The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program addresses stormwater discharges, which adversely affect the quality of our nation’s waters. In Ohio, this program is enforced by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). To help prevent soil erosion and control the amount of sediment and other pollutants that leave construction sites, the OEPA requires stormwater management permits for construction projects.
Construction site operators engaged in clearing, grading, and excavating activities 1 acre or larger must obtain a NPDES stormwater permit. 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.
How to Obtain a Permit
To get a stormwater permit, the construction site operator submits an application form called a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the OEPA. The operator must also develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, which includes a description of the best management practices (BMPs) that will be used to minimize the amount of stormwater pollution from the site. There are numerous types of construction stormwater BMPs that may be used, including:
Seeding and mulching disturbed areas
Installing silt fences and sediment traps
Stabilizing construction entrances
General good housekeeping (proper waste and debris disposal, covered trash bins, safe storage of chemicals, regular vehicle maintenance to prevent leaks)