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California’s SB 205: Does your business need an NPDES Industrial Stormwater Permit?

Since the adoption of the new Stormwater Regulations in 2015, the government has found that a portion of businesses that qualify are not registering themselves on the SMARTS system.  Due to this, SB 205 was passed in 2020 requiring businesses to attach their WDID number to their business license application.  Some cities have yet to include it in their business license application or have not found a way to properly enforce this regulation.   

If your manufacturing or distribution business is not registered on SMARTS and you are wondering whether you should be in the program, we’d be happy to help you figure out which requirements apply –  



Senate Bill 205 (SB 205), signed into law in 2019, has significant implications for businesses operating in California. Through the statewide application of the Clean Water Act, SB 205 aims to ensure water quality by coordinating with local business licensing processes. 


Who Qualifies? 

According to the existing regulation, companies and municipalities that release stormwater must conform to waste discharge standards set forth by the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board). Evidence of participation in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program is mandated by the bill for enterprises subject to regulation.  

If your business falls under any of the primary Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes potentially regulated by the NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities (stormwater Industrial General Permit), you must comply with SB 205. It is important to consider the division definition and the specific SIC code while searching for suitable SIC codes using keywords to ascertain the SIC code’s application to their operations.  


The SIC Codes criterion 

SIC codes provide a standardized way to classify businesses based on their primary activities. Cities and counties check whether the business’s primary SIC code falls under the potentially regulated category by the industrial stormwater general permit. If a business’s primary SIC code falls under the regulated category, it must enroll for coverage under the stormwater Industrial General Permit or prove non-applicability. 



If you run an industrial facility and are unsure if Senate Bill 205 will affect your business license renewal, we suggest reviewing the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes related to your operations, as well as the requirements outlined in the industrial stormwater general permit. If you need further assistance or have additional questions, please reach out to us at