Industrial facilities can do their part to reduce stormwater pollution in Massachusetts by attending to their parking lots, grounds, and waste management practices.
Get Your Permit
Many kinds of industrial facilities are required by federal law to take steps to prevent stormwater pollution, and these permit requirements are changing Massachusetts. Your site may be covered by a Multi-Sector General Permit, or may require its own permit. Check with the conservation commission in the town where your facility is located.
Learn more about stormwater permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Industrial Stormwater Best Management Practices, published by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Gasoline, oil, and grease from your equipment can wash into storm drains and pollute waterways. For repairs and routine maintenance, use drip pans to catch fluids and keep materials like sand and kitty litter close by to help dry up small spills. Fix leaks and clean up all spills as soon as possible.
You can find more tips from the Neponset Stormwater Partnership.
Excess fertilizer and lawn waste (think leaves and grass clippings) can wash away and pollute local waterways. To stop this, test your soil and read the label before you apply fertilizer. Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks and walkways. To manage erosion, cover piles of dirt and replant bare areas as quickly as possible.
Find more tips on Neponset Stormwater Partnership’s industrial facilities webpage and in this brochure (published by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection). Also see this handy guide for testing soil from the University of Massachusetts.
Did you know that a lawn needs just one inch of water per week to be green? Your industrial facility can have healthy landscaping if you water just once a week. Put sprinklers on timers so they water early in the morning and place them so that they don’t water the sidewalk or driveways.
You can learn more about irrigating your site at Neponset Stormwater Partnership’s industrial facilities webpage.
Rain that falls into and around your dumpsters can pick up trash, dirt, and other material as it drains away. You can keep a tidy facility and protect local waterways by sweeping up dust and dirt, keeping your dumpster closed, and checking for leaks. Scheduling regular trash pick-ups will help ensure that your dumpster is never too full.
For more tips like these, check out this handy brochure from the Neponset Stormwater Partnership.
You can keep spills and leaks at bay by taking some simple steps to safely handle and store your chemicals. Make sure all chemicals are kept in containers that have tight-fitting lids. Check often for leaks and close any containers that are left open. Any chemicals that are stored outside should be placed under cover, such as in a shed or under a tarp, to protect from rain and snow.
For more chemical storage tips, as well as information on how to choose safer chemicals products, visit the Neponset Stormwater Partnership’s industrial facilities webpage.
Spill Prevention & Response
It’s important to be prepared in the event that a spill occurs. Have a plan in place that outlines what you must do to prevent and respond to a spill. Keep a spill kit handy and fully stocked, ready for use. Use absorbent materials, like sand and kitty litter, for liquid spills. Any chemical spills, especially those happening outside, should be swept up immediately. Never hose down a spill area. Always report chemical spills to your local hazardous waste cleanup team.
Learn more about spill prevention and response in this brochure from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Snow and Ice Removal
Melting snow carries road salt and de-icers into waterways. When winter rolls around, your industrial facilities can take some common-sense steps to protect waterways. Read labels on de-icing products and choose those that are not toxic to animals and plants. Apply salt, sand, and deicing chemicals sparingly and sweep up as soon as possible. Once the storm is over, do not dump or shovel snow directly into waterways.
To learn more, check out Neponset Stormwater Partnership’s industrial facilities webpage and Industrial Stormwater Best Management Practices, published by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.