If you’re a construction site operator (owner, developer, independent contractor, general contractor, etc.) in Georgia, do not begin with your construction activity unless you’ve obtained the necessary construction general permit that involves submitting a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
You need to obtain an NDPES permit coverage for your site’s Stormwater discharge that would pollute and reduce the water quality of lakes, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water.
Federal Clean Water Act (CWA)
Also referred to as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, it prohibits the discharge of water contaminants to US waters from a source unless as duly authorized with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
An NPDES permit allows the discharge of pollutants into the receiving water under specific conditions. The Stormwater program has two permit categories; general permit and individual permit.
- A general permit covers sites, activities, and facilities belonging to a specific category for a given time but not exceeding five years.
- An individual permit is tailored and issued to an individual for a specific time but not exceeding five years.
(Before permit issuance, both permits are subject to public comment.)
- Domestic Wastewater Applicants: You need to apply electronically through the GEOS.
- Industrial Wastewater Applicants: You must complete the EPA form 1 and the Industrial NPDES Application Addendum. You also need to submit a site-specific application/s.
- For other application forms, check out this link.
You’re required to submit all the requirements. Review the permit issued and understand all the requirements, including parameters for monitoring, monitoring and reporting frequencies, monitoring locations, and any effluent limitations.
Submit a fully accomplished notice of intent that includes information about your construction site and the receiving waters that will be affected by the discharge. Then, you must submit the NOIs electronically through the EPD’s portal.
Do you have an existing construction site? Submit a newly-accomplished NOI within 90 days after the Permit’s effective date for coverage. A new site that begins construction after the Permit’s effective date should submit an NOI form at least two weeks before the construction activities.
It is valid for five (5) years as per the Federal regulations limiting the NDPES permit up to this term only. You might also be required to apply for an individual permit or a general permit upon written notification received from the EPD.
New Stormwater Program
There are sector-specific requirements, limiting the inspection requirements, types of discharges, and additional requirements. All the covered facilities must examine the new permit to comply with the latest restrictions.
Specific requirements apply to most permittees, who must perform a quarterly visual inspection of the discharge samples and lab analysis of discharge samples yearly. All the results should be reported to the EPD.
Facilities discharging to an impaired water body should conduct a lab analysis of discharge samples twice per quarter under the 2012 general permit guidelines. Construction managers, developers, or owners, or anyone associated with the activity, must update the SWPPP to ensure compliance with the new requirements.