The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC or Department) issued a new State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity (GP-0-20-001). The new permit has been effective starting January 29, 2020 and replaced the previous general permit, GP-0-15-002, which expired on January 28, 2020.

Who needs a permit?

The permit covers the following:

  1. Construction activities involving soil disturbances of one (1) or more acres; including disturbances of less than one acre that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb one or more acres of land; excluding routine maintenance activity that is performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity or original purpose of a facility;
  2. Construction activities involving soil disturbances of less than one (1) acre where the Department has determined that a SPDES permit is required for stormwater discharges based on the potential for contribution to a violation of a water quality standard or for significant contribution of pollutants to surface waters of the State.
  3. Construction activities located in the watershed(s) where owners or operators of construction activities that involve soil disturbances between five thousand (5000) square feet and one (1) acre of land. Entire New York City Watershed that is located east of the Hudson River

What are the changes in the new permit?

The following changes were made in the new permit:

  1. The erosion and sediment controls were updated to include the control of stormwater discharges to include both peak flowrate and total stormwater volume. Additionally, minimizing dust was included in the erosion and sediment controls that need to be designed, installed and maintained.
  2. The new permit clarifies the non-stormwater discharges that may be covered under the permit.
  3. The new permit allows electronic or paper submission of the Notice of Intent (NOI) until December 21, 2020. Starting December 21, 2020, the department will only accept NOI’s electronically.
  4. The department now needs to be notified if there is a change in owner or operator at the site at least 30 days prior to the change.
  5. The new permit clarifies that the SWPPP and construction drawings should be updated to document the final construction conditions.
  6. GP-0-20-001 clarifies the requirement for the owner or operator to obtain any “Department certifications,” regardless of the issuing New York State agency, prior to their authorization under the general permit being in effect.
  7. Definitions were updated, most importantly, the definitions of a qualified professional and a trained contractor now include that they must hold a current certificate under the “New York State Erosion and Sediment Control Certificate Program”.
  8. Tables 1 and 2 of Appendix B now include additional types of construction activity and clarifies required SWPPP components for several types of construction activity.
  9. Finally, the 303 (d) list of impaired water bodies in Appendix E was updated.

If you think you need a SPDES Permit for construction activities, please call Walden to see how we can help you with your needs.