Stormwater discharges from construction activities (such as clearing, grading, excavating, and stockpiling) that disturb one or more acres, or smaller sites that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale, are regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
System (NPDES) permit program. Where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the NPDES permitting authority, stormwater discharges from construction sites are permitted under the EPA Construction General Permit (CGP). The CGP requires compliance with effluent limits and other permit
requirements, such as the development of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). EPA issued the final 2012 CGP on February 16, 2012. The 2012 CGP includes a number of modifications from its predecessor, many of which are necessary to implement the Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELGs)
from the Construction and Development (C&D) rule issued in December 2009. The requirements in the C&D rule include a suite of non-numeric effluent limitations (commonly referred to as “best management practice” requirements) that apply to all permitted construction sites,
including requirements for erosion and sediment controls, soil stabilization, dewatering, pollution prevention measures, prohibited discharges, and surface outlets. The final 2012 CGP also includes new water quality-based requirements for construction sites discharging stormwater to waters
requiring additional pollutant control.
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