Learn about costs associated with the Florida Multi-Sector General Stormwater Permit.
If you need to get covered under the Florida MSGP, it's natural to wonder what it's going to cost you and your business. When running a business, people always say you need to spend money to make money. Another thing to consider is you need to spend money to stay out of trouble (aka, stay in compliance). You need to invest time and money to ensure you remain on the right side of any rules or regulations or laws that apply to you, and that includes the Multi-Sector General Stormwater Permit in Florida.
How much does the Florida MSGP cost?
It depends what industry you're in, if you're dealing with any notice of violations or 3rd party lawsuits for non-compliance, what type of site modifications (if any) you'll need to make to your facility, and how much outside assistance you'll need to get into compliance. Figure costs could range from a few hundred to a few thousand the first year you're covered, with on-going annual costs ranging again from a few hundred to a few thousand every year after that.
Let’s break down the cost of the Florida Multi-Sector General Permit into 4 areas that can help us point what you could expect to spend.
1 - Florida Multi-Sector General Permit Application Costs
First and foremost, you need to get covered under the the MSGP in Florida. This permit doesn’t cost you a dime until you start down the path of getting covered under the permit.
In terms of permit applications, the associated fee is quite small and reasonable at a measly $500. This permit is good, so to speak, for five years (at which time you need to renew coverage). So in a way, imagine this permit alone costs you $100 per year to have. That is very inexpensive.
2 - Costs to Get Covered Under the MSGP in Florida
Here's where costs can start to vary. In order to get covered under the Multi-Sector General Stormwater Permit in Florida, you're going to need to do a few things:
- Get familiar with the permit
- Develop and implement a SWPPP (stormwater pollution prevention plan)
- Implement BMPs
- Site modifications (if necessary, to get into compliance)
- Stormwater Training
- And potentially other activities to get into compliance
So now there's two ways of looking at what you'll need to do to get into compliance, either the do-it-yourself manner, or the hire a professional manner.
So for example, if you decide to set out and get covered on your own, you're going to have to spend time to get everything accomplished. Since time is money, you'll need to figure out how much time you'll spend on learning about the MSGP in Florida, developing a SWPPP, figuring out which BMPs are your best bet, etc., etc. Putting a cost on that isn't easy, and just like doing anything else for the first time, it's probably going to take longer than you're expecting.
Or you could hire a stormwater expert (consultant, professional, whatever you want to call them) such as myself or my company. We're already familiar with the Florida MSGP, we know how to quickly & efficiently develop a SWPPP, we know which BMPs are going to work best, we'll provide stormwater training, and we'll advise you if any additional costs, such as site modifications, are needed.
Hiring a professional like myself to get you covered under the MSGP in Florida is going to depend on what's needed, the complexity of the project, and some other variables, but you can expect costs to run somewhere between $2,000 to well over $10,000. Again, it's all going to depend on the specifics of the projects, but expect the spend a few thousand bucks to get yourself into compliance and up and running.
3 - Continued Compliance Costs with the Florida MSGP
Regardless whether you get covered on your own or got help from a professional, once you have coverage under the MSGP, have your SWPPP, and you’re "program" is up and running, you'll still need to do some things to stay in compliance with your permit. Let's discuss:
- Stormwater Monitoring - Part of staying in compliance means monitoring your stormwater. This means the time taking samples, sending them to a lab for analytical testing, spending time submitting your DMRs, etc. Many companies do this on their own (minus the analytical monitoring) so you're looking at spending time on this, and since time = money, this is going to cost you indirectly. The analytical monitoring will cost you actual money, and that's going to depend what you need to sample, how often you sample, and the lab's costs. Some are cheaper, some are more expensive.
- Record Keeping - You're going to need to keep your records in order, everything from inspections, to monitoring results, to keeping your SWPPP in a decent & usable shape, to keeping copies of your training records, and even correspondence with the Florida DEP. Could be a simple as sticking copies in your SWPPP, could mean spending time digitizing and uploading copies to a central file server or environmental management system, but regardless, again, you're going to be spending time doing this.
- Annual Training - The MSGP in Florida REQUIRES annual training in order to stay in compliance. The particulars aren't spelled out, but you're going to need to spend some time, either hiring an expert for on-site environmental training, attending a classroom or webinar based training session, or doing something else to get your training in for the year.
- Site Inspections - Again, your time = money, and you're going to need to spend some time walking around your operation and conducting inspections of your facility.
- Annual Fee - As far as we're aware there are no annual fees you'd pay to the State of Florida's DEP, which is another reason this is an inexpensive permit. Most other states do charge an annual fee, so anyone with the MSGP in Florida should consider themselves lucky!
As you can see, the "cost" of the MSGP in Florida isn't easy to pin down, since it's going to depend on the specifics of your facility and the specifics of the details regarding your industry and the permit as it relates to your operation. Don't think this means you're going to spend tens of thousands per year, but you can expect to spend several hundred to a few thousand per year to stay in compliance with the Multi-Sector General Permit in Florida.
4 - Costs to Renew the Multi-Sector General Stormwater Permit in Florida
I mentioned it before, these permits are only good for 5 years. That means after 5 years have passed, you need to either renew or terminate your permit. Terminating your permit doesn’t cost you anything, but we rarely see people terminating their permit for any other reason than closing their business. The majority of time we see people renewing these permits for another 5-year term. And just like the application fee, the renewal has the same associated fee of $500.
BONUS - Costs of Non-Compliance with the Florida MSGP
This is usually when people start to balk - spending a few thousands up front, and potentially a thousand or more every year to stay in compliance with some stupid water permit?!
Yeah, we know, if you've never heard of Florida's Multi-Sector General Permit, you're probably not thrilled with the idea.
However, be aware that being out of compliance with the Florida MSGP, or any NPDES permit anywhere in the United States, is extremely expensive to deal with when you get caught. How much?
NPDES Permit violations can be as high as $52,414 per day, per violation.
So if you were getting the book thrown at you for being out of compliance while operating your facility, a fine could EASILY be in the multi-million dollar range. If you had 3 facilities with 1 violation each, and you were out of compliance for 6 months, you're looking at a maximum fine of $28.3 million dollars. Don't believe me? It's 3 x 1 x 180 x 52414. What do you get?
It's unlikely you would get hit with the maximum fine, but a fine in the several hundred thousand to million plus range is realistic, and happens all the time when it comes to NPDES permit violations. In other words, the cost of non-compliance with the Florida MSGP is MUCH HIGHER than the costs associated with getting into, and staying in compliance.
How much does the Florida MSGP stormwater permit cost?
It depends. If you're getting outside help, you can expect the first year you get into compliance will cost you a few thousand, all depending on the specifics of your operation and what's needed. If you're doing it on your own, your costs may be lower, but expect to spend time and energy getting your stormwater program up and running correctly.
Once you're covered under the Florida MSGP, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars a year to stay in compliance if you're getting outside help, or a smaller amount if you're doing most of the work on your own.
Do you need to get covered under the MSGP in Florida? Having issues with getting covered, your current stormwater program, or just need some help dealing with all this stuff? If so, we'd love to talk. We've been in business since 1992 and have helped hundreds of companies at thousands of industrial facilities across the US, with everything from the mundane to serious environmental problems. To get in touch with us, feel free to call us anytime at 888-RMA-0230, call our Orlando, Florida office at 407-720-6152, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to go to our contact us page where you can fill out a short form to get more information. If you need help getting into compliance, we're here to help.