Storm water regulations are dynamic and failure to comply can result in stiff penalties. For example, one Montana developer agreed to an $83,500 administrative penalty to resolve the following violations:
- Conducted construction activity prior to getting authorization to discharge under The State of Montana’s General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activities at three subdivisions;
- Discharge of storm water without a permit;
- Causing pollution of state waters due to sediment runoff; and
- Failure to implement its Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.
Authorization to discharge under The State of Montana “General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity,” or “General Permit,” is required for any construction-related activity that meets the following two criteria:
- Areas disturbed by the construction activities or other potential pollution sources associated with the construction activity have the potential to impact state surface waters.
- The total area of the project including all portions of the site disturbed clearing, excavating, grading, stockpiling, or any placement or removal activities is greater than one acre.
The General Permit requires a Notice of Intent (NOI), Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), and application fee to be submitted to Montana Department of Environmental (DEQ) quality prior to commencement of construction-related activities.
The SWPPP is developed and implemented to protect state surface waters from pollutants. The SWPPP includes three major components including assessing the characteristics of a site including nearby surface water, topography, and storm water runoff patterns; identifying potential pollutant sources such as concrete washout, stored wastes and fuels, sediment from disturbed surfaces, and fugitive dust; and, identifying best management practices (BMPs) that can be used to reduce the potential for pollutants to reach surface waters. These BMPs generally consist of a combination of erosion and sediment control techniques, materials handling and equipment management, vehicle tracking pads and roadway management, stabilization techniques, and waste management.
DEQ requires the SWPPP to be prepared by a qualified person who has completed a SWPPP Preparer training. Once completed, the General Permit package (including the SWPPP) is submitted, with an application fee, to DEQ for a completeness review. Once approved, the permit must be maintained onsite and inspections completed on a frequent basis as defined in the General Permit. DEQ also requires that the General Permit be administered by a qualified person who has completed a SWPPP Administrators training.
Olympus has qualified and capable SWPPP Preparers and Administrators on staff that have prepared and administered SWPPPs for construction and industrial projects of varying size and complexity. Our quality workmanship and customer service coupled with a longstanding positive working relationship with DEQ is a proven recipe for success. Olympus prides itself on providing thoughtful, integrated SWPPPs that work within budgetary constraints. Contact us for more information or to see if we may be able to assist with your permitting needs.