Industrial stormwater: Apply for the 2015-2020 general permit

For an overview of the industrial stormwater permit's main requirements, see PDF icon Steps to compliance for the industrial stormwater general permit.

Here are the first few steps:

Step 1: Applicability — do you need a permit?

Review the SIC codes & Narrative Activities that require coverage 

Review industry/activity-specific guidance documents

Step 2: Consider certifying for No Exposure

No materials or industrial activities outside? Apply for No Exposure! A key component of the rules is sheltering 100% of your significant materials and industrial activities from exposure to stormwater 100% of the time.

Determine if your industrial activities and significant materials are within a storm-resistant shelter:

Examples of material storage containers

Storm-resistant shelters include completely roofed and walled buildings or structures, as well as structures with only a top cover but no side coverings, provided the material under the structure is not otherwise subject to any run-on and subsequent runoff of stormwater, such as berming the area or sloping the land inward to prevent spills from running out of the area.

Significant materials:

Industrial activities:

Fuels, solvents, coolants, lubricants and cleaners

Outdoor storage activities

Raw, intermediate, and final products, metallic materials

Outside manufacturing areas, vehicle & equipment washing, maintenance and storage areas


Loading and unloading operations

Wastes and scrap materials

Substance Transfer areas

Hazardous materials/wastes

Outdoor manufacturing or processing activities

Processing or production operations

Significant dust or particulate generating activities

Machining fluids

Onsite waste disposal practices

Dust or residuals

Outside storage areas for raw materials, by-products, and finished products

Fueling stations

Grinding, cutting, degreasing, buffing, and brazing

Above-ground tanks for liquid storage

Industrial waste management areas (landfills, waste piles, treatment plants, disposal areas)

Review the application questions and examples of outdoor exposure

Are any of the following materials or activities exposed to precipitation, now or in the foreseeable future? These questions apply to your entire facility.

To qualify for the No Exposure exclusion, 100% of your industrial activities and significant materials must be indoors or within a storm-resistant shelter, 100% of the time.

Materials or Activities


Use, storage or cleaning of industrial machinery or equipment; areas where residuals from these activities and equipment remain exposed to stormwater

Example: Vehicle and equipment washing, maintenance and storage areas, molds or forms used to make products, outdoor manufacturing or processing areas

Spills or leaks on the ground or in stormwater inlets

Example: Hydraulic fluid, fuel, oil, other fluid or material leaks or spills        

Residuals, equipment, or products from past industrial activity

Example: Materials from past industrial activities/owners are still outside and exposed to stormwater

Inadequately maintained facility equipment or vehicles

Example: Leaking forklifts, trolleys, delivery vehicles, leaking machinery performing loading/unloading activities

Facility vehicle fueling; loading/unloading/transporting materials or products

Example: Raw material delivery/storage, loading/unloading operations; facility vehicle maintenance; loading/unloading of biosolids, fueling activities, other substance transfer areas that include solvents, coolants, lubricants, and cleaners

Storage of material or product (except final products intended for outside use such as new cars)

Example: Raw materials, metallic materials, chemicals or intermediate products, rusted or corrodible racks; spent equipment; salvaged vehicles or vehicle parts, final products not meant to be outdoors, any of which are a potential source of contaminants

Containers of materials or products which are deteriorated or leaking; containers without proper covers or secondary containment

Example: Open storage tanks, drums, broken or contaminated pallets, totes, or dumpsters, containers, racks and platforms that are not pollutant-free or are rusting/deteriorating

Stockpiling or transfer of materials or products onsite or on roads or railways owned or maintained by the facility

Example: Salt, coal, sand, gravel, and other materials, by-products, or waste products including biosolids, hazardous materials, wastes or other waste destined for land application

Waste materials in uncovered disposal areas, open dumpsters, or open roll off containers

Example: Scrap metal, oily rags, sawdust, broken pallets, spent equipment, batteries, hazardous wastes

Disposal of process wastewater. Must have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)/State Disposal System (SDS) permit or authorization from local Wastewater Treatment Facility

Example: Unpermitted process wastewater disposal including land application; permitted wastewater disposal that stains the ground or leaves visual deposits of residuals

Visible deposits of particulate matter or residuals from roof stacks and/or vents or other sources and evident in the stormwater runoff

Example: Baghouse dust or smokestack residue, road dust from industrial vehicle traffic, wood debris and dust, dust and debris from grinding, cutting, buffing, or brazing metal or plastic parts

Review additional guidance materials

Step 3: Create Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

There are 13 general requirements of the SWPPP

  1. Create, implement and maintain SWPPP.
  2. Update SWPPP before applying for permit coverage.
  3. Modify previous versions of SWPPPs before applying for permit coverage.
  4. Identify qualified personnel who are responsible for the implementation and management of the SWPPP.
  5. Include a section dedicated to mobile activities (if applicable).
  6. Include additional sector-specific SWPPP requirements from part VII of the permit.
  7. List personnel appropriately trained to conduct inspections.
  8. Include records of all inspections conducted.
  9. Include information pertaining to maintenance to Stormwater Control Measures.
  10. Document the elimination of unauthorized non-stormwater discharges.
  11. Include documentation of Spill Prevention and Response Plan.
  12. Include the Mercury Minimization Plan (if applicable).
  13. Include Employee Training Program information.

There are 7 specific SWPPP requirements

  1. Include information about compliance with Stormwater Control Measure requirements.
  2. Provide a facility description.
  3. Include facility map(s).
  4. Provide a facility assessment of activities and materials.
  5. Include modification requirements-review SWPPP annually and document modifications.
  6. Availability Requirements-make sure the SWPPP is available to the MPCA upon request.
  7. Reporting Requirements and Submittals-reflect conditions and changes in the annual report.

SWPPP tools

BMP Links/guidance documents

Step 4: Gather application materials before applying


Required information to apply

For No Exposure Certifiers

For permittees


Narrative Activities (if applicable)




Primary SIC Code, Co-located SIC codes




Permit numbers or Hazardous Waste ID numbers, if otherwise regulated by the MPCA




Facility information (facility name, owner name, facility street address)




Description of Facility




Facility location information: Latitude/longitude of the facility




Facility contacts (facility owner, facility operator, facility contact)




Answers to No Exposure questions




Acreage of industrial activities




SWPPP completion




Information if stormwater discharges to a regulated MS4




List/describe your stormwater discharges to surface waters




Monitoring location information (name/description, latitude/longitude, Narrative Activities/SIC codes at each monitoring location)




Application fee



Detailed information for each requirement

  1. Identify all applicable Narrative Activities conducted at the Facility.
  2. SIC Codes: What is your facility’s primary SIC code? You must list your primary SIC code and all other regulated SIC codes (up to 5) on the application. 
  3. Provide Industrial Stormwater permit number or Hazardous Waste ID numbers. Go to MPCA's What’s in My Neighborhood.
  4. Provide the facility name and facility owner name and full physical address/location where the actual industrial operations occur.
  5. Describe the industrial activity at the facility using a few sentences.
  6. Include the decimal latitude/longitude for the facility. (Use this Lat/Long search tool.)
  7. Provide name, email address, phone number, fax number and address (if different from facility information) of the owner of the facility/business, the facility operator, and the contact, and billing contact. 
  8. Prepare accurate answers to No Exposure Questions. Read each question carefully.

Note: If a facility cannot certify for No Exposure, address items 9-14.

  1. Provide the total acreage of your industrial activities at your facility.
  • Total acres of facility (example: 10 acres)
  • Total acreage of office buildings and parking lots, where no industrial activities are occurring (example: 5 acres)
  • Total acreage of landscaped/natural acreage of areas where no industrial activities are occurring (example: 2 acres)
  • Total acres of industrial activities:  a-b-c=d (example: 3 acres)
  1. A Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) must be created before applying.
  2. Provide information if stormwater discharges flow to any regulated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4).
  3. List all surface waters within a mile that receive your industrial stormwater discharges. 
  4. List all monitoring locations; a minimum of one monitoring location is required.
  5. Application fee. The application requires a $400 application fee. Online: Visa, Mastercard or e-checks are accepted. For the paper application, enclose a paper check.  

Step 5: Apply, modify, or terminate permit coverage/No Exposure certification

If you need to apply for the 2015 Industrial Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit, please e-mail us:

About the Industrial Stormwater Program

  • Develop an effective Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) which contains your Stormwater Control Measures, described as Best Management Practices (BMPs).
  • Manage stormwater runoff by meeting the permit requirements or certify condition of No Exposure.
  • Read and comply with the PDF icon 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activity

Contact the MPCA for assistance