Construction General Permit & SWPPP Compliance

On September 2, 2009, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted the new state Construction General Permit (CGP). The new CGP has an effective date of July 1, 2010. The permit incorporates several concepts new to construction stormwater permits, which were designed to provide increased water quality protection.


Construction activity resulting in a “land disturbance of one acre or more”, or less than one acre but part of a larger common plan of development or sale must obtain the Construction Activities Storm Water General Permit (2009-0009-DWQ Permit). Construction activity includes clearing, grading, excavation, stockpiling, and reconstruction of existing facilities involving removal and replacement. Construction activity does not include routine maintenance such as, maintenance of original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of the facility.



In summary, all projects disturbing more than one acre must comply with Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) requirements:


  • Retain a Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSD) for the preparation of a project SWPPP.
  • Conduct risk level determination.
  • Pay the first annual fee.
  • Register for permit coverage.
  • Retain a Qualified SWPPP Practitioner (QSP) to implement the SWPPP during construction.
  • QSP shall provide weekly monitoring, water sampling and reporting as applicable based on risk level.
  • Stabilize all disturbed areas after construction.
  • Submit annual reports
  • Terminate permit coverage


The CGP follows a risk-based permitting approach. Each project is evaluated for sediment discharge risk and receiving water risk. These factors combine to determine the project Risk Level (1, 2, or 3).


There are annual fees for this permit, based on total disturbed area of the construction project in acres. See Construction fees for a list of fees by acres. You will continue to receive an annual invoice until your project is complete and a Notice of Termination is electronically submitted and approved by each Regional Water Quality Control Board that your project resides in.


Fines for stormwater permit violations can reach $37,500 per day! If your facility, construction site, or municipal discharge system is regulated for stormwater runoff, you must have either an individual stormwater permit or a general stormwater permit, or face civil or criminal penalties. Obtaining a permit is far from the only obligation you must fulfill. Numerous permit conditions apply, and you must have the proper tools and adequate SWPPP for stormwater monitoring, training, recordkeeping, and reporting. Remember, federal and state authorities have the right to inspect to see if a facility or site is in compliance.


If you require assistance to keep your project in compliance with the California State Water Resources Control Board, contact us immediately. KPROX provides SWPPP report preparation and support services.

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KPROX is a small Civil Engineering consulting firm dedicated to providing high quality professional services in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you need help with your project, please contact us via phone: (650) 549-4249 or via email and we will be glad to assist you.