Section 405 of the Water Quality Act of 1987 (WQA) added section 402(p) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), directed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to develop a phased approach to regulate storm water discharges under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The USEPA published a final regulation in the Federal Register of this program on November 16, 1990, establishing permit application requirements for "storm water discharges associated with industrial activity." These regulations defined the term "storm water discharge associated with industrial activity" in a comprehensive manner to cover a wide variety of facilities as described in 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(x).
According to the November 16, 1990 final rule, facilities with a "storm water discharge associated with industrial activity" were required to apply for a storm water permit. The USEPA has defined “industrial activity” to include the following eleven categories:
- Facilities with effluent limitations
- Mineral, Metal, Oil and Gas
- Hazardous Waste, Treatment, or Disposal Facilities
- Recycling Facilities
- Steam Electric Plants
- Transportation Facilities
- Treatment Works
- Construction Activity
- Light Industrial Activity
Construction activities were identified as an industrial activity requiring permit coverage. However, these types of activities are regulated differently from the remaining categories of industrial activities, primarily since these activities vary from place-to-place and time-to-time (i.e. occur during different stages of property development). Industries requiring coverage under the categories above are sub-characterized by their standard industrial codes (SICs).
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Stormwater Final Rules