The TPDES Construction General Permit is a 5 year permit which developers, contractors and owners who plan on disturbing 1 or more acres can use to fulfill the requirements of the Clean Water Act. The amount of land disturbance also include disturbances such as grading, fill, excavation and demolition not just of their own project but projects nearby Common Plan of Development*. If combined, the amount of land disturbing activities is over 1 acre, a permit is needed to allow storm water discharges from these activities and when this amount exceeds 5 acres, a Notice of Intent (NOI) must be sent to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as well as a water quality fee. The water quality fee is either $225 or $325 depending on the method of which they receive the NOI, online is $225 and a mailed copy is $325. Since the local municipalities are usually the enforcing agency as it is here in Odessa, a copy of the NOI must be sent over to them at the same time it is sent to TCEQ. Storm water discharges must be accompanied with Better Management Practices (BMPs). The amount and types of BMPs are detailed within the TPDES Construction General Permit. It is possible to develop your own guidelines with an individual permit but is not wise unless you have ample time to develop, write and receive feedback from both TCEQ and EPA. This process can take up to 18 months to complete.
A copy of the NOI may be sent to the following address:
City of Odessa
Public Works Department: Stormwater
P.O. Box 4398
Odessa, Texas 79760
When to apply for an NOI or Small Construction Site Notice?
The NOI or Small Construction Site Notice (SCSN) is the notification that is received by the enforcing agency which implies, the individuals or company submitting the NOI or SCSN realizes they are responsible for keeping their site clean and reducing potential contaminated storm water discharges. The list of measures they will perform is written in a document or Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). This document should be developed and certified by the owner and lead builder (General Contractor) prior to any land disturbance such as bringing in fill, excavation, grubbing, or even drilling soil samples. The following is a checklist of submittal requirements for construction sites and land under development. Earth Disturbance Criteria
The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)
The SWPPP is a document which details the activities on your site which could cause potential contamination after storm events. It is the responsibility of the owner and sometimes General Contractor to make sure these measures are being implemented and their job site remains clean from potential contaminated storm water discharges. Any changes to the SWPPP or the site should be stated in the SWPPP such as any major grading and land disturbing activities. The City actively visits construction sites to make sure owners and general contractors are implementing these rules on their construction sites. A list of potential contaminants are listed below.
- Soil and Rocks - This eventually ends up in low spots, culverts, or storm sewer pipes taking away from the overall volume. Could pose very dangerous isolated flooding and slipping conditions. Rocks in the Right-of-Way could also damage the concrete and asphalt after being run over repeatedly.
- Concrete and Mortar - Considered caustic and could potentially dry out the skin. Both can contain high levels of alkaline which when mixed with water can raise the pH up to 12. Discharges on-site should be isolated and marked. Contained by some means and should not pose a risk to contaminating ground water. Discharges should only occur on the job site unless permission is granted and stated in the SWPPP.
- Construction Debris - cut pieces of lumber, pvc, electrical wire, nails, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, brick, tile, welding rods, etc., should be disposed of in trash receptacles. They may remain on site in a pile or piles for 2 - 3 weeks if trash receptacles are not available.
- Personal Trash - grocery bags, bottles, cans, paper bags, plastic and cardboard from food containers and utensils must be disposed of in trash receptacles. If this is not possible, trash bags should be used on the job site and removed daily.
- Potential Wastewater Discharges - When water mixes with paint, stucco, dry bags of mortar, concrete dust, dry wall, thinners, stains, glues, caulk, tar, asphalt, etc. These items should be covered or disposed of before rain events. When cleaning tools used to apply these items,it must be done in an area that will not discharge onto the ground.
- Fuels and Oils - Vehicles and fuels parked on site or on the street should be monitored daily for leaks. Sand and dirt can be placed on small spills and placed on the lot in thin layers. For larger spills contact a local disposal facility for proper disposal methods. For more information on how much is a reportable quantity and who to contact visit the following site. Reportable Quantity
Inspections on Construction Sites
It is the responsibility of each entity that has to follow the TPDES Construction General Permit to perform inspections on their site. The inspections should cover any issues with potential contaminated storm water discharges, sign postage and updates to the SWPPP. The reports must be kept within the SWPPP. The reports must be performed at a frequency listed in the TPDES Construction General Permit. Any changes to the frequency of inspections must be documented in the SWPPP and can only change at the beginning on the month. The three different frequencies are listed below:
- Once every 7 days, or
- Once every 14 days and after a rain event of 0.5 inches or greater, or
*Common Plan of Development - A construction activity that is completed in separate stages, separate phases, or in combination with other construction activities. A common plan of development (also known as a “common plan of development or sale”) is identified by the documentation for the construction project that identifies the scope of the project, and may include plats, blueprints, marketing plans, contracts, building permits, a public notice or hearing, zoning requests, or other similar documentation and activities. A common plan of development does not necessarily include all construction projects within the jurisdiction of a public entity (e.g., a city or university). Construction of roads or buildings in different
parts of the jurisdiction would be considered separate “common plans,” with only the interconnected parts of a project being considered part of a “common plan” (e.g., a building and its associated parking lot and driveways, airport runway and associated taxiways, a building complex, etc.). Where discrete construction projects occur within a larger common plan of development or sale but are located ¼ mile or more apart, and the area between the projects is not being disturbed, each individual project can be treated as a separate plan of development or sale, provided that any interconnecting road, pipeline or utility project that is part of the same “common plan” is not included in the area to be disturbed.