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September 01, 2022
Expert Tip: Stormwater-Construction Activities Inspections

The Construction General Permit (CGP) requires permittees to conduct site inspections at least once every 7 calendar days. Alternatively, permittees may conduct site inspections once every 14 calendar days and within 24 hours of a storm event that produces 0.25 inches (in.) or more of rain within a 24-hour period and within 24 hours of an occurrence of a discharge caused by snowmelt from a storm event that produces 3.25 in. or more of snow within a 24-hour period.

Projects that discharge to sediment- or nutrient-impaired waters or to certain high-quality waters must conduct site inspections once every 7 calendar days and within 24 hours of the occurrence of a storm event that produces 0.25 in. or more of rain within a 24-hour period or within 24 hours of a snowmelt discharge from a storm event that produces 3.25 in. or more of snow within a 24-hour period.

For portions of sites discharging dewatering water, operators must conduct an inspection during the discharge once per day when the discharge occurs.

Inspection frequency may be reduced for stabilized areas; arid, semiarid, or drought-stricken areas; or during frozen conditions if certain conditions are met.

Site inspections must cover the following areas:

  • All areas that have been cleared, graded, or excavated and that have not yet completed stabilization;
  • All stormwater controls installed at the site;
  • Material, waste, borrow, and equipment storage and maintenance areas covered by the permit;
  • All areas where stormwater typically flows within the site, including constructed or natural site drainage features designed to divert, convey, and/or treat stormwater;
  • All areas where construction dewatering is taking place, including controls to treat the dewatering discharge and any channelized flow of water to and from those controls;
  • All points of discharge from the site; and
  • All locations where stabilization measures have been implemented.

During a site inspection, a qualified person must check whether all stormwater controls are properly installed, appear to be operational, and are working as intended. The inspector must also check for the presence of conditions that could lead to spills, leaks, or other accumulations of pollutants on the site; identify any locations where new or modified stormwater controls are necessary; and identify any incidents of noncompliance observed.

At the points of discharge and the banks of any receiving waters flowing within or immediately adjacent to the site, the inspector must also check for signs of visible erosion, sedimentation, and sediment deposition that have occurred and are attributable to the site’s discharge. If a discharge is occurring during an inspection, the inspector must identify the discharge points at the site and observe and document the visual quality and characteristics of the discharge. Based on the results of the inspection, the operator must complete any necessary maintenance or corrective actions. The operator must also modify the stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) site map as necessary to reflect changes to stormwater controls.

Within 24 hours of completing a site inspection, the operator must complete an inspection report.

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