Information provided for reference purposes only

Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated. All the links in the document have been removed.


 

NPDES Storm Water Program for Construction Activity Disturbing 5 Acres or Greater 

NPDES Storm Water Program for Construction Activity Disturbing Less Than Five Acres

Any construction activity, including grading, clearing, excavation, or other earth moving process may require an NPDES storm water permit for construction under the NPDES Storm Water Program.

The information provided herein is fully applicable only to operators of construction activity located in the areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. Operators of construction activity in all other areas may use the information provided herein as a general guide, but should contact their State/Territory NPDES permitting authority for specific information on permit coverage, options, and requirements. 

  1. Who is the NPDES permitting authority for?
  2. Who must seek permit coverage under an EPA Construction General Permit?
  3. Are any waivers from the requirement to seek permit coverage available?
  4. "http://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/construction/#how">How does a construction operator obtain coverage under an EPA Construction General Permit?
  5. How does a permitted construction operator terminate coverage?

Resources/Permits

  • National Construction General Permit: General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Activities Disturbing 5 Acres or Greater (63 FR 7898, February 14, 1998).  Applies only in areas where EPA Regions 1,2,3,5,7,8,9, and 10 are the NPDES permitting authority.  For Regions 4 and 6, see below.
    • Part 1 [pp. 7858 - 7906]
    • Part 2 [pp. 7907 - 7956]
    • Part 3 [pp. 7957 - 8006]
    • Part 4 [pp. 8007 - 8014]
    • Application -- Notice of Intent (NOI) for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity 
    • Termination -- Notice of Termination (NOT) of Coverage Under NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity (including construction)
  • Regional Construction Permits (for activity disturbing 5 acres or greater)
    • EPA Region 4 Construction General Permit (65 FR 25122, April 28, 2000). Applies only in areas where EPA Region 4 is the NPDES permitting authority. The application (NOI) and termination (NOT) forms are the same as the ones listed above for the national permit.
    • EPA Region 6 Construction General Permit (63 FR 36490, July 6, 1998). Applies only in areas where EPA Region 6 is the NPDES permitting authority. The application (NOI) and termination (NOT) forms are the same as the ones listed above for the national permit. 
  • Guidances
    • Storm Water Management for Construction Activities: Developing Pollution Prevention Plans and Best Management Practices, September 1992.
    • EPA Region 6 SWPPP Checklist for Construction
    • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding the NPDES Storm Water Program for Construction (under review)
  • Rules/Regs
    • The NPDES Program: Storm Water Discharge Regulations (40 CFR 122.26, July 1, 1998)
    • NPDES Storm Water Phase I Final Rule (55 FR 47990, November 16, 1990). This Federal Register version includes the explanatory preamble to the rule that is not included in the CFR version.
    • Storm Water Phase II Final Rule (adds to and revises Storm Water Discharge Regulations above)
  • Latitude and Longitude Finders:
    • Given Street Addresses (MapBlast web site) 
    • Given Place Name and State or Zip Code, using the 1990 Census Lookup server.
  • Endangered Species by County: EPA's list of federally listed endangered and threatened species by county within the States covered by the EPA's NPDES Storm Water General Permit for Construction Activity.
To order the full document, contact  EPA's Water Resources Center (WRC) at (202) 260-7786 or center.water-resource@epa.gov.

Who must seek permit Coverage Under an EPA construction General Permit?

Disturbing 5+ Acres

Coverage under an EPA Construction General Permit must be sought by the operator of a construction activity that:
  • Will disturb five acres or greater, or 
  • Will disturb less than five acres but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale whose total land disturbing activities total five acres or greater (or is designated by the NPDES permitting authority);
AND
  • Will discharge storm water runoff from the construction site into a municipal separate storm water sewer system (MS4) or waters of the United States. 


Disturbing 1-5 Acres

Under the Phase II Final Rule, operators of construction activities disturbing equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres of land are subject to NPDES permitting requirements. Activity disturbing less than one acre is also included if  part of a larger common plan of development or sale whose total land disturbing activities total one acre or greater (or if designated by the NPDES permitting authority).  See the Construction Activity Disturbing Less Than Five Acres page for more details.
 
 

"Operator" Defined

According to EPA's Construction General Permits, a construction site operator is someone who:
  • Maintains overall operational control over construction plans and specifications, including the ability to change those plans. Typically, this refers to the developer of a construction site; or
  • Maintains day-to-day operational control over activities which will ensure compliance with the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. Typically, this refers to the general or subcontractor.

"Larger Common Plan of Development or Sale" Defined

EPA's Construction General Permits define a larger common plan of development or sale as "a contiguous area where multiple separate and distinct construction activities are occurring under one plan." The "plan" is broadly defined as any announcement or piece of documentation or physical demarcation indicating construction activities may occur on a specific plot.

Note: Any land disturbing activity occurring as part of a larger common plan of development (5 acres or greater) must obtain permit coverage until all intended construction has been completed. For example:

A developer plans to clear and grade a ten-acre site for a new subdivision of single family homes. The developer (and his contractor) obtain permit coverage for their activities. Upon clearing and grading the site, the developer sells twenty lots of a half acre each to individual home builders. Because he is no longer responsible for the site (i.e., he has sold all of his interest in the site), the developer can terminate his coverage.

The new operator of each acre site must then obtain permit coverage, regardless of the fact that the operator will not disturb greater than five acres. This requirement remains in effect regardless of any lapse in time between the initial grading or clearing and the actual construction of the home.

 

Are Any Waivers From the Requirement to Seek Permit Coverage Available?

No waivers are available for construction activity disturbing five acres or greater.  The Storm Water Phase II Final Rule, however, does allow for waivers. See the Construction Activities Disturbing Less Than Five Acres page for more details. 

How Does a Construction Operator Obtain Coverage Under an EPA Construction General Permit ?

For construction operators of sites located in the areas where EPA's Construction General Permits apply, the steps to obtaining coverage are:
  1. Read the applicable Construction General Permit (CGP) fact sheet and permit requirements


    As of fall, 1999, one national and two regional EPA Construction General Permits exist. The applicable CGP to use depends on the construction operator's NPDES permitting authority. 

    EPA's national CGP applies only in areas where EPA Regions 1,2,3,5,7,8,9, and 10 are the NPDES permitting authority.  The EPA Region 4 CGP and Region 6 CGP apply only in areas where the respective Region is the NPDES permitting authority.  The regional permits are almost identical to the national CGP, with only minor differences. 

  2. Develop and implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). 


    SWPPPs are required of all CGP applicants.  Several items are required in a SWPPP, including site maps showing drainage and discharge locations, and the locations of control measures; a description of the site and of the pollution prevention Best Management Practices or BMPs (i.e., the structural and stabilization practices); and inspection procedures and reports. Guidance on SWPPP development and the implementation of appropriate BMPs is available from EPA. Please note that SWPPPs must be developed and implemented in accordance with the CGP prior to submitting the Notice of Intent.

  3. Complete and submit a Notice of Intent (NOI).


    A Notice of Intent (NOI) for Construction Activity (which is the same form for all three of EPA's CGPs) must be filled out and submitted to EPA's NOI Processing Center (address identified on the NOI form) at least two days prior to the commencement of construction activity. It is important to note that signing and submitting the NOI form obligates the permittee to comply with the terms of the Construction General Permit. Once the NOI is received, the NOI Processing Center will send the permittee notice of its permit number. Permittees may contact the NOI Processing Center at (301) 495-4145 to determine the status of a particular NOI.

    EPA's NOI requires certification that the industrial activity will not impact endangered or threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act. This certification is unique to EPA's NOI and is not a requirement of most NPDES-delegated States' NOIs.  For a current list of these species and their locations nationwide (by county), please refer to the Office of Wastewater Management's Endangered Species List.

1 As with most NPDES programs, storm water permits may be issued through one of EPA's ten regions, or through an authorized State/Territory NPDES permitting authority. Regardless of who issues the permit, the standards set forth must, at a minimum, agree with the federal version of the permit.  States can create more stringent requirements or alter certain procedures associated with the permitting process.  For more information about a particular State program or permit, please contact the appropriate State.

.

How Does a Permitted Construction Operator Terminate Coverage?

A Notice of Termination (NOT) for Industrial Activity (which includes construction and is the same form for all three of EPA's CGPs) must be submitted to EPA's NOI Processing Center (address identified on the NOT form) in order to terminate coverage. A permittee may submit an NOT when:
  • Disturbed soils at the construction site have finally been stabilized and temporary erosion and sediment control measures have been removed (or will be removed at an appropriate time), 
  • Storm water discharges have been eliminated, or 
  • The permittee is no longer an  operator of the site.
Disclaimer: The information contained on these pages is a general statement of policy. It does not establish or affect legal rights or obligations. It does not establish a binding norm and is not finally determinative of the issues addressed. Agency decisions in any particular case will be made by applying the law and regulations to the specific facts of the case. This applies to all pages in the NPDES Storm Water Program web hierarchy (http://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/...).