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Georgia's Pollutant Discharge Elimination Certification Really Necessary?

Is Georgia's effort to ensure a person's regulatory and erosion control knowledge on a construction site a good idea or just another way for the government to get in our business?  Let's review a few facts before we answer this question.
Muddy River
FACT: The Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP) conducted between 1979 and 1983 revealed that sediment was the Number 1 pollutant in our nation's waters. 
FACT: Georgia has been the fastest growing city east of the Mississippi for years, and presently has a population of approximatley 10 million people.  Since 1980, Georgia has grown by almost 8 million.  Georgia is growing by 1 million people every 6-7 years.  Most of this growth has been in metropolitan Atlanta.  The world's population is projected to grow from 6 Billion to 9 Billion by 2042, an increase of 50% that will only require 43 years.
FACT: According to a recent 2009 report from Georgia Tech, Lake Lanier accepts up to 300,000 tons of sediment every year.  Impervious surface stormwater runnoff from urban development results in 50,000 tons/year of sediment from stream scour alone.  Try to visualize 300,000 1 ton pickup trucks dumping their dirt load into Lake Lanier every year. 
Most federal actions against businesses or individuals for failure to comply with NPDES General Permits are resolved through settlement agreements.  As part of a settlement, an alleged violator may "voluntarily agree" to undertake an environmentally beneficial project or establish a training program for their contractors related to the violation, in exchange for mitigation of the penalty to be paid.  Ask Walmart and Home Depot about their decision to require NPDES training of all their construction contractors. 
FACT: If permittees choose to comply with their NPDES General permit, off site sedimentation from construction sites will significantly drop, law suits and the cash penalties for permit violations will be significantly reduced.
FACT:  NPDES Training Institute - New LogoStormwater education provided in a way that makes sense for protecting our creeks, rivers, lakes and coastal areas, AND for a permittee trying to make a profit, is what we at the NPDES Training Institute are all about.  We work hard to give you the best educational and motivating training experience that you will find anywhere!  Call us at 678-372-6968 or signup on our new website at
"The Instructor Promoted Construction and Water Quality refreshing!" 
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Community throughout the United States
A Little Help from the City of Atlanta
Atlanta Dept of Watershed Management
The City of Atlanta has developed a set of CAD ES&PC Plans that can be used as a basic guidance document/template for plan design.  The purpose is to assist both Design Professionals and Plan Reviewers for Construction Projects in the City of Atlanta.  The CAD plan available on the GASWCC website under Documents, is for GAR 100001 Stand Alone projects only.  There will soon be GAR 100002 Infrastructure and GAR100003 Common Development plans as well.  The existing plan contains all of the standard notes, BMP details, and site specific requirements to be shown on the plans.  The plan also has a numbering system which corresponds to the Plan Review Checklist document. CLICK HERE
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During 2010, EPA is focusing on homebuilding construction, big box store construction, and ready mix concrete with crushed stone and sand and gravel operations, and explore whether other sectors, e.g., ports, road building operations, contribute to impairment of water bodies.

To reduce water impairments from storm water, EPA developed the Clean Water Act: Storm Water Strategy Summary of 2008 - 2010 (PDF) (2pp, 30K, About PDF). The Storm Water strategy aims to achieve maximum compliance with environmental regulations in order to protect human health and the environment. EPA uses compliance assistance, compliance monitoring and enforcement tools, as appropriate, towards achieving goals and environmental outcomes of the strategy.MORE

American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) Bankruptcy Settlement


Before emission standards existed

Asarco was fined $3.6 million in 1996 for discharging lead and other pollutants into  Missouri. Asarco was closed in July of 1997. 

As a result of the largest environmental bankruptcy in U.S. history, EPA, along with other federal and state agencies pursued and received $1.79 billion to fund environmental cleanup and restoration under a bankruptcy reorganization of ASARCO.  ASARCO is a copper mining company based in Arizona that is responsible for sites around the country that are contaminated with hazardous waste.

In total, the payment will address environmental cleanup and restoration at more than 80 sites around the country. It will also be placed into accounts at the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture to pay for natural resource restoration.

As we role into 2010, let's not forget our US military men and women for the sacrifice they give daily for this awesome country that we live in and enjoy!  The next time you go hiking, driving, fishing or hunting, give thanks and honor to our military!
The NPDES Training Institute Newsletter is intended to be a useful tool for all individuals involved stormwater management, especially those on construction sites. 
There's a lot happening now with water regulations!  If you have areas of interest you would like to discuss, questions, or comments, please contact us at 678-469-5120.
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T. Luke Owen, PG
President, GeoLOGIC Environmental Solutions
Director, NPDES Stormwater Training Institute
Brought to you by GeoLOGIC
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Free Guided Fishing Trip on Lake Lanier!
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Call us for details at 678-469-5120
"Let's keep the dirt
on site"