Georgia Construction Stormwater Permits

Georgia Construction Stormwater Permits

Georgia has 3 separate Construction Stormwater Permits, all dated May 2018.

Permit Requirements:

Stand Alone Construction Projects –

  • Disturb 1 or more acre of land
  • Mixed discharge with Industrial Activity IF
    • Activity is only in support of the construction project
  • NOT REQUIRED FOR Minor Activities:
    • Home Gardens, Landscaping, Repairs, Fences, etc.

Infrastructure Construction Projects –

  • Disturb 1 or more acre of contiguous land
  • Mixed discharge with Industrial Activity IF
    • Activity is only in support of the construction project
  • NOT REQUIRED FOR
    • Routine Maintenance / Barrier or Guard Rail Installation / Railroad Maintenance / Install Buried Utility Lines
    • Maintains original line and grade
    • No mass grading, stabilized each day, duration of 120 days or less

Common Plan of Development Construction Projects –

  • Disturb 1 or more acre of land AND
  • Developer/Permittee chooses to sub-divide area and use secondary and/or tertiary permittees for each area
    • Subdivided areas may be greater or less than 1 acre of land.
  • Mixed discharge with Industrial Activity IF
    • Activity is only in support of the construction project

Filing the NOI Permit:

The process for filing the NOI permit is complicated, but the Georgia Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has created a comprehensive instructions guide. Your best bet is to download and follow the guide.

Here’s what you’ll want to gather in advance –

  • Types of potential discharges from your site
  • MS4 information
  • Dewatering Information
  • Receiving waters
  • Your Erosion, Sediment, and Pollution Control (ESPC) Plan
  • A location map (this can be from Google Earth or another system)

The NOI Permit must be signed by a “Responsible Authority” – meaning a

  • Responsible corporate officer
  • General partner or proprietor
  • Principle executive officer/ Elected official
  • Designated authority with authorization letter

You’ll also need to pay the NOI Permit fees of $80 per acre.

Plan Requirements:

  • An Erosion, Sediment, and Pollution Control (ESPC) Plan is required for all construction projects. The ESPC Plan must be prepared by someone who has completed the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) Level II Erosion and Sediment Control certification course.
  • An ESPC Plan template can be found online here.
  • The ESPC Plan must include the following sections:
    1. ESPC Plan Checklist – found here.
    2. Site Description –
      • Nature of Construction
      • Sequence of Construction
      • Schedule of Major Activities
      • Disturbed and Total Acreage
      • Soil types and Discharge quality
      • Discharge Areas or Points
    3. Controls
      • Erosion and Sediment Controls
      • Stormwater Management Controls
      • Other Controls (Housekeeping)
      • Initial Sediment Storage and Perimeter Controls
      • Intermediate Grading and Drainage BMPs
      • Final BMPs
    4. Inspections
      • Daily Site Checks
      • Rainfall Monitoring
      • Scheduled Inspections by Certified Personnel
    5. Maintenance
      • Describe schedule and activities to maintain BMPs
    6. Sampling Requirements
      • Map of sampling points
      • Narrative of methods
      • Samples from receiving waters and/or outfalls
      • After 1st 0.5″ rain event
      • 90 days after 1st sample (or after grading complete, whichever comes first)
      • Anytime BMPs fail
      • Written justification if not possible
    7. Non-Stormwater Discharges
      • List of all potential allowed non-stormwater discharges

The following certification is required on all ESPC plans (with the permit’s respective number):

“I certify that the permittee’s Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control Plan provides for an appropriate and comprehensive system of best management practices required by the Georgia Water Quality Control Act and the document “Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia” (Manual) published by the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission as of January 1 of the year in which the land-disturbing activity was permitted, provides for the sampling of the receiving water(s) or the sampling of the stormwater outfalls and that the designed system of best management practices and sampling methods is expected to meet the requirements contained in the General NPDES Permit No. GAR100001.”

Special Requirements for Projects within 1 mile of Impaired Waters:

If your construction project will disturb land within 1 mile of an impaired water you must implement at least 4 of the following controls in addition to the normal requirements:

  • 50 ft buffer required (instead of 25 ft)
  • Temporary sediment basin capacity increased to 3600 cubic ft
  • Baffles in temporary sediment basins and double outflow path length
  • 4ft x 8ft sign
  • Flocculants or Coagulants and/or Mulch used for stabilization of all areas left disturbed for 7 days or more
  • Turbidity Sampling after every rain event of 0.5” or more
  • Comply with end-of-pipe turbidity effluent limits
  • Reduce total disturbance to <50% impervious surfaces
  • Limit disturbed areas to 25 acres or 50% total acreage at any given time (whichever is less)
  • Use “Dirt II” techniques to model and manage runoff
  • Add soil amendments to improve soil carbon levels
  • Use mulch filter berms in addition to silt fence on perimeters
  • Use slope stabilization instead of concrete in all ditches and drainages
  • Use flocculants or coagulants passive dosing in all ditches and drainages (into temporary sediment basins)
  • Install sod instead of seed after final grading
  • Conduct soil tests for site-specific fertilizers
  • Inspections increased to twice every 7 days and rain events
  • Use compost blankets until vegetation is established
  • Use documented superior BMPs (as certified by a Design Professional)
  • Limit total planned site disturbance to less than 15% impervious surfaces
  • Design Professional inspects during intermediate and final phases
  • Install post-construction BMPs which remove 80% TSS

You can find a map of impaired waters here.

Construction Start Requirements:

  • ESPC Plan must be prepared prior to filing the NOI
  • The NOI Permit application must be completed at least 14 days prior to the construction start date
  • The ESPC Plan must be implemented on or before the day construction activities begin

Inspector Requirements:

All inspections must be performed by “Certified Personnel”.

As defined by the Permit:

  • “Certified Personnel” means a person who has successfully completed the appropriate certification course approved by the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

As defined by the GSWCC:

  • “Certified Personnel” or “Certified Person” means any person who has attended the Conservation Commission’s “Fundamentals Seminar” (Level 1A) and holds a certificate of successful completion of the training requirements stated in 600-8-1-.04 (2)(a) from the Conservation Commission in the area of inspection of best management practices (BMPs) on construction sites. BMPs are vegetative and structural measures to control and prevent erosion.
  • “Certified Inspector” means any person who has attended the Conservation Commission’s “Advanced Fundamentals Seminar” (Level 1B) and holds a certificate of successful completion of the training requirements stated in 600-8-1-.04 (2)(b) from the Conservation Commission to inspect land-disturbed areas for compliance with the state laws.

Inspection Requirements:

Stand Alone Construction Projects –

  • Daily Site Inspections
    • All areas where petroleum products are used or stored
    • All areas where vehicles enter or exit the site
  • Record Rainfall
    • Once every 24 hours except on non-working weekends and holidays
    • Until final stabilization
  • Weekly
    • Once every 7 days AND
    • Within 24 hours of 0.5″ of precipitation
      • if on non-working weekend or holiday, by the end of the next working day
  • Monthly
    • All areas where final stabilization or established annual vegetation has occured
  • Plan Amendments
    • Based on inspection results, within 7 days of any changes on site

Infrastructure Construction Projects –

  • Same Requirements As Standalone – Except Weekly
  • Weekly
    • Once every 14 days AND
    • Within 24 hours of 0.5″ precipitation
      • if on non-working weekend or holiday, by the end of the next working day

Common Plan of Development Construction Projects –

  • Primary Permittee
    • Same as Stand Alone Projects
  • Secondary Permittee
    • Same as Stand Alone Projects AND
    • Daily by Utility companies/contractors for any areas disturbed by them
    • Must notify Primary Permittee within 24-hours of any design deficiencies and Primary must evaluate within 48-hours
  • Tertiary Permittee
    • Same as Stand Alone Projects

Inspection Report Requirements:

No specific form is prescribed for inspection reports.

Inspection reports must include the following:

  • Names of Certified Inspectors
  • Dates of each Inspection
  • Construction Phase
  • Major observations regarding the implementation of the ESPC plan
  • Actions taken
  • Description of all incidents of BMPs not properly installed or maintained
  • If there are no issues on the site, include a certification that all BMPs are in compliance with the ESPC Plan

The inspection report must be made available by the end of the 2nd business day after the inspection and it must include the following certification:

“I certify under penalty of law that this report and all attachments were prepared under my direction or supervision in accordance with a system designed to assure that certified personnel properly gather and evaluate the information submitted. Based on my inquiry of the person or persons who manage the system, or those persons directly responsible for gathering the information, the information submitted is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true, accurate, and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations.”

Stabilization and Termination:

  • Final stabilization is considered to have been achieved when
    • All soil-disturbing activities have been completed AND
    • Vegetation is in place covering 70% density for all unpaved areas or areas not covered by permanent structures OR
    • The site has been landscaped according to the plan OR
    • Equivalent permanent stabilization measures have been put into place
  • You are eligible to submit a Notice of Termination (NOT) when:
    • The entire area has undergone final stabilization
    • All construction activities have permanently ceased
    • All temporary controls have been removed
  • Changes of Owner/Operator may be submitted. It is the permittee’s responsibility to inform the new Owner/Operator of the requirements of the permit.
  • The NOT is submitted online where you filed the NOI
  • The NOT must be signed by a responsible authority (same as NOI)
  • A copy of the NOT must be submitted to the local issuing authority

This is a quick summary of the Construction Stormwater requirements in Georgia. To be sure you are meeting ALL the requirements and to lower your risk of audits, fines, stop-work orders, or jail-time, you should thoroughly familiarize yourself with the appropriate permit for your project (linked above).

ComplianceGO offers the best software solution for managing your stormwater requirements on construction projects. Visit www.compliancego.com to learn more about how you can save time and money while increasing compliance on your site.