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BMPs and Regulations for Cosmetic Mobile Power Pressure Washing * Reality of Enforcement Robert M. Hinderliter Environmental Chairman, Power Washers of.

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Presentation on theme: "BMPs and Regulations for Cosmetic Mobile Power Pressure Washing * Reality of Enforcement Robert M. Hinderliter Environmental Chairman, Power Washers of."— Presentation transcript:


2 BMPs and Regulations for Cosmetic Mobile Power Pressure Washing * Reality of Enforcement Robert M. Hinderliter Environmental Chairman, Power Washers of North America 6418 Grovedale Drive, #101-B, Alexandra, VA 22310-2571 Phone: 800-393-7962, Fax: 703-971-7772, Website: Environmental Specialist, 2513 Warfield Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76106-7554 Phone: 800-433-2113, Fax: 817-625-2059,,

3 Reality of Enforcement *What Regulators are actually enforcing *What the Contract Cleaner actually needs to know. *What Contract Cleaners are actually doing.

4 NPDES Permits for cities and Urban Areas Phase I 1.Over 250,000 populations was due November 16, 1992 2.Over 100,000 populations was due October 1, 1993 Phase II (Note: A large number of Phase I Cities received 1 year or longer extensions of these dates) For Urban Areas whether incorporated or unincorporated were due March 10, 2003 For all UA's 50, 000 to 100,000 population 10,000 to 50,000 population if notified by the AHJ

5 Basic Terms Cosmetic Mobile Power Washing in the most basic terms is: * No off property discharge * Directing the waste wash water to sanitary sewer.

6 No off property discharge 1.Air Contamination 2.Surface Water 3.Ground Water (upper most aquifer) Note: Some Regulators have been issuing citations for “Off Property Discharge” when there is none!!!

7 Major Driving Forces that define the Interpretation of the CWA AKA (Politically Unacceptable Definitions) Feisty (Report Card on Regulators)

8 Who is an Environmentalist? Everybody is an “Environmentalist”! However, how one interprets that is usually based on how it affects their “economic revenue stream” (income, wages, business revenue). An Environmental Regulator brought this information to my attention. Example: A large segment of the “Coin-op car wash industry” believes that home owners should not be exempt for car washing discharge to storm sewer as this creates a large source of pollution to our storm sewers. This also holds true for charities (churches, girl scouts, boy scouts, etc). Because of Political Activity by the Coin- Op Car Wash Association (with a $500,000.00 budget) the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board banned charity washing during February of 2001 and they now have 24/7 enforcement by Mr. Don Moore, Code Compliance Officer.

9 Risk Takers Usually Government Employees are not risk takers. And usually entrepreneurs are risk takers. Government Employees survive by not taking risks or being noticed. Do not expect regulators to rule in the Contractor’s favor or interpret the regulations in the contractor’s favor if it requires a risk on the Regulators part.

10 Advancement and Instability Regulators Professional Advancement is often by moving through different departments and/or agencies. Regulatory enforcement and priorities normally change when this happens. This leads to regulatory instability. Enforcement Variation (Non-uniformity) It is not unusual for regulators to vary enforcement standards based on their perception and confidence that the Contract Cleaner will follow appropriate procedures and BMPs.

11 The Big Problem Cities or Urban Areas who don't know the pollutants in the discharges or the volumes might be more likely to assume the worst. And since they are on the hook if something goes wrong at their wastewater treatment plant, they may react over- cautiously on allowing discharge to a sanitary sewer. (Notice the effect of the economic revenue stream)

12 Non-Storm Water Discharges NPDES Permits allow only storm water to be discharged to the MS4 and require an illicit detection and elimination program for non-storm water discharges Included in this program is detergent detection and elimination. Phase I Cities have determined that detergents are the number one pollutant in MS4s in many cases. And Mobile Power Wash Contract Cleaners are a significant source of detergents and other pollutions including: fats, oil, grease, solvents, and emulsified oils

13 While there must be an "effective prohibition" on non-storm water discharges to the MS4, such discharges that are regulated by a NPDES permit or fall within the city's list of "allowable non- storm water" need not be treated as illicit discharges unless you identify them as significant contributors of pollutants to your MS4. Such as: 1.Individual residential car washing 2.Street wash water 3.Discharges or flows from fire fighting activities 4.Discharges from potable water sources 5.Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges 6.Lawn watering and more

14 EPA’s Responsibilities for Stormwater discharge The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not provide written endorsements of products, processes, or technology. The EPA responsibilities are directed at setting specific objectives (discharge limits) that dischargers must meet to adequately protect receiving waters of the United States. These objectives will necessarily vary from site to site. If anyone offers to sell you an EPA approved product (like detergent) ask to see the documentation. I have never had a company be able to produce this documentation for routine maintenance washing. The EPA does not have an approval process for Products, Processes, or Technology. EPA set the standards for cities and states thru their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Program (NPDES Permits).

15 Cities Responsibilities for Stormwater Discharge Each city can decide what products, processes, and technology they are going to use to meet EPA Guidelines. This means the rules will vary from city to city and sometimes from site to site within the same city. Most Metropolitan areas will have different rules for each city! The main caused is: *Jealousy between regulators Secondary Causes are: *Different interpretations of the CWA *Different technologies and capabilities of the POTWs.

16 Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) Where wash water is discharged determines what Regulatory Agency you must deal with. Discharge locations are: · Ground Water · Surface Water · Air · Sanitary Sewer or the POTW · Private or Commercial Disposal Facility Most of the time Contract Cleaners will be dealing with the local municipality for discharge to their sanitary sewer system connected to their POTW.

17 Who do you contact at your local municipality for information and permits for Environmental Power Washing Procedures in their city? The problem is that city governments were established before the Clean Water Act was passed. Because there is no standard structure for city governments there are several departments that may be in charge of Power Washing Activities depending on what the government structure is. If the city government has been updated then there will be an Environmental Department. Typically contractors get caught up in the referral system that is a continuous loop with no end. In some Phase II Urban Areas the Fire Department is in charge of Fires Suppression, Emergency Medical Treatment, Storm Water Issues, plus more. It is not uncommon for the Fire Department to be a Voluntary Agency.

18 The following are places to start. Health Department. Older city governments combined the sanitary sewer department and storm sewer departments as part of the Health Department. Storm Water or Surface Water Programs Department. Environmental Department. Sanitary Sewer Department. Public Works Department. Water Department. Water/Stormwater Utility District. Fire Department (In smaller communities and Urban Areas) Municipal Departments, which oversees the EPA Stormwater Permit

19 Economics of Detergent Control and Regulation Various approaches have been tried by municipalities to control the effluent from Mobile Power Washing. This has included an out right ban on power washing to lenient discharge requirement to the sanitary sewer. A popular measure is to require the capture of the discharge from mobile power washing without an approved disposal site, “No Off Property Discharge”. Often time this approach does not leave the contract cleaner with an economical disposal site and discharges are directed to the storm drains on nights and weekends! (Notice the effect of the economic revenue stream)

20 Reality of Enforcement For most areas effluent discharge from mobile power washing activities is insignificant when compared to the total storm water discharge. Normally the Enforcement Budget has items of more importance than power washing activities. Therefore in most areas enforcement is done on a complaint basis only. Very few municipalities have an officer assigned to the enforcement and regulation of Mobile Power Washing Activities. Unless enforcement is done on a 24/7 basis it merely diverts this activity to nights and weekends.

21 Enforcement If a violation occurs the Regulators may issue citations to: The mobile power company The mobile power wash operator The customer’s manager The customer’s company.

22 Ease on Entry Entry into the Power Wash Business requires a minimal investment now as entry level pressure washers can be purchased at consumer and hardware stores, such as Sears, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. The least expensive of these units can be purchased for under $100.00. This means that almost anyone with a vehicle and the desire can be in the Mobile Power Wash Business. Often times Power Washing is a part time business done on nights and weekends when enforcement is at its lowest. (Notice the effect of the economic revenue stream)

23 Cost of Compliance There is going to be a cost associated with the control of discharged Power Washing Waste Water. Enacting Regulations prohibition the discharge of Power Washing Waste Water to the Storm Drains with enforcement by complaint basis only will have very little effect on stopping this waste water from entering the storm drain system (MS4).

24 Effective Enforcement Effective enforcement requires a consistent 24/7 enforcement action. Some municipalities have done enforcement programs for night and weekends for a 30 day period. This temporarily solves the program but with the large number of part timers entering the business the effect soon wears off. Within a short period of time the industry is back to unregulated power washing. This creates a yo-yo effect in enforcement and compliance. As Environmental Chairman of PWNA I have had several instances where the local Environmental Regulator stated the high level of compliance that had been established in their area only to go out that night and drive down the freeways and observe otherwise!

25 Effect of Environmental Regulations on Cosmetic Mobile Power Washing At the present time there is over 10 years of compliance history to draw from Phase I Municipalities. The industry has proven that there will be a high level of compliance if the regulations are: Reasonable Rational Logical And if the Regulations are not reasonable, rational, and logical there will be a high level of non-compliance on nights and weekends. The question then becomes “How to achieve the highest level of compliance with the least amount of expense to the municipality and urban area?”.

26 Minimizing the Cost of Compliance The city that has enacted the best overall regulation with a highest level of voluntary compliance is Fort Worth, Texas. This regulation was the result of a “Mobile Power Washing Environmental Protection and Compliance Conference” held during a Public Comment Period. The meeting was attended by about 40 Federal EPA, State, Regional, and Municipal Environmental Regulators and 100 Contract Cleaner and Industry Representatives. Detergents detected in the storm drains has decreased from over 50% of the storm drains to as low as 5% since the ordinance was enacted January 2, 1996. The Fort Worth Regulations are now up on the EPA’s Website as an example.

27 · July 17, 1995. A “Mobile Power Washing Environmental Protection and Compliance Conference” was held in Fort Worth, Texas as part of a public comment period for a Fort Worth Cosmetic Cleaning ordinance. The meeting was attended by about 40 Federal EPA, State, Regional, and Municipal Environmental Regulators and 100 Contract Cleaner and Industry Representatives. The conference was sponsored by Rahsco Cleaning Systems of Fort Worth, and lead by Robert M. Hinderliter of Rahsco Cleaning Systems and Brian Camp, Jr., Senior Water Quality Specialists, Environmental Department, City of Fort Worth. Because of this conference Fort Worth rewrote their ordinance and it was passed by City Council November 28, 1995 to become law on January 2, 1996.

28 The best regulation for the elimination of the Yo-yo effect of enforcement is the BASMAA “Pollution Prevention Voucher”. This certificate should be required to be kept on file by the Contract Cleaner and his customer for a period of three years as adopted by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Also Michigan Department of Environmental Quality allows discharging to ground for Cosmetic Cleaning up to 1,000 gallons per month per acre for bioremediation. Adopting the above regulations will produce the highest level of voluntary compliance with the minimum cost. This conclusion is based upon the positive experience of these regulations over time.

29 High Lights of the Fort Worth Code: DIVISION 2, COSMETIC CLEANING A discharge or flow of cold water used in cosmetic cleaning that is not contaminated with any soap, detergent, degreaser, solvent, emulsifier, dispersant or any other cleaning substance may be discharged to the storm drain as long as the storm drain inlet is screened to catch debris and the discharge passes through an oil absorbent pad or boom. No oil sheen may be present in the discharge after it passes through the pad or boom. Screen the storm drain inlet with a 20 mesh or finer screen to catch the debris The total volume of wastewater generated by all the cosmetic cleaners operating in Fort Worth on any given day was not likely to exceed 20,000 gallons; this volume is "insignificant" when compared to the City's total treatment capacity.

30 The Cosmetic cleaner was given to access the sanitary sewer The waste water belonged to the property owner, not the cosmetic cleaner, so the waste water should be discharged on- site if possible. The ideal discharge point would be into a sand or grit trap such as those found in car wash bays. Unfortunately, few sites contain such facilities so the discharge options revert to sinks, toilets, floor drains and clean-out stubs. Discharging through a 400 micron filter to remove the grit and sludge It is up to the property owner to decide which conveyance to discharge into as they own the plumbing system located within their property lines. Discharges into manholes are strictly forbidden, no matter where they are located. (city property)

31 Cosmetic Cleaners that utilize wash water recycling units fit into "process water" category and must test their effluent at least once annually. $50.00 Permit Fee for first Wash Rig The fee for the permit (which goes to the business) is $25.00. The fee for the registration certificates is $25.00 per wash unit. Preclean liquid accumulations of oil or grease with absorbent clay or a similar material prior to washing. The oil soaked clay should be placed in a plastic bag and disposed to a dumpster. Discharges to the sanitary sewer must not have a temperature greater than 150° F, must not have a pH less that 5.0 or greater than 12.0. Offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 per day per offense.

32 Hot water is defined as any water over 110°F. Discharges to the storm drain using hot water cosmetic cleaning without any chemicals are approved provided that permission is granted by the Depart of Environmental Mgt prior to using the hot water. This exemption was designed for cosmetic cleaners washing objects such as sidewalks, headstones, walls and other things that are unlikely to be affected by the normal pollutants such as oil and grease. Mobile commercial cosmetic cleaning means "power washing, steam cleaning, and any other mobile cosmetic cleaning operation, of vehicles and/or exterior surfaces, engaged in for commercial purposes."

33 Links to the Fort Worth Code: City of Fort Worth: EPA: WorthSW.pdf WorthSW.pdf Michigan Department of Environmental Quality powrwash.pdf powrwash.pdf

34 BASMAA Pollution Prevention Voucher – On file for 3 years
















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