No Exposure Certification
Each of Maryland’s stormwater discharge permits includes provisions for a “no exposure” exemption from the permit's requirements. If appropriate for your business, applying for and receiving a No Exposure (or "NE") Certification can save you time and money that would otherwise go toward working within the permit's guidelines. But the Maryland Department of the Environment's standards for what counts as "no exposure" are specific and strict, and many people waste time applying for this exemption without first considering if their facility actually qualifies.
Grapewell has helped businesses across the state receive No Exposure Certifications. Below, we've provided some information to help you make sense of the requirements and determine if your facility qualifies. Get in touch with us anytime for a free consultation about the No Exposure guidelines.
Maryland's No Exposure Requirements
As implied by the name, the No Exposure Certification is granted to facilities who operate under a condition of "no exposure." What exactly does that mean? Basically, all business operations relevant to the stormwater permit - manufacturing, fueling, maintenance, vehicle and material storage, etc. - must occur inside and completely out of exposure to stormwater.
These NE facilities present little to no risk to pollute stormwater runoff, so they are allowed to apply for an exemption to the relevant stormwater discharge permit (be that the 12-SW industrial permit, the 15-MM mineral mines permit, or the 16-MA marina permit). If the exemption is granted, facilities with a No Exposure Certification are not required to conduct stormwater runoff sampling and lab testing, routine internal inspections, or any of the other ongoing requirements of the full discharge permit.
Given the obvious benefits of the NE permit exemption, it's no surprise that many businesses are interested in this path to compliance. But MDE is quite strict with which facilities receive the certification. Minor issues like an outdoor scrap storage dumpster or a small vehicle fueling area can be instantly disqualifying.
Grapewell’s Approach to No Exposure
If you believe your facility might qualify for the NE exemption, get in touch with us. With a little information from you about your business, its activities, and the layout of the property, we can quickly estimate how likely it is that your No Exposure application will be approved.
If it seems like your facility could qualify for the exemption, we will then visit your facility to walk the site and confirm that it would meet MDE’s requirements. At this point, we would schedule a second walkthrough with our professional engineer who, after confirming the no exposure status of the facility, will put together the application materials required by MDE.
If you’re ready to get started with the No Exposure Certification process, please contact us today.