General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (VAR10)
Who Must Apply for Construction General Permit Coverage
- Operators of construction activities resulting in land disturbance equal to or greater than one acre.
- Operators of construction activities resulting in land disturbance equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet and less than one acre within areas designated as subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.
- Operators of construction activities resulting in land disturbance less than one acre that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that ultimately disturbs one or more acres. A larger common plan of development or sale is a contiguous area where separate and distinct construction may be taking place at different times on different schedules. A permit is required if one or more acres, or 2,500 square feet or more in all areas designated as subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, of land will be disturbed, regardless of the size of the individually owned or developed sites. For example, if a developer buys a 20-acre lot and builds roads with the intention of building homes or other structures in the future, or if the land is parceled off or sold, and construction occurs on plots that are less than an acre by separate, independent builders, these activities would still be subject to stormwater permitting requirements. A larger common plan of development or sale applies to various types of land development including but not limited to residential, commercial or industrial use.
Single-Family Residences Not Part of a Common Plan of Development or Sale
Single-family residences separately built, that disturb less than one acre of land, and that are not part of a larger common plan of development or sale, including additions or modifications to existing single-family detached residential structures, are exempt activities. Registration for coverage under the general permit to discharge stormwater from construction activities is not required in accordance with § 62.1-44.15:34.C.3 of the Code of Virginia. This exemption also applies to single-family residences in all areas subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, provided the single-family residence is not part of a larger common plan of development or sale and disturbs less than one acre of land.
Forms and Fees
To apply for general permit coverage, a complete and accurate registration statement, permit fee form and appropriate fee must be submitted to DEQ prior to the commencement of land-disturbing activities, in accordance with 9VAC25-880-50 of the general permit regulation.
Forms effective through June 30, 2014:
The General Permit Registration Statement for Discharges from Construction Activities must be completed and mailed to:
Department of Environmental Quality
Office of Stormwater Management, 10th Floor
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
The Permit Fee form must be completed and submitted with the appropriate fee to:
Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1104
Richmond, VA 23218
- Phase I Land Clearing (“Large” Construction Activity – Sites or common plans of development equal to or greater than five acres): $750.
- Phase II Land Clearing (“Small” Construction Activity – Sites or common plans of development equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres): $450.
- Small Construction Activity/Land Clearing (Sites within designated areas of Chesapeake Bay Act localities with land disturbance acreage equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet and less than one acre): $200.
- Fees established in §62.1-44.15:28 of the Code of Virginia are addressed in regulations, and these fees were revised by the 2012 General Assembly. A revised fee scheduled became effective in regulation on Nov. 21, 2012.
- Effective July 1, 2012, state law authorized DEQ to assess a $125 re-inspection fee for each project-site visit needed to check on the status of the project-site items noted to be in noncompliance and documented as such on a prior project inspection. This fee became effective in regulation on Nov. 21, 2012.
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans
The construction general permit requires the construction site operator to develop and implement a site specific SWPPP. The SWPPP must be prepared prior to submitting a registration statement for permit coverage to DEQ. The SWPPP is to be retained at the construction site along with a copy of the permit and permit coverage letter. The operator has the lead in developing, implementing and maintaining the SWPPP and committing the resources necessary to prevent pollution. Random site inspections for compliance with the general permit, including SWPPP review, may be conducted by DEQ staff.
The SWPPP outlines the steps and techniques the operator will take to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit, including water quality and quantity requirements that are consistent with the VSMP permit regulations, to reduce pollutants in the stormwater runoff from the construction site. The SWPPP also specifies all potential pollutant sources that could enter stormwater leaving the construction site and covers methods used to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff during and after construction. A complete list of SWPPP requirements is contained in Section II of the general permit.
EPA Guidance Documents:
Current Construction General Permits