As of March 10, 2003, all construction activities that disturb one acre or more of land, or disturb less than one acre but is part of larger common plan of development, must obtain permit coverage. Permit coverage requirements are individual stormwater permits or coverage under Statewide General Construction Activity Stormwater Permit (GCASP).
Most construction activities fall under GCASP requirements. Construction activities include, but are not limited to, soil disturbance, clearing, grading, stock piling or excavation. However, an individual permit may be issued at the discretion of the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
On June 18, 2003, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activity from Small Linear Underground/Overhead Projects (Small LUPs). Small LUPs that disturbs at least 1 acre but less than 5 acres of land during construction include but are not limited to:
• Any conveyance, pipe or pipeline for the transportation of any gaseous liquid (including water, wastewater for domestic municipal services), liquescent or slurry substances.
• Any cable line or wire for transmission of electrical energy
• Any cable line or wire for communications (ex. telephone, telegraph, radio or television messages)
• Associated ancillary facilities
To apply for permit coverage under GCASP, individual permit or Small LUP, the owner or operator of the construction site is responsible to file:
• Notice of Intent (Page 1 of 13) (NOI) or permit application (page 98 of 104) with the State Water Resources Control Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency prior to commencement of construction activities. Mail a complete NOI package including the original signed NOI, site map and appropriate fee to SWRCB at the following address:
Regular [U.S. Postal Service] mail:
FedEx or other overnight mail:
• Develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The plan should include erosion and sediment control and pollution prevention best management practices (BMPs). BMPs are methods to prevent or control stormwater runoff and the discharge of pollutants. The plan requires (1) advance planning and training to ensure implementation of the BMPs, (2) erosion and sediment control BMPs in place until the area is permanently stabilized, (3) pollution prevention BMPs to keep the construction site clean and (4) regular inspection of the construction site to ensure proper installation and maintenance of BMPs.
The SWPPP shall be completed prior to the submittal of the NOI. The SWPPP shall be amended whenever there is a change in design, construction, operation or maintenance which has a significant effect on the potential for discharge of pollutants. The SWPPP shall also be amended if it proves to be ineffective in significantly reducing pollutants from sources identified in the Permit. The SWPPP shall also be amended to indicate any new contractor and or subcontractor that will implement any measure of the SWPPP. All amendments shall be signed, dated and kept as attachments to the original SWPPP.
The contents of the construction SWPPP consists of:
1. Site Evaluation and Design Development
This first step in preparing a SWPPP is to define the characteristics of the site and the type of construction that will occur. This involves collecting site information, identifying natural features that should be protected, developing a site plan design, describing nature of construction activity and preparing pollution.
- Collect site information
- Develop site plan design
- Prepare pollution prevention site map
The second step is to assess the impact of the construction project on stormwater runoff.
- Measure the site area
- Determine the drainage areas, runoff amounts and velocities
- Calculate the runoff co-efficient
3. Control Selection and Plan Design
The third step is to document the procedures to prevent and control polluted stormwater runoff. Site must be designed to infiltrate the stormwater into the ground and keep it out of the storm drains.
- Review and incorporate state or local requirements
- Select erosion and sediment controls including stabilization measures for protecting disturbed area and structural controls for diverting runoff and removing sediment.
- Select other controls based on site conditions. Some stabilization measures include temporary seeding, permanent seeding and mulching
- Select stormwater management controls
- Indicate the location of the controls on the site map
- Prepare an inspection and maintenance plan
- Coordinate controls with construction activity
- Prepare sequence of major activities
4. Certification and Notification
After the SWPPP is developed, the authorized representative must sign and keep the SWPPP on site so the staff can implement SWPPP measures.
- Certify the SWPPP
- Submit permit application or notice of intent
5. Implementing and Maintaining Plan
The BMPs must be inspected regularly especially before and after rain events. Many BMPs are designed to handle a limited amount of sediment. If the BMPs are not maintained, the BMPs become ineffective and a source of sediment pollution. It is also important to keep records of BMP installation, implementation and maintenance.
- Implement controls
- Inspect and maintain controls
- Update/revise SWPPP
- Report releases of hazardous materials
6. Completing the Project: Final Stabilization and Termination of the Permit
- Final stabilization
- Notice of Termination
- Record retention
Notice of Termination (NOT) is required when:
- Final stabilization has been achieved on all portions of the site for which the permittee is responsible.
- Another operator has assumed control over all areas of the site that has not been stabilized. The new operator will need to submit a new permit application.
Fees Associated with the Permit
The current fee is based on total size of the construction project in acres. See construction fees for a list of fees by acres. An annual invoice will be continued to be sent until the project is complete and Notice of Termination is submitted to and approved by RWQCB.
If you have questions regarding outstanding invoices or payments, please contact the Fee Unit at (916) 341-5247.
Notice of Termination and Change of Ownership
The permit will remain in effect until a Notice of Termination is submitted to and approved by RWQCB. The current permit allows a discharger to terminate portions of construction project if those portions have been sold to another owner. The permit is not transferable so the responsibility to obtain permit coverage, update the SWPPP and comply with the permit requirements becomes that of the new owner. The owner must submit a new NOI package within 30 days of the date of change of ownership.