EPA to Issue Updated Stormwater Construction General Permit



As required under the Clean Water Act, the U.S. EPA issued a stormwater Construction General Permit (CGP) with the purpose of minimizing and controlling runoff pollution from construction sites.  The current CGP, which became effective on February 16, 2012, will expire on February 16, 2017 and EPA will be reissuing the stormwater Construction General Permit (CGP) shortly. The proposed 2017 CGP includes seven changes which may affect projects exceeding the permitting threshold requirements in states and territories under EPA jurisdiction (Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, all Indian Country Lands, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other territories with the exception of the U.S. Virgin Islands).

The proposed modified requirements are as follows:

  • Types of discharges authorized – The proposed permit would no longer authorize non-stormwater discharges associated with external building washdown which contain hazardous substances, such as paint, or caulk containing PCBs.
  • Effluent limitations – the proposed permit includes revisions to the technology-based effluent limitations to facilitate implementation of the 2014 amendments to the construction and demolition (C&D) rule related to issues such as erosion cause by discharges, soil stabilization, topsoil preservation and other pollution prevention measures.
  • Public notice of permit coverage – Signs that are already required to be posted at project sites would also need to include information on how to contact EPA if stormwater pollution is observed on the discharge.
  • Stockpiles and land clearing debris piles – EPA is proposing to require “where practicable” cover or appropriate temporary stabilization for all inactive piles that will be unused for 14 or more days. 
  • Construction and domestic waste – All containers of construction and domestic waste will require covers, and waste container lids would be required to remain closed when not in use. 
  • Pollution prevention requirements for demolition –Structures with at least 10,000 square feet of floor space built or renovated before January 1, 1980 would be required to minimize pollution from PCB containing demolition debris exposed to stormwater. 
  • Streamlining of proposed permit – EPA’s proposal includes streamlining and simplification of general permit language to facilitate understanding and compliance with the permit requirements.

Trinity recommends reviewing your project conditions in light of EPA’s proposal and identifying any potential gaps or action items.  Project owners/operators in EPA covered jurisdictions will need to file a Notice of Intent to seek coverage under the 2017 CGP, once approved. Owners/operators should be aware of any potential changes or updates needed and reflect those in their project’s SWPPP.

For more information, please contact Jose Orsini at (407) 982-2891 or jorsini@trinityconsultants.com.