This fact sheet addresses how to determine a facility’s primary Standard Industrial Classification code (SIC code) or narrative activity and related common questions.
The questions and answers in this fact sheet are based on Minnesota’s Questions and Answers, developed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clarify EPA document “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Program Questions and Answers, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.”
The MPCA’s industrial stormwater permit lists the industries that need a permit. They are listed by SIC code or are explained in a narrative in Appendix D (page 148) of the permit. Listed industries must get a permit or certify that nothing is exposed to stormwater.
For convenience, the regulated primary SIC codes and descriptions of narrative activities are reprinted at the end of this fact sheet starting on page 10.
SIC codes are a way of classifying industries by 4-digit codes. It is a descriptor of the kind of work being done at a facility, not a number specifically assigned to the facility like a tax ID. Facilities can have several SIC codes but only one Primary SIC code.
The IRS uses SIC codes, so your tax paperwork or accountant may already have the facility’s SIC code. Look on these federal tax forms:
A searchable database of the SIC Codes is available here
Example: A company manufactures metal washers and hinges. Searching for the word “washers” on the linked OSHA website returns a few options. One of them – SIC 3452: Bolts, Nuts, Screws, Rivets and Washers – covers the washers, but not the hinges. Searching for “hinges” returns SIC 3429: Hardware Not Elsewhere Classified. Although hinges aren’t mentioned in the title for SIC 3429, they are specifically listed in the description. Be sure to read the descriptions because they frequently offer the SIC codes for related activities.
If a facility has more than one SIC code, the activity that generates the greatest revenue is the Primary SIC code. If revenue information is unavailable, use the SIC code for the activity with the most employees. If employee information is also unavailable, use the SIC code for the activity with the greatest production.
No, only one permit or No Exposure certification is required; it will address all the operations at the facility.
If the facility fits one of the listed narrative activities, a permit or No Exposure certification is required regardless of whether or not the facility’s Primary SIC code is listed. But if the facility isn’t described by a listed narrative activity and its Primary SIC code isn’t listed, a permit isn’t required even if a Secondary SIC code is listed. See Table 1.
Yes, when the facility applies for the permit, list the Secondary SIC codes in the application. Comply with the sector requirements for the all the SIC codes at the facility and any narrative activities.
Certain industries are easier to define by explaining what they do in a narrative paragraph. They are listed as narrative activities. If a facility fits any of the listed narrative activities, whether for Primary or Secondary operations, it must get an industrial stormwater permit or the No Exposure exclusion.
Summary of when a permit it required based on SIC codes and narrative activity
Link to this table
|Is the facility’s industry type listed?||What to do|
|Primary SIC code||Secondary SIC code||Narrative activity|
|Scenario 1||Listed||Listed or not||Listed or not||Apply for permit or certify No Exposure|
|Scenario 2||Not listed||Listed||Not listed||No stormwater permit required|
|Scenario 3||Listed or not||Listed or not||Listed||Apply for permit or certify No Exposure|
There are a few things a facility can have outside and still qualify for the No Exposure exclusion:
More information is in the MPCA stormwater factsheet #wq-strm3-13, “No Exposure: Qualifying for and maintaining the exclusion.”
A storm-resistant shelter can be:
Wastewater discharge permit
If a facility has a wastewater discharge permit that already includes stormwater requirements, a separate industrial stormwater permit is not required.
See Question 19 for wastewater treatment facility information.
Certain sand and gravel, stone, concrete and hot mix asphalt facilities qualify for the nonmetallic mining water permit. The MNG49 permit includes industrial stormwater requirements and has the advantage of covering multiple locations and portable plants under one permit. If a facility has MNG49 and all industrial activities at the facility are addressed in the permit, the facility does not need the industrial stormwater permit.
However, if a facility has MNG49 and there are industrial activities with a listed SIC code or narrative activity that are not addressed in MNG49 (such as local trucking or a landfill), the facility must add an industrial stormwater permit for the location or part of the location that has these additional activities.
For more information or to find out if a facility qualifies for MNG49, see the MPCA’s Nonmetallic Mining and Associated Activities water permit web page at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/iryp90f. Be careful not to confuse it with the air quality permit that has a similar name.
On-site: On-site auxiliary operations, such as warehouses or vehicle maintenance shops, are considered Secondary SIC code activities. As discussed above in the section about SIC codes, a facility only needs a permit if the Primary SIC code or narrative activity is listed. If it is listed, get the permit and comply with the sector requirements for primary activities, auxiliary/secondary activities and any narrative activities, or certify for No Exposure.
Off-site: For off-site auxiliary operations, first determine whether industrial activities at the off-site facility have a listed Primary SIC code or narrative activity: · If so, an industrial stormwater permit or No Exposure exclusion is required for the off-site facility. · If the off-site facility does not have a listed Primary SIC code or narrative activity, the off-site facility takes on the SIC code or narrative activity of the facility it supports. If industrial activities at the main facility have a listed Primary SIC code or narrative activity, separate industrial stormwater permits or No Exposure exclusions are required for the off-site facility and the main facility. · If neither facility has a listed Primary SIC code or narrative activity, neither facility needs a permit or No exposure certification.
Pilot plants and research and development (R&D) facilities follow a similar decision process as other auxiliary operations:
Facilities primarily engaged in commercial physical and biological R&D on a contract or fee business are described by the Primary SIC code 8731. These facilities are not required to have an industrial stormwater permit or No Exposure certification.