Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Storm-water Program

Improperly managed storm-water runoff from construction sites  transports sediment and other pollutants directly to our lakes,  rivers, streams and wetlands. Polluted runoff is a serious problem that adversely effects plants, fish, animals and humans. The NPDES  general storm-water permit for construction activity is designed to  minimize polluted runoff that contributes to impairments in our  state's waters.

As winter comes to a close, and we turn our thoughts to Minnesotas other season - construction - the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reminds the construction industry that projects disturbing more than an acre of land surface need a storm-water permit before construction commences. Projects less than an acre also need a permit if they are part of a larger common plan of development or sale.

 Since 1994, large construction projects have been required to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general storm-water permit coverage. New federal regulations that took effect March 10, 2003 require owners or operators of small construction projects (one acre or more and smaller sites that are part of a larger plan) to also obtain an NPDES permit.

 The MPCA is developing a general storm-water permit that includes both  large and small construction projects. The public notice period for the new permit ended in February and comments are under review. Although a new permit has not been issued, construction projects must still obtain NPDES storm-water permit coverage and must develop and implement storm-water pollution prevention plans (SWPPP) that include  "best management practices" (BMPs) to minimize polluted and sediment filled runoff.

For more information or an application visit the MPCA ' s  storm-water web site  http://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/stormwater/index.html or contact the MPCA Customer Assistance Center at 651-297-22745 or 1-800-646-6247.