not mobile

Real Estate and Facilities

Storm Water Permitting Guidelines for Construction Projects

Print friendly Modified April 4, 2012

Projects Under 1 Acre

A University System of Georgia (USG) construction activity that will result in the disturbance of less than 1 acre of land does not require coverage under a Georgia NPDES storm water permit. Land-disturbing activities include any activities which may result in soil erosion and the movement of sediments into state waters or onto lands, including, but not limited to, clearing, dredging, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land. No Notice of Intent (NOI) shall be filed for these projects, and no permit coverage shall be obtained. However, regardless of the absence of permit coverage, the Architect shall engage a design professional 1 to develop and certify an Erosion, Sedimentation, and Pollution Control (ES&PC) Plan for the project prior to the start of any land disturbing activities at the site.

The ES&PC Plan is a written plan that shall provide a comprehensive system of best management practices (BMPs) to prevent and minimize erosion and the resultant sedimentation of state waters. The plan shall identify any potential sources of pollution on site that may affect the quality of the storm water runoff from the site, and. The plan shall include specific BMPs as well as an implementation schedule for the entire project, regardless of who will be conducting individual activities on the site.

The plan shall be retained on the construction site or, if this is not possible, at a readily accessible location.

Detailed guidance for preparing an ES&PC plan is provided in the “Manual for Erosion and Sedimentation Control in Georgia,” which is published annually by the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

Projects of One (1) or More Acres

A University System of Georgia (USG) construction activity that will result in the disturbance of 1 or more acres of land requires coverage under one of the general storm water permits issued by Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). Land-disturbing activities may include but are not limited to clearing, dredging, grading, excavating, transporting, and filling of land which may result in soil erosion and the movement of sediments into state waters or onto lands.

The EPD has issued general storm water permits for three distinct types of construction activities: stand-alone sites, infrastructure (linear) sites, and common developments. These general permits authorize the discharge of storm water from construction sites into state waters. They are also often called NPDES storm water permits, as they are part of the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. Most USG construction projects are standalone sites, and thus are eligible for coverage under General Permit GAR 10001, Authorization to Discharge Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Discharges Associated With Construction Activity for Stand Alone Construction Projects.

The Architect of a USG construction project requiring storm water permit coverage must include the appropriate contract language in Section F of the specifications.

Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control (ES&PC) Plans

Any USG construction activity that will result in the disturbance of 1 or more acres of land requires the preparation and certification of an Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control (ES&PC) Plan before permit coverage is obtained and construction activity begins. The Architect shall engage a design professional 1 to develop and certify the ES&PC Plan for a USG construction project that requires such a plan.

The ES&PC Plan is a written plan that provides a comprehensive system of best management practices (BMPs) to prevent and minimize erosion and the resultant sedimentation of state waters. The plan also identifies any potential sources of pollution on site that may affect the quality of the storm water runoff from the site. The plan should include specific BMPs as well as an implementation schedule for the entire project, regardless of who will be conducting individual activities on the site.

The plan shall be retained on the construction site or, if this is not possible, at a readily accessible location.

Detailed guidance for preparing an ESPCP plan is provided in the “Manual for Erosion and Sedimentation Control in Georgia,” which is published annually by the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission.

Responsibilities of General Contractor (GC)

The following is a synopsis of the responsibilities of the general contractor (GC) for USG projects requiring NPDES permit coverage. These responsibilities shall be assigned to the GC through the appropriate contract language in Section F of the specifications:

Submittal of NOI

For USG construction projects, the general contractor has the primary responsibility for obtaining permit coverage as the operator, and for paying any permit fees as stipulated by the EPD. General storm water permit coverage for a construction site is obtained by completing and submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) form to Georgia EPD. The NOI must be submitted at least 14 days before the commencement of land disturbing activities.

Beginning in January 2004, a fee of $80 per acre of disturbed land will be required to be included with the NOI.

The NOI should be sent to the appropriate EPD district office using return receipt certified mail or similar service. T he receipt and a complete copy of the NOI should be maintained to document the submittal, as EPD may not acknowledge receipt of the NOI. However, permit coverage is provided without such acknowledgement from EPD.

A copy of the completed NOI must also be sent to the Office of Environmental Affairs, located at 270 Washington Street, Room 6124, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

Sampling and Inspections

The general storm water permit contains specific requirements for sampling certain receiving waters and outfalls, as well as for conducting daily, weekly, and monthly site inspections to ensure erosion and sediment control measures remain in place on-site and are effective. Two sampling events must be conducted over the course of the project, and must include all receiving waters and/or outfalls. The general contractor, as the site operator with day-to-day operational control of the site, is responsible for ensuring sampling and inspections are conducted in accordance with the permit conditions.

Permit Termination

Permit coverage is terminated by submitting a Notice of Termination, or NOT, to the EPD. The general contractor is responsible for completing and signing the NOT and submitting the NOT to EPD by return receipt certified mail (or similar service.)

The NOT should be submitted after all soil disturbing activities have been completed and 100% of soil surface is covered in permanent vegetation with a density of 70% or more (or equivalent permanent stabilization measures), and all storm water discharges associated with construction activity that are authorized by the permit have ceased.

A copy of the completed NOT must also be sent to the Office of Environmental Affairs, located at 270 Washington Street, Room 6124, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.


  1. A “design professional” shall be a professional licensed by the State of Georgia in the field of engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, forestry, geology, or land surveying; or a person that is a currently Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC)