Stormwater Construction Permits Changing …Soon

The federal Stormwater Construction General Permit (CGP) issued in 2003 expired July 1, 2008, and is being replaced with a 2008 version.

by Jay Collert, Chmm, CET

The federal Stormwater Construction General Permit (CGP) issued in 2003 expired July 1, 2008, and is being replaced with a 2008 version. While that's nothing new, what is novel is this permit will only be issued for two years. Typically a permit is issued for five years. The reason for the short permit cycle is the EPA is developing a national regulation, called an Effluent Limitations Guideline (www.epa.gov/guide/construction/) for the construction and development industry. Upon completion of this guideline, the agency will develop and issue an updated CGP that incorporates provisions of the effluent guideline as soon as possible – but not later than July 2010.

Impact

The impact for regulated entities from the 2008 permit is nil. The permit is being reorganized so it's clear what requirements are effluent limits, which are inspection requirements and which are stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) documentation requirements. These changes didn't affect the bottom line requirements for construction sites. The other change was to limit who can be covered by the permit to new dischargers and any existing dischargers which didn't previously obtain coverage under the 2003 CGP. Construction site operators covered under the 2003 CGP will continue to be covered under that permit until a future CGP is issued, which will incorporate the Construction and Development Effluent Guideline. EPA offers an electronic system to make obtaining permit coverage fast and easy. Construction site operators subject to this permit are encouraged to file a Notice of Intent form using EPA's eNOI system at www.epa.gov/npdes/eNOI

Qualifying Local Programs

The EPA is also requesting comments on criteria to be used by the agency to incorporate, by reference, "qualifying local program requirements'' for erosion and sediment control as provided for in its regulations. The Phase II stormwater regulations included provisions to allow for further streamlining and coordination among programs at the state and local levels, particularly relating to regulation of construction site runoff. The qualifying local program provision for the management and oversight of stormwater runoff from construction activities allows for such streamlining, particularly as regulated municipalities develop and implement their programs.

To keep abreast of these changes and more, go to: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/cgp.cfm.


About the Author: A nationally recognized environmental consultant, Jay Collert is training director at the Aarcher Institute of Environmental Training LLC, based in Houston, TX. Contact: 281-256-9044, jcollert@aarcherinstitute.com or www.aarcherinstitute.com

More in Infrastructure Funding