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Step by Step Process for Compliance with the Construction Stormwater General Permit

IDEM administers the construction stormwater program through the Construction Stormwater General Permit (CSGP).Implementation of the program is a cooperative effort with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The SWCDs play a significant role in implementation of the CSGP. In addition, IDEM has also designated several communities (municipalities and/or counties) that are required to develop a local stormwater program. These entities are referred to as Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems or MS4s. If a project lies 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 at a minimum, as strict as the CSGP, therefore compliance with an MS4 ordinance and local requirements should also meet the requirements of the CSGP.

Where an MS4 has jurisdiction, the permittee will be required to meet local ordinance requirements in addition to the items required by the CSGP. Following is a step-by-step process to guide an applicant through the process to obtain permit coverage under the CSGP for projects that will result in land disturbance of one (1) acre or more.

Step 1:

Develop a construction plan for the project site. A construction plan includes specific elements, including the stormwater pollution prevention plan.

The CSGP requires the development of a Construction Plan. An integral part of the construction plan is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3). The SWP3 is required to address several resource issues. First, the plan outlines how stormwater run-off will be managed through effective erosion and sedimentation control to minimize the discharge of sediment off-site or to a water of the United States. Second, the plan addresses other pollutants that may be associated with construction activity. This can include disposal of building materials, concrete washout, 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 CSGP Section  4.0, specifically 4.1and 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 CSGP, 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 the CSGP 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 the construction stormwater program, but are required to establish a local program that meets or exceeds the requirements of CSGP. 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?

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 Storm Water 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 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 CSGP

The project site owner will receive notification from the review authority (SWCD or IDEM) that the plan either meets the minimum requirements of the CSGP, the plan is deficient, or a preliminary review was completed.

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 review 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 the 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:

Using the IDEM Regulatory ePortal complete an electronic submittal of the NOI. 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 the CSGP regardless of whether they are within or outside a designated MS4 entity. IDEM does not delegate their authority to administer CSGP 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 CSGP and submittal of the Notice of Intent letter.

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. All terminations should be completed through the regulatory ePortal.

For sites outside of an MS4, the project site owner must:

  • Make a determination if the project is eligible for permit termination (Notice of Termination (NOT) Submittal and Eligibility).
  • Complete the notice of termination Using the regulatory ePortal.
  • There are three options for submittal of an NOT. Be sure to select the correct option before submitting the NOT.

For sites located within an MS4:

  • MS4 Staff will make a field assessment of the project to determine if the site qualifies for termination as required for in the CSGP.
  • The determination will be returned to the responsible party. If the termination is acceptable, the responsible party may apply and terminate permit coverage with IDEM. Terminations should be completed on the regulatory ePortal.

Upon completion, 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.

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