The City's Role
The federal Clean Water Act requires cities to set rules and regulations to protect the city's sewer and stormwater systems and its watersheds. Environmental Services works with business and industry to meet these requirements.
Outdoor manufacturing and equipment activities, such as grinding parts, sanding, painting, coating, rock crushing, and their associated materials can generate pollutants such as sediment, petroleum, metals, and other chemicals. If not properly contained, these pollutants could mix with rain or runoff and enter the city's stormwater system. Many of Portland's storm drains flow directly to a river or stream where pollutants reduce water quality and harm fish and other aquatic life. In addition, many of these types of pollutants can remain in sediment for years.
Rules and Regulations
Portland City Code 17.39 prohibits the discharge of harmful substances into the stormwater system. The discharge of spilled materials or pollutants generated in the manufacturing process may result in investigations, issuance of penalties, and required corrective actions.
The 2020 Source Control Manual describes requirements for exterior storage and processing of materials that all new and remodeled areas must meet. The requirements go beyond what is described on this page. They include pavement, covering, containment curbs, and sanitary drainage to keep storage area pollutants contained and prevent mobilization of contaminants from manufacturing and operational areas.
Prevent Pollution through Best Management Practices
- Move the operation and materials indoors or undercover as much as possible.
- If enclosing the manufacturing activity within a structure is not practical, construct a roofed structure without walls to cover the activity area.
- If a permanent cover is not installed, use temporary covers for materials when not in use to prevent stormwater contamination.
- Conduct the activity on paved surfaces. Use drop clothes under the activity area to ensure pollutants are easily removed once the activity is complete.
- Use berms to minimize contact of stormwater to the manufacturing activity. Route the water around the activity area. Stormwater collected within the bermed area can be discharged to the sanitary sewer. Contact Environmental Services.
- Clean the work area regularly.
- Perform outdoor activity during dry periods.
- Store drums, barrels, and totes inside and in containment areas to prevent spills.
- Label all containers (drums, totes, etc.) to ensure proper use and disposal.
- Place spill kits in the area for immediate cleanup of spills.
- Implement a spill prevention and response plan and post emergency phone numbers in the work area.
- Recycle and properly dispose of waste. Call your local transfer station or waste disposal company for guidance.
- Ensure employees are trained on best management practices.
Failure to implement applicable best management practices may result in the discharge of pollutants which is a violation of Portland City Code. The City will issue enforcement action in the form of a civil penalty if pollutants are discharged from your facility. Appropriate measures to prevent the discharge of pollutants are required.