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Vermont Construction Stormwater Permit (6-VT-b)

Information current as of 2020
In Vermont, a person (developer) may need a Vermont General Permit 3-9020 for Stormwater Runoff from Construction Sites (Construction General Permit) from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), a department within the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), for stormwater discharges from construction activities that result in a total land disturbance of equal to or greater than one acre or that are part of a larger common plan of development that will disturb one or more acres, where those discharges enter state waters or a conveyance leading to state waters. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10 § 1264(d)(1)(D); NPDES Stormwater General Permits for Construction Guidelines; Construction General Permit; Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10 § 1264(c)(4. The DEC issues NPDES permits for all proposed non-federal projects in Vermont. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10 § 1258(b).

Projects that disturb less than one acre of land generally do not need a permit, but the DEC may still require a developer to obtain a Construction General Permit if the Secretary of the ANR determines that the project may contribute to a violation of a water quality standard, contribute pollutants to surface waters of the state, or exceed wasteload allocations (“total maximum daily loads”). Construction General Permit § 1.4(A)(2); 40 C.F.R. 122.26(a)(1)(v),(b)(15)(ii); See generally Construction General Permit.

Construction Stormwater Permit Process

6-VT-b.1 — Complete Project Risk Evaluation

Prior to applying for permit coverage, the developer should complete a Project Risk Evaluation in order to determine if the proposed construction activities constitute: Low Risk, Moderate Risk, or whether an Individual permit is required. Determining the risk level of the proposed construction activity defines the application and permit requirements for the developer’s project.

The Project Risk Evaluation will determine a number of key risk and mitigation factors about the developer’s project, including whether the construction activities are within impaired waters, or whether the discharge is temporary. Low Risk and Moderate Risk projects are eligible for Construction General Permit (CGP).

6-VT-b.2 to 6-VT-b.3 — Does the Project Qualify for a Construction General Permit (CGP) (3-9020)?; Individual Discharge Permit?

If the project is either a Low Risk or Moderate Risk construction activity pursuant to the Project Risk Evaluation, the project is eligible for a CGP. If the project is not eligible for coverage under the CGP, the project requires coverage under an Individual Stormwater Construction Permit Application.

Construction activity may not commence until an authorization to discharge is issued pursuant to a CGP or Individual Permit.

6-VT-b.4 — Notice of Intent (NOI) and Fee

Developers must submit the applicable NOI: NOI for Low Risk Projects,NOI for Moderate Risk Projects. DEC 401 Practice; Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.3(c). The developer should file a completed NOI and all necessary attachments on a CD/DVD by mail or hand deliver to the DEC, at least 60 days prior to the commencement of construction activity. Application Submittal Guidance for Stormwater Permits; Vermont Water Pollution Control Permit Regulations, 1 Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.2(b); Low Risk Site Handbook for Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control; NOI for Low Risk Projects.

A NOI must contain, at minimum, the following:

  • Name of landowner(s) and principal operator(s) and contact information;
  • Project location information, description of construction project, projected date of construction commencement and final stabilization;
  • Total acreage to be disturbed;
  • A copy of a completed Project Risk Evaluation showing the risk score for the project;
  • Name(s) of receiving water(s); and
  • Certification of accuracy of information submitted.

See Construction General Permit; Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.2(c).

Low Risk Projects

Low Risk projects must also submit a certification relating to implementation of erosion prevention and sediment control measures in Low Risk Sites Handbook. See Low Risk Site Handbook for Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control; Construction General Permit, Subpart 2.2.

Moderate Risk Projects

Moderate Risk projects must also submit:

  • If chosen, the name and contact information of the On-site Coordinator;
  • Indication of whether the discharge is consistent with the requirements of any applicable Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL); and
  • A copy of the site specific Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Plan (EPSC Plan) prepared in accordance with Part 4 and Appendix B to the Construction General Permit.

See Construction General Permit, Subpart 3.2. The developer should submit the applicable Permit Fee with the NOI to the DEC by check or by online payment (if available). See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 3 § 2822(j).

6-VT-b.5 to 6-VT-b.6 — Review NOI for Completeness?

Developers must submit a complete and accurate NOI. The Secretary of ANR may require a developer (applicant) to submit supplemental information that the Secretary considers necessary in order to make a decision on the eligibility for, or the issuance or denial of, an authorization to discharge pursuant to the CGP. Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.2(d). The Secretary of ANR may deny an authorization to discharge pursuant to a CGP if the additional information requested is not provided to the Secretary within 60 days, or if the additional information received is inadequate. Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.2(d).

6-VT-b.7 to 6-VT-b.8— Submit Notice of Intent (NOI) to Municipal Clerk

The developer, at the same time as filing the NOI, must provide a copy of the completed NOI form and a completed Project Risk Evaluation to the municipal clerk where the proposed discharge is located for public comment (at least 60 days prior to the commencement of construction). Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.2(c); Construction General Permit. The municipal clerk must publicly post the completed NOI and supplemental documents. Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.2(c); Construction General Permit.

The Secretary of ANR retains the right to retroactively revoke an authorization to discharge under the CGP and take appropriate enforcement action if the developer fails to provide notice to the municipal clerk. See Construction General Permit, Subpart 3.3.A; Condition 5 Appendix D; Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.4(d)(5).

In addition, the developer must make the EPSC Plan for Moderate Risk projects available for public review at the DEC offices during normal business hours. Construction General Permit, Subpart 3.2.E.

6-VT-b.9 — Comment on Application

The Secretary of ANR must provide an opportunity for a ten (10) day written public comment period for the CGP and a 30 day written comment period for Individual Permit application on the NOI and all necessary attachments, including, if applicable, the EPSC Plan. Public comments must be submitted in writing either in person or by mail to the DEC Watershed Management Division, Stormwater Program within ten (10) days of receipt of notice by the municipal clerk. The Secretary of ANR may extend or reopen the public comment period, in doing so the Secretary will notify all interested parties. Construction General Permit, Subpart 3.2.E; Vt. Code R. 12-033-002 § 13.3(c)(2).

In addition, a letter of interest may be filed if an interested party, who does not provide written comment, wants to be notified if the comment period is extended or reopened for any reason. NOI for Low Risk Projects,NOI for Moderate Risk Projects; Vt. Code R. 12-033-022 Rule 13.11(c); see also Vermont Water Pollution Control Permit Regulations, CVR 12-033-002 § 13.3(c)(2),(f)-(h).

6-VT-b.10 — Authorization to Discharge

After review of the public comment ANR will make a determination for authorization to discharge. Upon receipt of a written authorization to discharge from the Secretary of ANR, the developer is only permitted to discharge under the terms and conditions of the permit. Construction General Permit. Authorization to discharge for a Low Risk project is valid for two years. Authorization to discharge for a Moderate Risk project is valid for five years. Construction General Permit, Subpart 2.4, 3.4.

If the owner (developer) of the construction site obtains coverage under a CGP and the owner (developer) is not the principal operator or the sole principal operator, then all principal operators must also obtain coverage as co-permittees in accordance with Construction General Permit, Subpart 7.2, prior to the commencement of construction activities. Construction General Permit, Subpart 7.2.

A co-permittee is subject to all the terms and conditions of a CGP and the EPSC Plan, if any. Construction General Permit, Subpart 7.2.

6-VT-b.11 — Record Authorization to Discharge in Local Land Records

The developer must file a Notice of the Issuance of an authorization to discharge under a CGP in the local land records within fourteen (14) days of the issuance of the authorization. Afterwards, the developer must submit a copy of the recording within 14 days of receipt from the local land records office to the DEC. Construction General Permit, Subpart 2.6, 3.6.

6-VT-b.12 — File Appeal (if applicable)

Any interested person may appeal the CGP decision within 30 days of the determination by ANR to the Vermont Environmental Court. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10 § 8504(a).

6-VT-b.13 — Hold Pre-construction Conference

After a permit is issued the DEC holds a pre-construction conference with the developer before construction can commence. During the meeting the district reviewer, developer, on-site plan coordinators and EPSC specialist review the terms and conditions of the permit and discuss reporting expectations.

6-VT-b.14 — Notice of Termination (NOT)

The developer must submit a complete and accurate Notice of Termination (NOT) after construction is complete. The NOT must include, at minimum, the following information:

  • The permit number for the project in which termination is sought;
  • The basis for submission of the NOT;
  • The name of the project and address (or a description of the location if no street address is available) of the construction site for which the notice is submitted;
  • A certification statement, signed and dated by the developer or designated On-Site Plan Coordinator and by an authorized representative as defined in Construction General Permit, Appendix D(15).
  • If the NOT is for only a portion of an ongoing construction, a description of the portion of the site to which the NOT will apply.

Construction General Permit, Subpart 7.5.

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