796)

Subsector Y2

  • Miscellaneous Plastics Products (SIC Code 3081-3089); Musical Instruments (SIC Code 3931); Dolls, Toys, Games, and Sporting and Athletic Goods (SIC Code 3942-3949); Pens, Pencils, and Other Artists’ Materials (SIC Code 3951-3955 (except 3952 – see Sector C)); Costume Jewelry, Costume Novelties, Buttons, and Miscellaneous Notions, Except Precious Metal (SIC Code 3961, 3965); Miscellaneous Manufacturing Industries (SIC Code 3991-3999)

Subsector Z1

  • Leather Tanning and Finishing (SIC Code 3111)

Subsector AB1

  • Industrial and Commercial Machinery, Except Computer and Office Equipment (see Sector AC) (SIC Code 3511-3599 (except 3571-3579)); Transportation Equipment except for Ship and Boat Building and Repairing (see Sector R) (SIC Code 3711-3799 (except 3731, 3732))

Subsector AC1

  • Computer and Office Equipment (SIC Code 3571-3579); Measuring, Analyzing, and Controlling Instruments; Photographic and Optical Goods, Watches, and Clocks (SIC Code 3812-3873); Electronic and Electrical Equipment and Components, Except Computer Equipment (SIC Code 3612-3699)


Our authors are available to answer questions about the Illinois stormwater regulations. You will find state professionals for updates or filing requirements local to your operation here.  


Spencer LaBelle serves as a Senior Project Engineer for our Upper Midwest Team. Spencer has prepared SWPPPs for multiple, diverse industries and operations throughout Illinois and assisted clients with SWPPP inspections from the Illinois EPA. He has diverse experience in civil/environmental consulting for stormwater and erosion control management systems, site development, and regulatory compliance.

Betsy Powers serves as a Vice President/Senior Project Manager for our Upper Midwest Team. She has over 25 years of experience in civil/environmental consulting, including erosion control and stormwater management, site development, regulatory compliance, landfill design and permitting, landfill construction, material recovery facility design, and compost facility design and permitting.


Additional NPDES and Stormwater Resources:




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

October 12, 2020

Stormwater Pollution Planning and Preparation SWPPP

Industrial stormwater discharge regulatory compliance defined by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System – NPDES, and the Federal Multi-Sector General Permit – MSGP, slated for implementation in January 2021, will affect state Industrial General Permits. In the states where the EPA is the regulating body (New Mexico, New Hampshire, and West Virginia), the impact will be immediate.

California on the Rise, by Jonathan Meronek and Alissa Barrow, discusses the emerging general commonalties of “lessons learned” that can help dischargers successfully manage their stormwater programs.

Jonathan and Alissa explain best practices that help businesses understand and prepare ahead of the expected changes. The strategies can streamline preparation and response to minimize risk and help prevent fines and lawsuits.


About the Authors: Jonathan Meronek is a State of California IGP Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioner – QISP. With SCS Engineers for over 17 years, he leads Stormwater Management in the Southwest U.S. Alissa Barrow has 10 years of experience as an environmental professional specializing in environmental assessment, remediation, and compliance. Find a stormwater professional near you.

Learn more:





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

April 13, 2020

Do you know how much oil you store in aboveground containers at your facilities? If you have more than 1,320 gallons at a facility, you may need an SPCC Plan. SPCC stands for Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure, and it is a federal rule (40 CFR 112 in the Federal Register) designed to prevent oil-based products from entering navigable waterways of the United States. But it’s about more than just compliance. It’s an important tool to help you limit your liability.

As a utility leader, your focus is to deliver electricity to your customers; however, facilities covered under the SPCC Rule are subject to inspections and potential enforcement actions if your practices are out of compliance.

Does the SPCC rule apply to me?

The 1,320-gallon threshold isn’t the only requirement for an SPCC Plan. The SPCC Rule only counts oil storage containers with a capacity of 55 gallons or more. Many electric utility facilities will meet the oil storage threshold, including substations, storage yards, power plants, and operations and maintenance facilities.

Another criterion is that a facility must reasonably be expected to discharge oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines of the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) does not define what “reasonably be expected” means. Instead, the responsibility is on the facility owner or operator to determine the potential for discharge. In reality, it’s usually easy to think of a scenario where spilled oil could reach a waterway. Even if you think a spill would never reach the stream, what if there was a significant rain event that washed away spilled oil on the ground through a storm sewer? Often “reasonably be expected” is not challenged, and it’s best to err on the side of caution.

The SPCC rule applies to my facilities, now what?

It’s time to prepare an SPCC Plan. The Plan summarizes your facility’s oil sources, identifies spill response coordinators, and outlines your spill prevention measures and spill response procedures. There are three options:  1) Prepare the Plan yourself; 2) Use a third-party provider to prepare your Plan; or 3) Have a licensed professional engineer (PE) prepare your Plan. The option you choose depends on how much oil you store at your facility and your working knowledge of the SPCC Rule.

If your facility has less than 10,000 gallons of oil and no single aboveground oil storage container with a capacity greater than 5,000 U.S. gallons, you may prepare your own SPCC Plan, following the USEPA’s Tier I qualified facility template.

You can download the USEPA’s Tier I qualified facility template here: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-05/documents/tier1template.pdf. It is the cheapest way to comply with the SPCC Rule. You need to be familiar with the SPCC Rule’s requirements to complete a self-certified plan. You must also follow all of the requirements without deviation.

If your facility has less than 10,000 gallons of oil and a single aboveground oil storage container with a capacity greater than 5,000 U.S. gallons, you qualify under the USEPA’s Tier II qualified facility category. The USEPA does not provide a plan template for a Tier II qualified facility. You can still prepare the Plan yourself, or you may hire a third party or PE to prepare the Plan for you. If you prepare the Plan yourself, you must still follow all of the requirements precisely without deviating from them.

If your facility has greater than 10,000 gallons of oil storage, you must have a licensed PE prepare and certify your facility’s SPCC Plan. The Rule allows PEs the flexibility to deviate from certain requirements, so you may decide you want a PE to prepare and certify your plan for your Tier I or Tier II qualified facility.

The Value of an SPCC Plan

An SPCC Plan is about more than just compliance. An SPCC Plan contains important information that will be critical if you have an oil spill. The Plan contains inspection forms and protocols that help you maintain your oil sources and prevent a spill from happening in the first place. It identifies the single point of contact, an “SPCC Coordinator” for the facility. If there is a spill, the Plan contains steps to contain and control the spill initially, and the proper contacts to notify internally and externally.

The SPCC Rule requires oil-handling personnel to receive annual training to respond to spills in their work areas properly, and the SPCC Plan contains the material that must be covered in training. The SPCC Plan also contains forms for you to document training, plan reviews and updates, and spill notifications.

Work with your staff to determine if the SPCC Rule applies to you. An SPCC Plan is a required document for certain facilities to help you comply with the SPCC Rule and gain the benefits of having a plan in place. But more than that, it’s a practical document designed to assist with training and inspections while serving the function to help prevent spills from occurring. And if spills do occur, an SPCC Plan provides the guidance to help control the spill and limit your liability.

Read Part II – Are You Ready to Respond to an Industrial Spill?

spcc plan pe certificationAbout the Author: Jared Omernik has 12 years of experience helping electric utilities comply with environmental regulations, including helping utility owners and operators build and review SPCC Plans and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs).

For questions about the SPCC Rule or SPCC Plans, contact Jared at .






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

June 19, 2017

Federal regulations require NPDES industrial stormwater Discharger to certify and submit via SMARTs an Annual Report on or before July 15th of each reporting year. Each facility should have already prepared the Annual Comprehensive Facility Compliance Evaluation (ACFCE). Per IGP Section XVI, the Discharger shall include in the Annual Report:

  • A Compliance Checklist that indicates a discharger has complied with, and has addressed, all applicable requirements of the IGP; this includes Monthly Non-Stormwater Discharge (NSWD) and Best Management Practices (BMP) inspections, Sampling Event Observations, Ad Hoc Reports completed, HUC-10 Watershed pollutant source assessment for impaired pollutants and sampling frequency reductions;
  • The Discharger must address any exceptions for non-compliance during the reporting year (e.g. not collecting four (4) Qualifying Storm Events (QSEs); and
  • Identify sections/page numbers of all revisions made in the SWPPP, including the Site Plan, drainage areas and improved/added BMPs…

To learn more about filing, read the SCS Stormwater June Newsletter. 

We hope that you find these tips helpful.  If you have questions about sampling techniques, how to be prepared for storms, permitting, or anything else for compliance in California contact: Jonathan Meronek, , or your local office.






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am

June 14, 2017

In her latest article, Betsy Powers describes how industrial storm water permits are designed to protect the quality of surface waters, wetlands, and groundwater. She succinctly provides what you need to know to ensure your company complies with state and federal laws under the Tier 1 or Tier 2 General Permit for Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activity. Betsy answers these questions:

  • What Inspections Should I Be Doing?
  • What if I Notice Contamination During an Inspection?
  • What Are the Recordkeeping Requirements?
  • When Do I Need to Update My SWPPP?

Betsy also sends you to the necessary documents for Wisconsin in her article. A quick read, packed with guidance and resources.

Click to read the full article.

SCS Engineers provides these services nationwide. Contact and we’ll connect you with our professionals knowledgeable of your state requirements.

About the Author: Ms. Powers is a civil and environmental engineer with more than 16 years of consulting experience. She has consulted on diverse site development and environmental compliance projects and has helped clients work cooperatively with regulatory agencies and their constituents to successfully complete projects.

Services Offered




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am

April 10, 2017

By October 17, 2016, coal combustion residual (CCR) landfills subject to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) CCR regulations published at 40 CFR 257, Subpart D, also known as the Federal CCR Rule, were required to prepare a Run-on and Run-off Control System Plan.  Your plan documents how you have designed and constructed your landfill to prevent storm water from running onto or off the active landfill.  But, what’s next?

Have you addressed run-on and run-off control system operation and maintenance?

Spring is a great time to review your storm water control plans and, more importantly, your storm water controls.  The snow is gone now and spring rains are on their way, so knowing that your storm water controls are working and water is going where you intend it to go should be part of your spring inspection routine.  Don’t want to waste money managing clean storm water with your leachate management system, or put your facility at risk by allowing unintended runoff from the landfill.  A few basic inspection tasks will help ensure you don’t.

A spring run-on and run-off control system inspection should include the following:

  • Erosion along intermediate and final cover areas
  • Sediment accumulation in diversion berms, ditches, and basins
  • Soil stockpiles are stabilized or have silt fence/silt sock along downslope side
  • Condition of erosion control best management practices (e.g., silt fence, sediment logs, erosion mat, etc.)
  • Effectiveness of best management practices in preventing off-site transport of sediment
  • Sparse vegetation or bare areas
  • Prevention of run-on into active CCR unit
  • Containing runoff in contact with CCR within the limits of waste to be treated as leachate

Don’t let spring rains catch you off guard. SCS Engineers can help you assess the effectiveness of your run-on and run-off control systems. For help conducting storm water inspections as well as studies to review leachate, contact water, and storm water minimization and reuse opportunities, or for questions about run-on and run-off control system inspections or more information about minimization and reuse studies, please contact:

Mike McLaughlin, PE, Senior Vice President
Eric Nelson, PE, Vice President
Steve Lamb, PE, Vice President
Kevin Yard, PE, Vice President

Or, contact your local SCS Engineers office.



Learn more about the author Eric Nelson:

Eric J. Nelson, PE, is a Vice President of SCS Engineers and our National Expert for Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR). He is an experienced engineer and hydrogeologist. His diverse experience includes solid waste landfill development, soil and groundwater remediation, and brownfield redevelopment.

Mr. Nelson has worked with utility clients to complete numerous projects for dry CCR landfills, CCR ponds, and general environmental monitoring and compliance. He has been involved with CCR landfill projects that include feasibility analyses and permitting of landfill expansions; hydrogeologic and geotechnical site investigations; site design and operating plans; soil borrow source identification and permitting; liner and final cover construction liner, cover, and storm water management repairs. He has worked with utility clients to evaluate, plan, permit and complete CCR pond repairs and closures.

Mr. Nelson’s environmental monitoring and compliance experience includes groundwater monitoring; oil containment design and construction; and Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) planning. This diverse project experience has provided him the opportunity to work on challenging and innovative projects that have included design and permitting for wetland and stream mitigation, identifying and avoiding former underground mines during site design, and assessing the feasibility of installing a solar photovoltaic system on a closed CCR landfill.

Mr. Nelson’s additional areas of expertise include remedial action planning, cost estimating, bidding and construction documents, and construction quality assurance. He has worked with electric utilities, solid waste facility owners/operators, and private property owners and developers.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:00 am

September 13, 2016

For years, Wisconsin landfills have relied on compliance with the storm water (stormwater) management requirements in the Chapter NR 500 code series to achieve compliance with the NR 216 storm water standards. Effective June 15, 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) changed their policy, and now requires landfills and associated non-commercial borrow sites to obtain separate industrial storm water permit coverage.

Read the SCS Engineers Technical Bulletin to determine what action you may be required to take and by what date.

  • September 19, 2016, submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) form to WDNR.
  • WDNR will review your NOI and determine if your facility can be covered under the Tier 2 Industrial Storm Water Permit.
  • January 31, 2017, submit a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Summary Form. This also requires preparation of a SWPPP report designed to prevent storm water discharges of pollutants to waters of the state.

If you have questions or need help filing or developing a plan, please contact:

Betsy Powers, PE

(608) 216-7347

Sherren Clark, PE, PG

(608) 216-7323


Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am