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 Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.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.
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.
Who must seek permit Coverage Under an EPA construction General Permit?
Disturbing 5+ AcresCoverage under an EPA Construction General Permit must be sought by the operator of a construction activity that:
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" DefinedAccording to EPA's Construction General Permits, a construction site operator is someone who:
"Larger Common Plan of Development or Sale" DefinedEPA'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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (https://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/...).