Material handling and storage activities at industrial sites are often conducted in open areas that are exposed to precipitation. The resulting runoff transports pollutants such as oil, grease, solvents, metals, and sediment, from these areas into nearby creeks, lakes, streams, or rivers. Pollution of stormwater runoff creates significant water quality problems for our nations waters.
In 1972 the US EPA introduced the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The NPDES program was authorized by the Clean Water Act and has resulted in significant improvements in surface water quality.