Industrial Commercial Facility Inspection Program
Consistent with Schedule A.1 of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, the City of Oregon City must reduce the discharge of pollutants from the stormwater sewer system to the maximum extent practicable (MEP). The MEP requirement is met through compliance with the MS4 permit, specifically through implementation of a stormwater management program and associated Stormwater Management Program Document (SWMP).
The purpose of this document is to fulfill requirements of Schedule A.3.g of the October 1, 2021 MS4 permit by describing the steps the city will follow in order to implement a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater discharges to the MS4 from industrial and commercial facilities.
Schedule A.3.g. Industrial and Commercial Facilities: The co-permittee must continue to implement a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater discharges to the MS4 from facilities the co-permittee has identified as being subject to a Department-issued industrial stormwater NPDES permit, hazardous waste treatment, disposal and recovery facilities, industrial facilities that are subject to section 313 of title III of the Superfund Agreements and Reauthorization Act of 1986, facilities subject to Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 U.S.C. 11023; sites flagged by a pretreatment program or Industrial User Survey as potentially contributing, or housing activities that may contribute pollutants to the MS4; and facilities or activities that have been identified by the co-permittee as potentially contributing a significant pollutant load to the MS4. The co-permittee must:
- Screen existing and new industrial facilities to assess whether they may be subject to an industrial stormwater NPDES permit or have the potential to contribute a significant pollutant load to the MS4. The screening must be done on a routine basis, and in no case may screening for new facilities take place less often than once a year. Within 30 days after determining a facility may be subject to a DEQ-issued industrial stormwater permit, the City must notify the industrial facility and DEQ.
- Review and update this industrial/Commerical Facilities Strategy as developed under the previous permit term and post it for public comment for a minimum of 30 days prior to submission to DEQ for approval and incorporating into the SWMP Document. The strategy must include, at a minimum:
(A) The facility types or activities, rationale, and priorities for entities that the co-permittee has determined may have high potential to discharge pollutants of concern to the MS4;
(B) Inspection procedures, documentation standards, and frequency of inspections; and
(C) Description of the assessment and tracking of compliance with municipal ordinances related to discharges to the MS4 at industrial and commercial facilities that are potential sources of pollutants in stormwater runoff.
This strategy must be updated by December 1, 2023. To fulfill this requirement, the updated strategy is as follows:
1.0 General Information
As of September 2023, the City of Oregon City had over 1,500 active registered businesses. While many of those businesses are related to professional services and work-at-home activities, the City still has a significant number of commercial and industrial businesses that could be included in this program. This document provides a description of how facilities are assessed for inclusion in the program.
As of July 2023, three facilities within Oregon City have active industrial stormwater NPDES permits (i.e., 1200-Z permits). A list of the existing permits is included as Table 1 (Attachment A). The permit database is maintained by Oregon DEQ and searchable online.
2.0 Facility Screening
The City maintains a database of all business licenses in the EnrGov tracking system. The database tracks the information provided during the business license application, which includes business name, address, federal identification number (EIN), four digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, and state license number, where applicable. The business license application also includes several specific questions related to the type of business and whether the business uses hazardous materials. The address information allows the City to cross reference the business information with other City data stored in the EDEN system. Additional information can also be found using Oregon City’s mapping system (OCMap).
On an annual basis, the City’s Water Quality Coordinator will conduct a desktop screening exercise to review all new business license applications. One purpose of this desktop screening exercise is to identify businesses that may be subject to industrial stormwater NPDES permit requirements. The screening is also used to identify other businesses that may have the potential to contribute significant pollutant loads to the MS4 and to determine whether those businesses should be included in the City’s Industrial/Commercial Facility Inspection Program.
2.1 Industrial Stormwater NPDES Permit Notification
Annually, the Water Quality Coordinator will review business license applications and follow DEQ’s guidance document, included as Attachment B, to identify businesses that could be regulated under the industrial stormwater NPDES permit. The Water Quality Coordinator will send courtesy notification letters to both the business license applicant and DEQ’s NW Region Office within 30 days of identifying that an applicant may need a 1200-Z permit.. Documentation of identified businesses will be stored in individual file folders in the Water Quality office.
The City is not currently an agent of the industrial stormwater NPDES program. It is ultimately the responsibility of DEQ and the facility owner/operator to determine whether an industrial stormwater NPDES permit is required for a given facility.
2.2 Identification of Other Businesses for Facility Inspections
Through the desktop screening process described above, the Water Quality Coordinator will flag businesses with SIC codes related to manufacturing activities (i.e., 2000 and 3000 series SIC codes) for possible inclusion in the City’s Industrial/Commercial Facility Inspection Program. Facilities with these SIC codes are also required to get 1200-Z permits. These facilities were selected for inspection as improper site controls, drainage paths, and uncontrolled discharges from manufacturing processes can potentially result in significant discharges to the MS4. As of July 2023, the City had 28 businesses with 2000 and 3000 series SIC codes operating within Oregon City. In addition, based on issues that arise, potential businesses could be added to the list for inspections if they are identified as a potential concern through illicit discharge reporting or the City’s cross-connection program. Table 2 (Attachment C) lists the current businesses that have been considered for inclusion in the Industrial/Commercial Facility Inspection Program.
The City’s SWMP (November 2022) sets a measurable goal of inspecting 20% of the City’s high priority businesses every reporting year. High priority businesses, as summarized in the previous section, are those that have SIC codes related to manufacturing activities. The goal of the inspections is to identify sites that may contribute significant pollutant loads to the MS4 and to work with facility owners and operators to remove the discharge.
Facility Inspection Prioritization
The City’s list of manufacturing businesses includes a wide range of operations and types of facilities. Many businesses with industrial and commercial SIC codes operate entirely indoors and are not likely to have a significant impact on stormwater quality. Other businesses may be of more concern due to the type of manufacturing processes, the physical structure of the facility, or the proximity of the facility to surface water. Table 2 includes a prioritization category, designating whether each business is perceived to have a low, moderate, or high potential of contributing pollutant loads to the MS4. The prioritization is based on professional judgment and the understanding of City staff of the current activities and facilities at each site. Priorities will be adjusted as additional information is acquired about specific facilities and business activities through City field work and other activities.
During the permit term, the City’s Industrial/Commercial Facility Inspection Program will focus first on conducting site inspections at high priority businesses and businesses that may be identified as a potential concern through illicit discharge reporting or the City’s cross-connection program. See Table 2 (Attachment C) for priority listing.
The City’s authority to inspect business premises is outlined in Oregon City Municipal Code (OCMC) 5.04.080. The City’s authority to prohibit pollutant discharges to the MS4 is covered in OCMC 8.08 under nuisances related to public health and safety.
Business inspections will be conducted by the Water Quality Coordinator and/or Environmental Services Technician. When practicable, the City will provide advance notice to the business operators in the form of a phone call, letter, or email to schedule an appropriate time to conduct the inspection. Records of all communication with business owners/operators will be retained in individual file folders in the Water Quality office.
City inspectors will assemble the following materials for use during the inspection:
- Industrial/Commercial Facility Inspection Program, Facility Inspection Form (Attachment D)
- Aerial map of the facility
- A copy of the guidebook, Industrial Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual (DEQ, February 2013)
During the site visit, City inspector(s) will physically walk the site, both indoors and outdoors to evaluate whether the facility has the potential to contribute significant pollutant loads to the MS4. Inspectors will complete the Facility Inspection Form, noting any findings of concern and indicating the appropriate follow-up action(s). Inspector(s) will take pictures of activities or site conditions that look to be problematic.
At the conclusion of the site inspection, the City inspector(s) will verbally discuss any findings of concern with the business owner/operator and provide the owner/operator with a copy of the guidebook, Industrial Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual (DEQ, February 2013).
Any observed illicit discharges will be recorded in the City’s illicit discharge tracking system and appropriate follow-up procedures initiated.
For businesses that do not contribute significant pollutant loads to the MS4, City staff will prepare a follow-up letter, thanking the business for participating in the city’s Industrial/Commercial Facility Inspection Program. The Facility Inspection Form will be filed and the inspection date noted in the individual file folders in the Water Quality office. No additional follow-up actions are required.
For businesses that have the potential to contribute significant pollutant loads to the MS4, City staff will prepare a follow-up notification letter, outlining the observed concerns and the potential for the business to be in violation of OCMC 8.08.020. Businesses will be referred to DEQ’s Industrial Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual (DEQ, February 2013) and given notice that a follow-up inspection will be conducted to determine if the potential pollutant source is an ongoing problem.
The Water Quality Coordinator and/or Environmental Services Technician will conduct a follow-up inspection, utilizing the same Facility Inspection Form that was completed for the initial site inspection. Observations and findings will be recorded and a follow-up action will be identified. Ongoing pollutant source problems will be referred to the City’s illicit discharge program for follow-up and enforcement.
Program Tracking and Recordkeeping
The City will maintain records of Industrial/Commercial Facility Inspection activities and follow-up actions to meet annual reporting requirements of the MS4 Permit. Water Quality staff uses a software program (XC2) to facilitate the administration of Oregon City’s Cross Connection/Backflow Prevention Program, as required by Oregon Administrative Rule 333-061-0070. The majority of the manufacturing–related businesses listed on Table 2 are currently tracked by XC2. Inspection activities will be noted in the individual accounts and assist in program tracking and recordkeeping.
 Additional business licenses with 2000 and 3000 series SIC codes have been issued to businesses that distribute products in Oregon City, but do not physically operate a facility within the City’s MS4 boundary.