EPA Proposes 2022 Construction General Permit

Filed in Codes and Standards, Environment by on May 26, 2021 0 Comments

Construction General Permit comments accepted until July 12.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 12 published the proposed 2022 Construction General Permit (CGP) in the Federal Register. The current 2017 CGP permit is in effect until Feb. 16, 2022, when the final 2022 CGP will become effective for five years.

Public comments on the proposed 2022 CGP will be accepted until July 12, and NAHB will submit comments on behalf of the home building industry.

EPA will host a webinar on Thursday, June 17, 1–3 p.m. ET to explain the proposed changes to the 2022 CGP. Register here.

Importance of the CGP

Stormwater CGPs are the most common environmental permit residential developers and builders must obtain. EPA’s CGP authorizes stormwater discharges from active land development and construction activities. Although serving as the actual stormwater permit developers and builders must obtain in four states (Idaho, New Mexico, Massachusetts and New Hampshire) and specific areas of the country including Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, and tribal lands, EPA’s CGP also serves as the template that all other EPA-delegated states use when renewing their own stormwater CGPs.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, developers and builders must seek CGP coverage before beginning land development or construction activities that disturb more than one acre, or less than one acre within a larger common plan of development, such as an individual builder constructing a home on single building lot(s) within a residential subdivision.

Under the CGP, permit holders are required to prepare, implement, and track their progress through a document called the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The SWPPP documents how the developer or builder is implementing all of the CGP’s requirements during the active phase of land development or construction activities.

Key Changes in the Proposed 2022 CGP

  • Creating additional notification and recordkeeping requirements to avoid contaminated discharges from dewatering activities (i.e., discharges relating to pumping out accumulated water from excavated areas).
  • Accepting comments on whether the current reduced site stabilization deadlines under the 2017 CGP for sites disturbing more than five acres should be revisited.
  • Creating a new EPA training program for CGP’s current requirement that only a “qualified person” conducts required site inspections under the CGP.
  • Clarifying existing 2017 CGP permit flexibilities concerning alternative site stabilization and inspection deadlines for arid and semi-arid areas of the country by establishing a definition for “seasonally dry period.”
  • Requiring permit holders to document (i.e., photograph) during regular inspections any signs that sedimentation as a result of stormwater discharges from construction activities are occurring to so called “receiving waters.”
  • Requiring permit holders before filing their Notice of Termination (NOT) with EPA to submit a photograph showing the condition of site (i.e., documenting site stabilization) at the time of terminating CGP permit coverage.
  • Clarifying that EPA does not endorse under the CGP any stormwater control products nor SWPPP plans.

Additional Resources

In addition to EPA’s webinar on June 17, you can learn more about the proposed changes to the 2022 CGP with these EPA resources:

For more information on EPA’s proposed 2022 CGP, please contact Mike Mittelholzer, AVP, Environmental Policy, at 800-368-5242 x8660.

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