** If you own or manage commercial properties, click EPA Updates video. **
Enforcement of Colorado Stormwater Regulations is increasing. And now we know why.
In February, 2010, the EPA published the Clean Water Action Plan which contains new stormwater regulations. One part of the new plan is to “Strengthen oversight of the states”. And if the state doesn’t enforce these stormwater regulations, the EPA will take over – which no one wants.
So the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment finalized the new Colorado Power Washing Law July 2010, which gives specific guidelines on what must be done to comply with the water recovery procedures so they can comply with the EPA’s updated stormwater regulations. Click these links to see the original documents.
There have been many instances of the increasing enforcement of Colorado Stormwater regulations in 2009 and 2010. We’re seeing more inspectors in the field – both observing us and checking on our clients properties.
But there isn’t any one place you can go to find the information on how to stay in compliance. Since this affects not only our business but many of our client’s businesses as well, we’ve collected as much information as we can find to keep everyone in the loop.
And maybe some of the smaller pressure washing companies will see this information and decide to start doing things the right way. Because if they don’t, enforcement could reach the point where none of us can afford to stay in business. We don’t want to spend $70,000 for a recovery unit! And each of those little companies will have to make the decision to spend the money for a water recovery system – or find another way to earn a living.
Think we’re exaggerating?
One company spent more than $70,000 for a recovery unit to comply with the regulations in California. Let your imagination run wild on what they have to charge to pay for that!
And in Houston, a parking garage was pressure washed in violation of the stormwater regulations – and the building engineer, property manager, and wash company owner all went to jail.
This all started in 1972 when Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, also called The Clean Water Act and started enforcing stormwater regulations.
The EPA started cleaning up all the manufacturing plants that were dumping garbage straight into the rivers and the barges that dumped city trash and toxic medical waste into the ocean. The next step was the largest cities with more than 100,000 population – which in Colorado meant Aurora, Denver, Lakewood, and Colorado Springs. Now we’re in the final phases where even the smallest towns must comply.
And while some EPA regulations seem extreme, no one can deny they’ve done a pretty good job of cleaning things up. Imagine what our rivers would be like if we had continued dumping waste like we were in 1972!
And many of the western states get their water from rivers that start with the snows in the Rocky Mountains. So what we do in Colorado affects millions of people downstream.
The Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment put out a draft of a new law on pressure washing in August 2009 but they didn’t finalize it until July 2010. Budget cuts and furloughs have probably made it tough for them to get anything new finalized.
So we’ve included links to the state and national organizations that govern the laws and stormwater regulations. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.
This short video shows how the EPA changes
affect Colorado properties –
especially commercial property managers and owners.
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Click here to see the EPA Water Recovery video.
Stormwater regulations and pressure washing information links:
EPA Stormwater Program – Information on the upcoming regulations, MS4’s, NPDES, Clean Water Act, etc.
The full text of “The Clean Water Act of 1972” in a PDF file. – Federal Water Pollution Control Act
New information for farmers March 2010 – EPA Oil Spill Info For Farmers
National Research Council report on stormwater – National Research Council Stormwater Report Fact Sheet
Colorado Water Quality Control Division – This site isn’t very user friendly so we included links to important documents relating to stormwater regulations, water recovery, and pressure washing.
Colorado stormwater population guides and maps – Colorado Population Stormwater Entities
A press release for a $680,00 fine for stormwater violations in October 2009. – Press release
Colorado Discharge Permit System – Colorado Power Wash Regulations
Draft notice of proposed pressure washing regulations – Low Risk Discharge Guidance Draft
City of Aspen’s new Urban Runoff Management Plan – The new plan goes into effect in June, 2010.
If you need more information on stormwater regulations and how Colorado’s new pressure washing law may affect you, send us an email or give us a call at 303-937-7181 or click these links for more information:
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