What You Need to Know About the NPDES General Permit

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016

river-by-roadThe Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has different programs it manages such as Air, Coastal, Waste/Remediation and Water. At Sain, we’re typically only tasked with acquiring a permit for the discharge of stormwater runoff into state waters during construction activities.

These permits are important because they allow the state to keep track of construction activity that has the potential to impact state bodies of water. These bodies of water can effect plant and wildlife species and even our drinking water. The permits also provide accountability for contractors, engineers and project sponsors.

The General Permit is a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit that covers the state and is authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This General Permit covers all applicable projects in the entire state and lasts for several years with the last General Permit being issued in April of 2011. The General Permit is basically the umbrella that covers all of the individual project permits that are issued by ADEM. Any construction project that will have one acre or more in land disturbance is required to obtain an NPDES Permit for that project. ADEM is responsible for managing the review, approval and issuance of these permits.

The current General Permit expires on March 31st, 2016. In order to renew an existing permit, the permitee must submit a complete Notice of Intent (NOI) along with the application fee prior to the expiration date. The NOI form and terms have also been revised. In addition, if the construction site is considered a priority construction site, a revised Construction Best Management Practices Plan (CBMPP) is also required. If the permit for a construction project is not renewed by the deadline, then the permitee can face fines and a project shutdown.

It’s important to note that if you have a project that’s currently permitted but no longer requires coverage, you should submit a termination request. This will ensure that project is removed from the list of outstanding projects that need to be re-permitted. You don’t want to be responsible for a project that’s complete or no longer under construction. The revised NOI and permit can be found on ADEM’s website.

For more information on General Permits, visit the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s website here.

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