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No Exposure Certification

The U.S. EPA has allowed exclusion from NPDES stormwater permitting to industrial facilities with industrial activities and materials that are not exposed to precipitation, run-on, or runoff.  Previously, the exemption only applied to category xi (light industry) sites, but U.S. EPA in its December 8, 1999 rulemaking regarding the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Program has expanded the no exposure exemption to all categories of industrial activity, except construction. The exemption allows facilities that do not have process related materials exposed to storm water to opt out of obtaining a storm water NPDES permit. A facility with NEC status is not subject to inspections, monitoring, or other requirements of an NPDES permit.  While expanding the applicability of the exemption, U.S. EPA added a requirement that a written certification of no exposure be submitted to the appropriate NPDES permitting authority at least once every five years. To qualify, a facility must meet six administrative criteria and maintain 11 operational criteria.  Ohio EPA is the NPDES authority in Ohio.

Ohio EPA Strategy

Ohio EPA has adopted the federal "No Exposure Certification" application form and is using the federal guidance document to determine whether facilities are eligible for the no exposure exemption. Facilities may apply for the exclusion as of August 1, 2000, the date on which the Ohio NDPES General Permit for Storm Water Discharge Associated with Industrial Activity (the Industrial Storm Water General Permit) was renewed. A “No Exposure Certification” guidance, application form and instructions document is available from the Ohio EPA website at the Storm Water Program Forms and Permitspage at or which is available upon request from Ohio EPA or the City of Akron Storm Water Program. Applicants should complete the form according to the instructions in the guidance and mail it to:

        Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
        Division of Surface Water
        P.O. Box 1049
        Columbus, OH 43216-1049

 If a facility qualifies for no exposure certification, it is exempt from permit requirements until the facility no longer qualifies for no exposure certification. If the facility changes and can no longer claim no exposure to storm water, the facility must submit the appropriate permit application for storm water discharge.

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