Stormwater runoff collects and transports pollutants to surface waters. Pollution conveyed by stormwater degrades the quality of drinking water, damages fisheries and habitat of plants and animals that depend on clean water for survival. Pollutants carried by stormwater can also affect recreational uses of water bodies by making them unsafe for wading, swimming, boating and fishing.
The best way to control contamination to stormwater is usually at the source, where the contaminants can be identified, reduced or contained before being conveyed to surface water. More often than not, it's more expensive and difficult to remove the combination of contaminants that are present at the end-of-pipe where stormwater is finally discharged directly to a receiving waterbody. Sometimes, significant improvements can be made by employing best management practices, or "BMPs". Proper storage of chemicals, good housekeeping and just plain paying attention to what's happening during runoff events can lead to relatively inexpensive ways of preventing pollutants from getting into the runoff in the first place and then our waterways.
The SPDES Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP), which is administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department), regulates stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity from a point source.
The MSGP covers thirty one different industrial sectors which include activities such as mining, land transportation, and scrap recycling.