Update on CA Storm Water Permit

Breweries under SIC code 2082 (malt beverages) are required to sign up for the new California Storm Water permit, under the State Water Resources Control Board. That permit went into effect a year ago, but up to this point, enforcement has been slow. There are new indications that enforcement may increase in 2017, potentially impacting your businesses.

The mandatory minimum penalty for non-filing starts at $5,000 and can increase under the Clean Water Act for discharges that do not meet state water quality standards. In addition, there is risk of lawsuits brought by environmental groups or others that could also create a financial burden on your brewery. For perspective, more than 120 suits have been filed this year in California addressing this issue.

Even if you are in a category that does not require a permit, you may still need to apply for a No Exposure Certifications. This certification process is straightforward and includes a checklist stating that no operations or storage of spent grain or yeast is stored outdoors and uncovered (i.e. all raw and intermediate products must be covered and sealed when moved into and out of the facility).

If you aren’t sure whether you’re required to comply with the storm water permit requirement or aren’t sure what to do, we recommend that research the issues thoroughly and carefully, or contact a consultant.

SCS Engineers is a CCBA allied trade member that provides this service. A full list of CCBA’s allied trade members can be found here.