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EPA Re-Issues General Storm Water Discharge Permit for Construction Activities in Idaho

Release Date: 7/2/2003
Contact Information: Misha Vakoc
(206) 553-6650

July 2, 2003

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency re-issued its General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Large and Small Construction Activities in Idaho, otherwise known as the Construction General Permit(CGP). The permit is designed to prevent polluted stormwater runoff from construction sites from contaminating streams, rivers, and lakes.

Erosion of sediment and discharges of other pollutants from construction sites are a significant source of water pollution across the country. The primary pollutant is sediment, but nutrients, metals and organics may also be pollutants of concern.

There are a variety of ways to stabilize soils and manage chemicals or other materials on a construction site. The general permit requires construction operators to plan ahead for such erosion and sediment controls, and allows operators to select the specific techniques that are most appropriate for the construction project.

These statewide permit requirements apply to any clearing, grading or excavation activity at construction sites disturbing one or more acres of land, or at sites disturbing less than one acre, if the site is part of a larger common plan of development (such as within a subdivision).

“This permit will help keep soil and other construction-related pollutants from washing off into nearby waterways and wetlands during storms and spring run-off,” said Jim Werntz, Director of EPA’s Idaho Operations Office in Boise. “It’s far more effective to prevent pollution at a construction site than it is to try to correct water quality problems later.”

The permit requires construction operators in Idaho to first develop Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) for projects where there is a potential to discharge pollutants to nearby waterways or to publicly owned separate storm sewer systems. The operator then submits an application, called a “Notice of Intent,” to EPA seven days before starting earthwork activities at the site.
There is no application fee associated with this EPA permit. A “Notice of Termination” is submitted to EPA to end permit coverage once construction has ended and the site is stabilized.

Construction sites that discharge unpermitted storm water are in violation of the Clean Water Act and may be subject to fines of up to $27,500 a day per violation. EPA will be inspecting construction sites in Idaho more frequently starting in the fall of 2003.

Copies of new general permit for construction activities in Idaho and application forms can be downloaded from EPA’s website at:

Hard copies of the NPDES Construction General Permit package can be requested through EPA’s regional office at (800) 424-4372, extension 6650.

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