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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Permitting > Water Permits > Wet Weather - CSO & Storm Water (Rule 5, 6, & 13) > Storm Water Permitting > Construction/Land Disturbance Storm Water Permitting (327 IAC 15-5, Rule 5) > Step by Step Process for Compliance with 327 IAC 15-5 Step by Step Process for Compliance with 327 IAC 15-5

IDEM administers Rule 5 in cooperation with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The SWCDs play a significant role in implementation of 327 IAC 15-5. In addition, IDEM has also designated several communities (municipalities and/or counties) that are required to develop a local storm water program. These entities are referred to as Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems or MS4s. If a project lays within one of these MS4 jurisdictions, plan content and submittal processes may vary based on the local ordinance of the MS4. The local MS4 ordinance is required to be as strict as 327 IAC 15-5, therefore compliance with an MS4 ordinance and local requirements should also meet the requirements of 327 IAC 15-5.

Where an MS4 has jurisdiction the permittee will be required to meet local ordinance requirements in addition to the items required by 327 IAC 15-5. Following is a step by step process to guide an applicant through the permitting process for projects that will result in land disturbance of one acre or more.

Step 1:

Develop a Construction Plan for the project site. A Construction Plan includes specific elements, including the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

Rule 5 requires the development of a Construction Plan. An integral part of the Construction Plan is a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan addresses several issues. First, the plan outlines how erosion and sedimentation will be controlled on the project site to minimize the discharge of sediment off-site or to a water of the state. Second, the plan addresses other pollutants that may be associated with construction activity. This can include disposal of building materials, management of fueling operations, etc. Finally, the plan should also address pollutants that will be associated with the post construction land use.

Construction Plan development should include careful site evaluation and assessment. Each project is unique and, therefore, requires careful planning to ensure the plan is developed for the planned project activities and the characteristics of the site.

Requirements for plan development and content are contained within 327 IAC 15-5-6.5 (Scroll to Page 10) and in the guidance document entitled Guidance for Construction Plan/Storm Water Pollution Plan Development. The guidance document not only includes the elements required by the Rule, but a brief description of each element and what is expected to be in the plan.

The Indiana Storm Water Quality Manual is also available to assist with the development of the Construction Plan.

Note: If this project is within the jurisdiction of an MS4 with a certified construction program, additional requirements that are above and beyond the requirements specified in 327 IAC 15-5 may be required as part of the plan. These requirements will be typically based on an MS4 ordinance and may vary from one MS4 to another.

Step 2:

Submit the Construction Plan (see Construction Plan Submittal and Review) to the plan review authority. The plan review authority may vary based on local agreements with IDEM (SWCDs) and the existence of an MS4 community.

Note: MS4s do not directly administer 327 IAC 15-5, but are required to establish a local program that meets or exceeds the requirements of Rule 5. The local program must include provisions for plan review, site inspection, and enforcement procedures.

Is my project within an MS4 Entity with a Certified Construction Program?

  • Yes, the Construction/Storm Water Pollution Plan should be submitted to the appropriate MS4. Contact information for the MS4 can be obtained at Designated MS4 Entities Currently Permitted. Note: Projects owned or operated by an MS4 must be submitted in accordance with item two (2) below.
  • No, the project is subject to Rule 5 and the plan should be submitted to the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) with the exception of projects that occur within the counties of Noble and Ohio. Projects occurring within these counties will require plans to be submitted to:

IDEM, Office of Water Quality
Storm Water Program, Rule 5
100 North Senate Avenue
IGCN Room 1255
MC 65-42
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

If you have questions as to whether the project lies within the boundaries of an MS4, please contact the appropriate MS4 or this office to make a determination. Inquiries to IDEM should be directed to the IDEM Permits Coordinator or the MS4 Coordinator.

Step 3:

Once the plan has been submitted, the permittee will receive a determination from the plan review entity regarding the status of the plan. The review authority (project regulated under Rule 5) has up to 28 days from the date of submittal to review the plan. MS4s are not subject to the 28-day review period and have their own procedures for the submittal and review of plans. 

Projects Subject to Rule 5

The project site owner should receive notification from the review authority (SWCD or IDEM) that the plan meets the minimum requirements of the Rule, the plan is deficient, or a written notice that the plan has been received and the review waived.

If an official notice is not received, the project site owner or his/her representative should contact the review authority to determine the status of the plan submittal and obtain appropriate documentation to include with the submittal of the NOI.

If the plan is deemed sufficient or a letter is received indicating that a formal plan review will not be completed for the project, the project site owner may proceed with submittal of the Notice of Intent (NOI).

Projects Subject to a Local MS4 Ordinance

The project site owner should receive notification from MS4 that the plan meets the requirements of the local ordinance, plan is deficient, or a written notice of the plan status directing the applicant to submit an NOI to IDEM.

If the plan is deemed sufficient or a letter is received directing the applicant to submit an NOI for the project, the project site owner may proceed with submitting the Notice of Intent (NOI).

Step 4:

Submit a NOI Form - State Form 47487 (available on the IDEM Forms page) to IDEM. A copy of the NOI letter should also be submitted to the plan review authority. The plan review entity will either be the SWCD or a local MS4.

Note: Always verify with the web site to ensure that you are using the most current form.

An NOI submittal to IDEM is required for all projects meeting the applicability requirements of 327 IAC 15-5 regardless of whether they are within or outside a designated MS4 entity. IDEM does not delegate their authority to administer Rule 5, but does recognize the local permitting process and plan review of the MS4 entities as a qualifying local program.

Step 5:

Construction activities may commence forty eight (48) hours following submittal of the Notice of Intent. MS4s may have additional requirements that must be met prior to initiation of land disturbance. It is the responsibility of the project site owner to understand and meet these local requirements.

Notification of Land Disturbance

Construction activities may not begin prior to verification that the plan meets the minimum requirements of the Rule and submittal of the Notice of Intent letter. The project site owner must also notify IDEM and the review authority of the actual start date within 48 hours of starting land disturbing activities. Notification to IDEM should be directed via phone or e-mail (e-mail preferred) to the IDEM Permits Coordinator. If the projected date of land disturbance is accurate on the Notice of Intent; the Notice of Intent will serve as official notification to IDEM.

Step 6:

Implement the Construction Plan/Storm Water Pollution Plan throughout the life of the project. The Construction Plan must be implemented before, during, and after construction activities occur.

It is the responsibility of the project site owner to implement the storm water pollution prevention plan. In addition, it is critical that the site is monitored during the construction process and in field modifications are made to address the discharge of sediment and other pollutants from the project site. This may require modification of the plan and field changes on the project site, as necessary, to prevent pollutants, including sediment, from leaving the project site. Communicate with the review/inspection authority, especially when significant changes are made to the plan.

Step 7:

All projects are required to be terminated upon completion. A NOT Form - State Form 51514 (available on the IDEM Forms page) must be filed provided the project site is eligible.

Note: Always verify with the web site to ensure that you are using the most current form.

The project site owner must:

  • Make a determination if the project is eligible for permit termination (Notice of Termination (NOT) Submittal and Eligibility).
  • Prepare a complete NOT Form - State Form 51514 (available on the IDEM Forms page) with all required supporting documentation.
  • Submit the NOT. There are two options for submittal of an NOT.
  • The Rule states that the Notice of Termination will be submitted to the IDEM at:

IDEM, Office of Water Quality
Storm Water Program, Rule 5
100 North Senate Avenue, MC 65-42
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

A copy of the NOT should also be sent to the plan review authority, Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) or an MS4 Entity with a Certified Construction Program. The entity will usually be the same as reviewed the Construction Plan.

A second option allows for the NOT to be submitted to the plan review entity (SWCD or MS4). Not all SWCDs and MS4s will exercise this option. If they participate, staff will make an assessment of the project to determine if the site qualifies for termination as provided for in the Rule. The NOT will be returned to the responsible party with a determination. If the termination is acceptable, the responsible party may send the NOT to IDEM.