Timber Products Facilities Permitting

If you own and/or operate certain types of timber products facilities in West Virginia, you are required to be covered under the Multi-Sector General Permit for Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP) or an Individual Permit.

Facilities required to be covered under the MSGP include sawmills, lath mills, shingle mills, cooperage stock mills, planing mills, plywood and veneer mills, log storage and handling facilities, hardwood dimensions and flooring mills, custom millwork, wood pallets, wood skids, wood containers, reconstituted wood products, and various others.

The MSGP, West Virginia/National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WV/NPDES) Permit Number WV0111457, was reissued on September 12, 2019 and was modified on January 26, 2021. The reissued permit increased the required sampling frequency from semi annually to quarterly. Unless you are an existing facility whose coverage was renewed with full waivers based on previous laboratory results which were below the applicable Benchmark Values in the permit, samples must be collected once every calendar quarter and submitted to a certified lab for analysis. The lab results must be electronically submitted to the agency through the Electronic Submission System (ESS). Initial permit applications and subsequent renewal applications must also be submitted electronically through the ESS.

Part of the application for initial coverage or renewed coverage requires facilities to develop and implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and a Groundwater Protection Plan. Sites seeking initial coverage must also collect samples for a list of baseline parameters, and these results submitted as part of the application.

The Benchmark Values in the permit are not considered to be numerical permit limits. However, there are required actions if the averages of your results exceed the Benchmarks, such as modifying the SWPPP. The modified MSGP which became effective on February 25, 2021 included required actions and documentation for the exceedance of the Benchmarks, which were not in previous versions of the permit. Specific details concerning those were included in a previous article.

Potesta & Associates, Inc. (POTESTA) is an environmental and engineering consulting firm with regional offices in Charleston and Morgantown, West Virginia and Winchester, Virginia. POTESTA routinely completes storm water permitting, storm water management, storm water pollution prevention plans, water quality sampling, and erosion and sediment control plans for forest product manufacturing industries in West Virginia.