The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) is now receiving public comments on its proposed reissuance of the statewide National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Construction Stormwater General Permit (“Construction Stormwater General Permit”).

I.     Background

The Construction Stormwater General Permit regulates discharges to waters of the United States from stormwater and authorized non-stormwater associated with construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land, or are part of a common plan of development or sale that disturbs one or more acre of land surface.  California’s previous Construction Stormwater General Permit expired in September 2014 but has been administratively extended until a reissued permit is adopted.

II.     Draft Construction Stormwater General Permit

The draft Construction Stormwater General Permit was released by the Water Board on May 28, 2021, following Staff’s preliminary draft released in November 2020 and consideration of public comments raised in public workshops held in December 2020.  The draft Construction Stormwater General Permit incorporates:

  • New requirements to implement existing Total Maximum Daily Loads adopted by Regional Water Boards into applicable Basin Plans;
  • New regulation of passive treatment technology uses and discharges from dewatering activities;
  • New criteria for Notices of Non-Applicability;
  • Efficiency to the existing Notice of Termination process;
  • Requirements to implement the California Ocean Plan and the Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries, including the statewide Trash Provisions;
  • Updated requirements for demolition activities;
  • Updated water quality sampling requirements per the federal Sufficiently Sensitive Test Methods Rule; and
  • Updated monitoring and reporting requirements.

III.     Public Hearings and Comments

The Water Board is hosting two remote public workshops next week:

Public Workshop #1

Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Public Workshop #2

Thursday, June 10, 2021, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Instructions for attendance are provided in the Water Board’s Public Notice.  The Water Board is also holding a remote public hearing to receive public comments on the draft Construction Stormwater General Permit on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 9:00am.  Video broadcast will be available at the following link.  Staff will provide a detailed overview of the draft Construction Stormwater General Permit and changes made between the preliminary 2020 draft and current 2021 draft.  The Water Board will accept oral comments and presentations, as well as written comments.  Written comments must be submitted by July 30, 2021.

IV.     For More Information

For more information on how, where, and when to submit comments, please refer to the Water Board’s Public Notice.  Further information on the draft Construction Stormwater General Permit is also available at the Water Board’s Construction Stormwater General Permit reissuance webpage.

Stoel Rives’ California Water Quality practitioners continue to monitor developments with respect to the adoption of the draft Construction Stormwater General Permit.  We will report on those developments here in the California Environmental Law Blog.  If you may be subject to terms of the draft Construction Stormwater General Permit, we recommend that your attend one of the upcoming virtual workshops or public hearing.

If you have questions regarding water resources or the potential effect of State Water Board actions on your facility, or other environmental, compliance, reporting, or permitting requirements, please contact our California water quality attorneys.