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Division of Water Quality - Storm Water Permit Issuance System

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  1. What is UPDES?
  2. What is the Storm Water Program?
  3. What is a SWPPP?

QUESTIONS ABOUT CONSTRUCTION STORM WATER PERMITTING

  1. Who is required to get a UPDES Construction Storm Water Permit?
  2. Who is an operator for a UPDES Construction Storm Water Permit?
  3. How does one get a Utah Construction Storm Water Permit?
  4. What is Common Plan of Development or Sale?
  5. Is the oil and gas industry required to apply for construction storm water permit coverage?
  6. What waivers are available for Stormwater Phase II construction activity?
  7. How are UPDES Construction Storm Water Permits Terminated?

QUESTIONS ABOUT INDUSTRIAL STORM WATER PERMITTING

  1. How does an industrial facility determine whether they need to obtain an UPDES storm water permit?
  2. To which industrial facilities does the Storm Water Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) apply?
  3. How does a permitted storm water facility operator terminate coverage?
  4. How long is the no exposure good for?
  5. Is my facility required to sample the storm water discharge?

GENERAL QUESTIONS

1. What is UPDES?

UPDES stands for Utah Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. It is comparable to NPDES or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which is the permit system mandated by § 402 of the Clean Water Act to control pollutants in waters of the US. The Utah Division of Water Quality has been given primacy in an agreement with the EPA to administer this program within the boundaries of the State of Utah. Therefore it is called Utah Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Back to Top Back to Top

2. What is the Storm Water Program?

The Storm Water Program is part of the UPDES Program. The storm water part of UPDES was promulgated under the 1987 reauthorization of the Federal Clean Water Act. The State of Utah already had been given primacy for UPDES in 1987, therefore the Division of Water Quality was obligated by the agreement with the EPA to develop a state storm water program. The UPDES program is a permitting program and as such the storm water program requires permits for storm water discharges. Back to Top

3. What is a SWPPP?

SWPPP is short for "storm water pollution prevention plan". Development of a SWPPP is a requirement of a UPDES Storm Water Permit before the application process is completed. A SWPPP is one of the most important requirements of the permit. There is a list of items that must be included in the SWPPP (found in Part III for construction & industrial sites, and Appendix II for industrial sites). A SWPPP should be kept at the site and updated as needed to reflect the current SWPPP activities on the site. Among other things it contains a list of contacts at the site, the responsibility of the Owner and Co-Permittees (for a construction site SWPPP), the nature of construction activity (for a construction site SWPPP), a site map showing location of BMPs and other important items, details of best management practices (BMPs) or control measures to prevent sediment from leaving the site and erosion from occurring, details about how the storm water facilities installed during the construction process will preserve pre-development flows and mitigate pollutants (for a construction site SWPPP), all inspection reports done by the permittee, and how non-storm water at the site is managed. Back to Top

QUESTIONS ABOUT CONSTRUCTION STORM WATER PERMITTING

4. Who is required to get a UPDES Construction Storm Water Permit?

Operators of Construction activity that disturb 1 acre or greater are required to get a Storm Water Permit from the Division of Water Quality, however many construction sites that disturb less than one acre are also required to get a permit. A site that is less than an acre is required to get permit coverage if it is part of a "common plan of development or sale" that is over 1 acre. Back to Top

5. Who is an operator for a UPDES Construction Storm Water Permit?

An operator at a construction site is: 1) one who controls the specifications of the facility to be constructed: 2) one who controls the day-by-day activities at the permitted construction site. The operator described in #1 (above) has control of specifications for the permanent storm water system to be installed at the site. This is regulated by the UPDES Construction SW permit, however, the State often defers this oversight to the municipality of jurisdiction so that the municipality may apply their own preference for standards and types of storm water facilities. The operator described in #2 (above) manages erosion and sediment control during construction activity. DWQ is more often interested in sediment and erosion control at construction sites, however, either of these operators can appropriately be named as the main operator. Commonly the operator is the owner (or project instigator) or the general contractor for the project. Back to Top

6. How does one get a Utah Construction Storm Water Permit?

Construction Storm Water Permits can be obtained on line by proceeding through the on-line application process at the Division of Water Quality web site or by downloading the NOI form for the UPDES Construction Storm Water Permit from the DWQ web site and submitting the completed form to the Division of Water Quality. Back to Top

7. What is Common Plan of Development or Sale?

A "common plan of development or sale" is a plan to subdivide a parcel of land into separate parts for separate sale. The plan originates as a single parcel which is separated into parts related by any announcement, piece of documentation (including a sign, public notice or hearing, sales pitch, advertisement, drawing, plat, blueprint, contract, permit application, zoning request, computer design, etc.), physical demarcation (including boundary signs, lot stakes, surveyor markings, etc.), or continuing obligation (including contracts) that identify the scope of the project. A plan may still be a common plan of development or sale even if it is taking place in separate stages or phases, is planned in combination with other construction activities, or is implemented by different owners or operators. Most commonly it consists of a subdivision with residential or commercial lots that are built and completed separately from each other. Back to Top

8. Is the oil and gas industry required to apply for construction storm water permit coverage?

Only activities (industrial or construction) that result in a discharge of a reportable quantity release or that contribute pollutants to a violation of a water quality standard are subject to permit coverage. Back to Top

9. What waivers are available for Stormwater Phase II construction activity?

The only waiver available for construction activity is for small construction activity and is called an Erosivity Waiver. It is based on seasonally low rainfall. In Utah an Erosivity Waiver is available for construction activity that is started after January 1st and completed before April 30th of each year. The form to file for an Erosivity Waiver is found on the DWQ web site for the Construction Storm Water Program. Erosivity Waivers are not available for any construction activity disturbing 5 acres or greater, or less than 5 acres if part of a common plan of development or sale (or if designated for permit coverage by DWQ). Back to Top

10. How are UPDES Construction Storm Water Permits Terminated?

A permittee must either go on line to the permit account on the DWQ web site where the NOI was originally submitted and proceed through the NOT steps, or the permittee must go on the DWQ web site and download the NOT form, fill it out and submit it to DWQ. Back to Top

QUESTIONS ABOUT INDUSTRIAL STORM WATER PERMITTING

11. How does an industrial facility determine whether they need to obtain an UPDES storm water permit?

Step 1. Determine whether the facility or site discharges to a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) or to waters of the United States. If it discharges to one or both, proceed to step 2, otherwise no permit is required.

Step 2. Determine if the facility’s industrial activities are listed among the eleven Categories of Industrial Activities, provided in the federal regulations at 40 CFR 122.26 (b) (14) or it the facilities or if the facility’s SIC code falls within one of the sectors identified. If these activities are listed proceed to step 3, otherwise no permit is needed.

Step 3. Determine if the listed facility or site may qualify for the "no exposure" exclusion. Back to Top

12. To which industrial facilities does the Storm Water Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) apply?

Operators of industrial facilities requiring an UPDES Storm Water permit are eligible to obtain coverage under the MSGP if their activities are included within one of 29 industrial sectors. Back to Top

13. How does a permitted storm water facility operator terminate coverage?

A Notice of Termination (NOT) form for Industrial Activity must be submitted to the Utah Division of Water Quality in order to terminate coverage. Permittees may submit an NOT when their facility no longer has any storm water discharges associated with industrial activity or when they are no longer the operator of the facility. Back to Top

14. How long is the no exposure good for?

Five years from the date the "no exposure" form is submitted or the condition of "no exposure" changes. Back to Top

15. Is my facility required to sample the storm water discharge?

Visual and Analytical sampling requirements are listed in appendix II for all the specific sectors which can be found at the following address. http://www.waterquality.utah.gov/UPDES/sectortable.htm Back to Top