Section 405 of the Water Quality Act of 1987 (WQA) added section 402(p) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), directed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to develop a phased approach to regulate storm water discharges under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The USEPA published a final regulation in the Federal Register on the first phase (Phase I) of this program on November 16, 1990, establishing permit application requirements for "storm water discharges associated with industrial activity." These regulations defined the term "storm water discharge associated with industrial activity" in a comprehensive manner to cover a wide variety of facilities. Construction activities, including activities that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale, that ultimately disturb at least five acres of land and have point source discharges to waters of the U.S. were included in the definition of "industrial activity" pursuant to 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(x).

Phase II of the storm water program was published in the Federal Register on December 8, 1999, and required NPDES permits for discharges from construction sites disturbing at least one acre, but less than five acres, including sites that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb at least one acre but less than five acres, pursuant to 40 CFR 122.26(b)(15)(i).

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ADEQ Construction General Permit

In 2002, the USEPA granted primacy of NPDES permitting to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for all areas of Arizona excepting any such activities conducted on Indian Country. The ADEQ established the Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (AZPDES) requirements into the Arizona Revised Statute (ARS, Title 49, Chap 2, Article 3.1) and the Arizona Administrative Code (AAC, Title 18, Chapter 9, Article 9).

In February 2003, the ADEQ issued its Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Discharge from Construction Activities to Waters of the United States (Permit No. AZG2003-001); commonly referred to as the ADEQ Construction General Permit, or CGP. The CGP authorizes storm water discharges from construction-related activities where those discharges have a potential to enter surface waters of the United States or a storm drain system. The CGP expires every five years, at which time either the current permit is administratively continued of a new general permit is issued.

In general, the ADEQ CGP requires operators of construction activities that require permit coverage to submit a permit application (Notice of Intent, or NOI), develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), and select, identify, implement, and maintain best management practices (BMPs) appropriate for site conditions.

STORM has developed a Construction Site Brochure that may be useful to construction site operators for meeting the requirements of the ADEQ's CGP.


Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 49 - The Environment; Chapter 2 – Water Quality Control; Article 3.1 - Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program

ADEQ Stormwater Permits

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Municipal Construction Site Requirements

While the ADEQ permit establishes minimum requirements for covered construction projects, regulated municipalities separate storm sewer system (MS4) operators may have established additional requirements and standards that must be met. To find out more information visit our Members & Sponsors page and select the community of interest.

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Helpful Links

STORM has provided links to ADEQ websites and EPA websites that offer information pertaining to stormwater permit coverage for construction activities. Also included are links to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC) since these organizations have prepared several documents related to sediment erosion and control stormwater BMPs that are referenced or adopted by many MS4 operators.

ADEQ Stormwater Permits (click the Construction Activities link)

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