The United States and Canada have similar policies to manage water pollution and stormwater. These policies typically require stormwater permits and requirements, which can include inspections of specific areas and sampling of those areas. Within these forms of legislation are rules for water and stormwater management and inspections. At PaperWorks, we take compliance seriously; all PaperWorks facilities have their own storm water programs that best fit their environment.
The United States manages water pollution through National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. These permits were the result of the Clean Water Act, which was enacted in 1972 to prevent open dumping of waste and limit permitted dumping of waste. Since its creation, water quality in the U.S. has improved and maintained this higher standard of quality. NPDES permits also include storm water management programs. Typically, these programs require controls to prevent overflows, and include inspections of facility grounds and sampling. The controls that prevent overflows might consist of better drainage systems and interlocks to prevent surges. Stormwater inspections usually include discharge areas, low areas, and/or areas that might expose stormwater to pollutants. Finally, sampling could consist of soil and/or water.
Similarly, Ontario, Canada, manages stormwater pollution through the Ontario Provincial Policy Statement 22.214.171.124 and through their own Environmental Management and Protection Act. The policy statement lays out five provisions for managing stormwater and reducing/eliminating pollutants. The provisions are the following: preventing loads of pollutants in stormwater, minimizing stormwater surges, controlling potential to damage property/human health, promoting pragmatic methods for controlling stormwater (e.g., through vegetation), and promoting sustainable methods to manage it. Furthermore, provisions within the Environmental Management and Protection Act add more protections to stormwater, to prevent and control potential pollution. As previously stated, the above-mentioned policies are very similar to the United States’ NPDES. Both policies include management of stormwater in ways that control accumulation and potential exposure to pollution.
All PaperWorks facilities have NPDES or Stormwater Programs in place. At the PaperWorks Wabash, Indiana Mill, for example, there is an NPDES permit for the outfall and a stormwater program for the facility grounds/outfall. The permit gives PaperWorks parameters for specific elements in the outfall water (e.g., residual chlorine). With that, the stormwater inspections essentially entail the entire facility grounds, focusing on accumulation of trash from baled paper and accumulation from stormwater/overflow events. With that, stormwater programs at the PaperWorks Canadian facilities have been shaped around their own respective laws. Those laws add critical protocols to how stormwater can be managed via infrastructure protocols. Stormwater programs are extremely critical at any industrial facility, for they keep the surroundings safe from potential pollutants. At PaperWorks, these programs help define how we operate on a daily basis, thus allowing us to maintain compliance and respect the environment.