Storm Water FAQs

Who is responsible for applying for a construction storm water permit?

The operator is responsible for applying for the permit as required by 40 CFR 122.21(b). The operator is the person who has operational control over construction plans and specifications, and/or the person who has day-to-day supervision and control of activities occurring at a construction site. In some cases, the operator may be the owner or the developer, in other cases the operator may be the general contractor, in some cases both entities will be considered operators. Some states require a single entity, usually the landowner or easement holder, to be the permittee for a given construction project. Other states and the U.S. EPA require all relevant entities to obtain permit coverage, as co-permittees, for a given construction project. Contact your permitting authority for clarification on who must apply.

What is meant by a "larger common plan of development or sale?"

A "larger common plan of development or sale" is a contiguous area where multiple separate and distinct construction activities may be taking place at different times on different schedules under one plan. For example, if a developer buys a 20-acre lot and builds roads, installs pipes, and runs electricity with the intention of constructing homes or other structures sometime in the future, this would be considered a larger common plan of development or sale. If the land is parceled off or sold, and construction occurs on plots that are less than one acre by separate, independent builders, this activity still would be subject to storm water permitting requirements if the smaller plots were included on the original site plan. The larger common plan of development or sale also applies to other types of land development such as industrial parks or well fields. A permit is required if 1 or more acres of land will be disturbed, regardless of the size of any of the individually-owned or developed sites.

What types of construction activities are regulated under the construction storm water permit program?

All construction activities 1 acre or larger must obtain permit coverage. Construction activities less than 1 acre must also obtain coverage if they are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that totals at least 1 acre. Small construction activities, i.e., less than 5 acres, may qualify for a waiver.

What types of sediment and erosion controls will I need at my construction site?

You'll need to select erosion and sediment controls - including stabilization measures for protecting disturbed areas and structural controls for diverting runoff and removing sediment - that are appropriate for your particular site. The appropriateness of the control measures will depend on several factors, but will be influenced most directly by the site characteristics. Some stabilization measures you might consider are temporary seeding, permanent seeding, and mulching. Structural control measures include earth dikes, silt fences, and sediment traps. No single BMP will meet all of the erosion and sedimentation control needs of a construction site. A combination of BMPs is necessary.