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Ohio Construction Stormwater Permit (6-OH-b)

In Ohio, a developer may need a Construction Stormwater General Permit (“General Permit”) from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (“Ohio EPA”) for stormwater discharges from construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land or that are part of a larger common plan of development that will disturb one or more acres of land, where discharges enter state waters or a conveyance leading to state waters. Ohio – Ohio Environmental Protection Agency – Construction Stormwater Program Website. An operator (developer) may need a General Permit from the Ohio EPA to discharge stormwater associated with construction activity that disturbs one or more acres of land or that are part of a larger common plan of development that will disturb one or more acres of land, where discharges enter state waters or a conveyance leading to state waters. An “operator” means any party associated with a construction project that:


  • Has day-to-day operational control of all activities at a project which are necessary to ensure compliance with a stormwater prevention protection plan for the site and all General Permit conditions; or
  • Is a property owner meeting that has day-to-day operational control of all activities at a project which are necessary to ensure compliance with a stormwater prevention protection plan for the site and all General Permit conditions.

Construction Stormwater General Permit.

The Ohio EPA regulates discharges from construction stormwater discharges pursuant to O.R.C. §§ 6111.01 et seq., Water Pollution Control and O.A.C. §§ 3745-38-01 et seq., Ohio NPDES General Permits.

The Ohio EPA currently has three General Permits related to stormwater discharges at construction sites: a Statewide General Permit, a Big Darby Creek Watershed General Permit, and an Olentangy River Watershed General Permit. This narrative focuses on the statewide General Permit. Developers wishing to apply for watershed-specific general permits should refer to those respective requirements.



Construction Stormwater Permit Process

6-OH-b.1 to 6-OH-b.2 – Does the Project Qualify for a Waiver?

The Ohio EPA may waive the General Permit requirement for construction activities that disturb more than one acre, but less than five acres of land, if the developer meets certain conditions at the site. The developer may apply for a Rainfall Erosivity Waiver or a Routine Maintenance Exclusion.

If the construction project qualifies for a Rainfall Erosivity Waiver, the developer must submit a written waiver certification to the Ohio EPA at least 21 days before construction is scheduled to begin. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Rainfall Erosivity Waiver Website.

6-OH-b.3 – Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

The developer must complete a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (“SWPPP”) prior to submitting a Notice of Intent Application. For multi-phased construction, separate SWPPPs must be prepared for each of the subsequent phases. General Permit at 10.

The SWPPP identifies potential sources of pollution that the developer may reasonably expect to affect the quality of stormwater discharges associated with project construction activities. General Permit at 10. An experienced professional familiar with the design and implementation of standard erosion and sediment controls and stormwater management practices surrounding all phases of construction must prepare the SWPPP.

The SWPPP must include, at minimum, the following:

  • A description of the site, including the nature and type of construction activity, and the area of the site to be disturbed;
  • Information about the soil(s) present at the site;
  • An implementation schedule describing the sequence of major construction operations;
  • The name and/or location of the receiving stream(s) or surface water(s);
  • A detailed site map;
  • A description of the control measures to be implemented.
  • A description of the erosion, sediment, and stormwater management practices used to satisfy the conditions of the General Permit; and
  • A description of post-construction stormwater management requirements that will be installed during construction for the site, as well as the rationale for their selection.

The developer must also comply with all other General Permit requirements regarding the SWPPP, as outlined in General Permit at 10-28. For additional information, see also the SWPPP Checklist.

Developers applying for the statewide general permit need not submit the project’s SWPPP directly to the Ohio EPA. However, in submitting the NOI, the developer certifies that the SWPPP has been developed. The SWPPP must be retained at the site at all times during construction and the developer must make the SWPPP available upon request. Additionally, the local governing authority, such as the county, city, or township, may require approval of the SWPPP or a sediment and erosion control plan before the developer may begin construction activities. General Permit at 11. Therefore, the Ohio EPA recommends that developers contact local authorities to check for any additional requirements.

Developers applying for the Big Darby Creek Watershed and Olentangy River Watershed General Permits must submit the project’s SWPPP with the Notice of Intent Application.


6-OH-b.4 – Notice of Intent (NOI) Application

The developer must submit a Notice of Intent (“NOI”) requesting coverage for construction stormwater discharges under the General Permit no more than 90 days before beginning construction activities. O.A.C. § 3745-38-02(E)(1)(a). However, the Ohio EPA requests that developers submit NOI Applications at least 21 days before construction begins. For multi-phase construction projects, separate NOIs must be submitted for each subsequent phase. General Permit at 10. All NOI Applications must be submitted through the Ohio EPA’s Surface Water Tracking, Reporting, and Electronic Application Management System (“STREAMS” Website.

Note: Developers applying under the Big Darby Creek Watershed or Olentangy River Watershed general permits must include a copy of the SWPPP with their NOI submittal at least 45 days before construction begins. NOI Application Instructions at 7.

The NOI must contain:

  • The name, address, telephone number, contact person, and title of the owner or operator of the point source;
  • Official project name and location;
  • Facility contact person and contact information;
  • The latitude and longitude of the approximate center of the project site to the nearest fifteen (15) seconds;
  • An 8.5” x 11” map of the project site, with the perimeter outlined and existing adjacent roads identified. The project contact person and project name must also be included on the map;
  • If a facility discharges directly to receiving water(s), the name of the receiving water, or if the discharge is to a separate storm sewer, the name of the operator of the storm sewer and the ultimate receiving waters;
  • The general NPDES permit number under which authorization to discharge is requested.
  • Approximate project start and completion dates;
  • An estimate of the total acreage to be disturbed during the life of the project (this must also have been addressed in the SWPPP); and
  • Certification of the accuracy of the information submitted.

O.A.C. § 3745-38-02(E)(3); NOI Application Instructions.

The developer must also submit the applicable permit fee. O.R.C. § 3745.11(S)(1); NOI Application Instructions at 9.

6-OH-b.5 to 6-OH-b.6 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The Ohio EPA reviews the NOI Application for administrative and technical completeness. If the application is incomplete, the Ohio EPA notifies the developer of the deficiencies and the developer may resubmit the NOI Application with the required information.

6-OH-b.7 – Does the Ohio EPA Approve the Authorization to Discharge?

Ohio EPA issues a General Permit if the NOI Application is complete and meets the eligibility requirements of the General Permit. The Ohio EPA director notifies the developer whether the construction stormwater discharge is authorized pursuant to the General Permit. O.A.C. § 3745-38-02(E)(5).

The Ohio EPA director may not issue a General Permit if the United States Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator objects in writing to the issuance of the General Permit, in accordance with § 402 of the Clean Water Act. O.A.C. § 3745-38-02(I)(2).

6-OH-b.8 – Construction Stormwater General Permit

If the Ohio EPA approves the NOI it will issue an approval letter to the developer. The project will also be added to the list of entities having NPDES Stormwater General Permit Coverage authorization to discharge to surface waters of Ohio. Dischargers Covered Under Stormwater Discharge General Permits Website.

The developer must comply with all conditions included in the General Permit. See General Permit at 29-33.


6-OH-b.9 – Notice of Termination (NOT)

The developer must complete a Notice of Termination (“NOT”) Application through the STREAMS Website to terminate coverage under the General Permit. O.A.C. § 3745-38-02(N). Compliance with the General Permit conditions is required until the developer submits an NOT. The developer must submit an NOT within 45 days of completing all permit requirements. General Permit at 28.

Before submitting the NOT, the developer must conduct a site inspection and prepare a maintenance agreement to ensure all post-construction best management practices will be maintained in perpetuity. General Permit at 28. Additionally, the developer must meet at least one of the following conditions before submitting an NOT:

  • Final stabilization has been achieved throughout the site;
  • Another operator has assumed control of all areas of the site that have not been finally stabilized; or
  • An exception has been granted (see General Permit at 28).

General Permit at 28-29.

The developer must also certify that, before submitting the NOT Application, the following have been accomplished:

  • All elements of the SWPPP have been completed;
  • Any disturbed soil has been stabilized;
  • All temporary erosion and sediment control measures were removed at the appropriate time; and
  • All stormwater discharges associated with the construction and authorized by the General Permit have been eliminated.

Notice of Termination Application.

The developer’s authorization to discharge under the General Permit terminates at midnight on the day the NOT is submitted. General Permit at 28.

6-OH-b.10 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

The developer or any other person who was a party to the application for a General Permit may file an appeal of the Ohio EPA director’s decision to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission (“Commission”) with thirty (30) days of Ohio EPA’s decision. O.R.C. § 3745.04; O.A.C. § 3746-5-06. Appeals must be mailed to the Commission or hand-delivered, and must be accompanied by a $70 filing fee. O.R.C. § 3745.04(D); O.A.C. § 3746-5-06. Review is conducted pursuant to O.A.C. §§ 3746-1 et seq.. See also Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission Appeal Process Website.


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