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California General Industrial Storm Water Permit
California Clean Water Regulations
Environmental Program Coordinator
Ph:(909) 364-2835
Fax:(909) 364-2791
California Clean Water regulations require businesses engaged in industrial processes that have a potential to pollute storm water to obtain permit coverage under the California General Industrial Storm Water Permit.  With the exception of large outdoor storage and/or processing activities, retail businesses do not generally require coverage under the Industrial Permit.

The basic rule of thumb to determine which industrial businesses require coverage is whether runoff from industrial material, processes, stockpiling or storage, can reach outdoor locations where runoff could enter the storm drain system either directly or indirectly.

The State Water Resources Control Board has a webpage which contains links, permit documents, and other useful information on the General Industrial Permit.

Determining Coverage Requirements
In order to determine if you need coverage under the California State General Industrial Permit program, please follow the three step determination instructions below:

1.  Am I regulated as identified by my Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC)?
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes or narrative descriptions are used to identify regulated facilities.  SIC codes describe the primary nature of the business in which a facility is engaged. For full descriptions of all coverage categories, click on the following link to view Attachment A, page 152, of the California General Stormwater Permit . Below is a generalized list of coverage categories:

  • Manufacturing (*SIC 20 - 33)
  • Public Warehousing (*SIC 422)
  • Transportation (*SIC 40 - 45)
  • Mining (*SIC 10 -14)
  • Landfills
  • Steam Electric Power Plants
  • Recycling Facilities (*SIC 5015 - 5093)
  • Waste Water Treatment
  • Hazardous Waste Storage and Treatment

2.  Do I have a storm water discharge to surface waters of the state?
Storm water runoff consists of rain, snow or any other form of precipitation that falls on the facility and runs (flows) off.  A "point source discharge" is defined as any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance that directs storm water off the property.  This includes but is not limited to pipes, ditches, channels, tunnels, conduits, and grading to direct water off the property.
3. Do I store or transport industrial materials outside that could come in contact with storm water?
If you store or transport anything related to your industrial activity outside without permanent covering (exempting final products manufactured for use outside such as a completed automobile), then it can come into contact with storm water and the quality of the storm water runoff could be affected.

If you answer "yes" to 1 and 2, but not 3, then you may be able to apply for the "No-Exposure" Certification.  An approved No Exposure Certification satisfies General Industrial Stormwater coverage requirements.  Click on the following links to obtain an application for a No-Exposure Certification via the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board website.

All correspondence relating to coverage requirements should be mailed or directed to:

Mailing Address:                                                        Contact Person:
The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality                         Keith Elliott
Control Board                                                            Phone: (951) 782-4925 
Attn: General Industrial Stormwater Permit                    
3737 Main Street, Suite 500                                    Website: www.waterboards.ca.gov/santa ana
Riverside, CA 92501