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Section 3: Water Resources

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Storm Water Discharges

Ensure compliance with the Construction General Permit (CGP) issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) under its Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permitting program for construction activities.

The CGP authorizes the discharge of storm water associated with construction activities that disturb one acre or more of total land area, including areas that are part of a larger common plan of development. Apply the CGP requirements only during site construction. The requirements of the CGP are complete once the earth-disturbing activities are completed, the area is finally stabilized, and a Notice of Termination (NOT), if required, is submitted to TCEQ.

Both the Department and the contractor are considered Primary Operators under the TPDES TX150000 Construction General Permit Part III, Section B.

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  • The Department is the primary operator with operational control over plans and specifications and is responsible for the development of the Storm water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3).
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  • The contractor is the primary operator with day-to-day operational control and is responsible for compliance with the SWP3 and permit conditions.
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TPDES Construction General Permit (CGP)

Do the following to obtain permit coverage under the CGP.

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  • Develop the SWP3 prior to construction for each project of one acre or more of disturbance.
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  • Both the Department and the contractor must post a completed Construction Site Notice (CSN).
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  • Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to TCEQ if disturbance is five acres or more. Both the Department and the contractor, as Primary Operators, are required to submit an NOI to TCEQ, if applicable, at least 7 days prior to the commencement of construction activities.
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    • Submit the Department's NOI to TCEQ using the State of Texas Environmental Electronic Reporting System ( STEERS) available on the TCEQ website, and provide a copy of the completed and signed NOI for the contractor's use in completing the contractor's NOI application/permit.
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    • The Contractor should use the information within TxDOT's NOI, and the road construction plans and specifications to complete their NOI application as appropriate.
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  • Implement the SWP3 prior to beginning construction activities.
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  • Both the Department and the contractor must provide a copy of the signed NOI (for large construction activities) or CSN (for small construction activities) to the operator of any municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) receiving the discharge, at least two calendar days prior to commencing construction activities.
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  • Perform scheduled inspections, together with maintenance and improvement actions, consisting of best management practices (BMPs) to prevent the discharge of pollutants.
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  • Submit a Notice of Termination (NOT), if required, after completion of all required activities and final stabilization.

Refer to "TCEQ Storm Water Permit Notices of Intent and fee Payment" in Appendix A.

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Certification Requirements

The table below lists the documents requiring certification and individuals authorized to authorize certification.

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Document

Authorized Individual or Position

(For Projects Managed)

Legal Basis

Notice of Intent (NOI)

District engineer or division director or his or her immediate staff (e.g., director of operations); or area engineer. No further delegation allowed.

30 TAC §305.44, “Signatories to Applications,” requires principal executive officer having responsibility of overall operations over a geographic unit.

Notice of Termination (NOT)

Notice of Change (NOC)

Low Rainfall Erosivity Waiver Application

Construction Site Notice (CSN)

Inspection report certifications

Above and delegated to assistant area engineer, maintenance supervisor, project architects or engineers, or project inspectors with overall responsibility for the project. Personnel performing the inspections must be trained in the CGP regulations.

30 TAC §305.128, “Signatories to Reports,” requires position having responsibility for the overall operation of the facility activity, or environmental matters.

All other reports and information requested by the TCEQ executive director.



Use Form 2118, “Construction Storm water Pollution Prevention Plan Field Inspection and Maintenance Report,” to satisfy the CGP reporting requirements. Complete the inspection report summary form after all corrective actions have been identified on the inspection form. Include in the inspection report summary items that have been corrected with the date completed and items requiring additional time to complete. Document completion of items listed in the inspection report summary requiring additional time to complete and place in the SWP3 contract file. Contact ENV Operations Compliance Branch, the Maintenance Division (MNT), or the Construction Division’s Construction Section (CST/C) for additional information or guidance.

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Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)

Prepare a SWP3 for projects as required by the CGP. The intent of the SWP3 is to reduce pollutants in storm water discharges from the project site. Ensure the SWP3 includes and addresses the following to the detail specified in the CGP.

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  • Detailed site or project description including areas that are the responsibility of the contractor either within the ROW or within 1 mile of the ROW
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  • Description of best management practices that will be used to minimize pollution in runoff
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  • Description of any structural control practices used to divert flows away from exposed soils or to lessen the off-site transport of eroded soils
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  • Description of any measures that will be installed during the construction process to control pollutants in storm water discharges that will occur after construction operations have been completed
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  • Description of other controls, e.g., off-site vehicle tracking of sediments, generation of dusts
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  • Ensure compliance with any state and local plans.
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  • Maintain all erosion and sediment control measures and other protective measures identified in the SWP3 in effective operating condition.
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  • Inspect disturbed areas of the construction site that have not been finally stabilized, areas used for storage of materials that are exposed to precipitation, and structural controls for evidence of, or the potential for, pollutants entering the drainage system.
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  • Identify and ensure the implementation of appropriate pollution prevention measures for all eligible non-stormwater components of the discharge.

The above list is only a brief summary of the required contents of the SWP3. A more detailed discussion is in the CGP.

Review the SWP3 regularly and keep current by noting any changes in the plan. If any BMP does not function adequately, modify the SWP3 to correct the problem. Repair, replace, or modify all failing BMPs according to the revised SWP3. Obtain the approval of the project engineer for any changes to the SWP3. Maintain the SWP3, together with any revisions, in the contract files at a specified location.

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Notice of Intent (NOI) and Construction Site Notice (CSN)

To receive coverage under the CGP, submit an NOI at least 7 days prior to commencing construction activities. Ensure that the NOI is signed by an authorized Department representative and contains the certification shown on the TCEQ NOI form. Prior to any construction activities, post the CSN.

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Contractor Involvement

In certain situations, the contractor is responsible for SWP3 preparation and obtaining authorization under the CGP. CGP authorization obtained by the Department does not cover contractor designated facilities off the ROW. When operations at a contractor Project Specific Location (PSL) trigger CGP requirements, the contractor is responsible for obtaining any CGP authorization.

For any contractor PSLs within 1 mile of any project limit, obtain at a minimum the following information from the contractor and maintain the information with the contract SWP3:

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Inspections

Conduct regular inspections of the construction site at least once every 14 calendar days and within 24 hours of the end of a storm event of 0.5 inches or greater, or once every 7 calendar days regardless of rainfall. Verify that the erosion control measures and devices are working in accordance with Item 506. Summarize the results of the inspection in a manner similar to that shown in the Form 2118, “Construction Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan Field Inspection and Maintenance Report.”

Include the following project areas in the inspection.

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  • Disturbed areas of the construction site that have not been finally stabilized
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  • Areas used for storage of materials that are exposed to precipitation
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  • Structural control for evidence of, or the potential for, pollutants entering the drainage system
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  • Sediment and erosion control measures identified in the SWP3 to ensure correct operation
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  • Locations of site vehicle entrance or exit for evidence of off-site sediment tracking

Conduct inspections at least once every month:

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  • where sites have been finally or temporarily stabilized,
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  • where runoff is unlikely due to winter conditions (e.g., site is covered with snow or ice, or frozen ground exists), or
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  • during seasonal arid periods in arid areas (average annual rainfall of 0-10 in.) and semi-arid areas (average annual rainfall of 10-20 in.).

Modify the SWP3 based on the results of the inspection as necessary to include additional or modified BMPs designed to correct problems identified. For example, show additional controls on the site map; revise description of controls.

Complete revisions to the SWP3 within 7 calendar days following inspection. If existing BMPs need to be modified or if additional BMPs are necessary, complete implementation before the next anticipated storm event or as soon as practicable. Indicate modifications and added BMPs on the SWP3.

Refer to “Statewide Implementation of the Environmental Management System (EMS)” in Appendix A.

Refer to “Locating Temporary Material Supply Plants on the Right of Way” in Appendix A.

Refer to “Air Permits for Concrete Batch Plants” in Appendix A.

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TPDES Construction General Permit Notice of Termination (NOT)

Ensure that the NOT is signed by an authorized Department representative and submit to TCEQ after completion of the project and final stabilization of all disturbed areas.

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Work in Waters of the United States

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of these waters. Waters of the U.S. may include streams, wetlands, some open water, and stock ponds. The following common construction activities typically require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE):

To comply with Section 404, do the following.

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  • TxDOT must obtain any required USACE permit for proposed work before work begins in TxDOT ROW. Contractors are responsible for obtaining any off site permits, including PSLs.
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  • Review the commitments pertaining to the USACE permit in the environmental permits, issues, and commitments (EPICs) section in the PS&E.
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  • Ensure that the contractor is aware of any waters of the U.S. in the area where work will occur, and make sure these are delineated prior to construction.
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  • Ensure that the contractor is familiar with the work and associated impacts that have been authorized by the Section 404 permit.
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  • Ensure that the contractor adheres to all agreements, mitigation plans, and BMPs required by the permit.
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  • Review and approve any changes in the contract that may alter the USACE permit prior to work being conducted. When contractor-initiated changes to the issued Section 404 permit are desired, it is the contractor's responsibility to obtain a new or revised Section 404 permit from the USACE at the cost of the contractor. This may result in lengthy delays and no delay claims are allowed in this regard.
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  • Understand that failure to comply with all permit conditions may result in contract work stoppages being issued by the USACE.

For more information on Section 404 permit requirements, refer to the Environmental Handbook for Water Resources, or contact ENV's Natural Resources Management Section.

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Work in Navigable Waters of the U.S.

Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act requires that a project have authorization from the USACE if the project involves structures or work in or over any navigable water, and/or any obstruction or alteration of these waters. Section 10 permits are primarily intended to preserve the course, location, condition, or capacity of navigable waters. Structures (such as piers, wharfs, breakwaters, bulkheads, jetties, weirs, transmission lines, etc.) and work (such as dredging or disposal of dredged material, excavation, filling, or other modifications) in navigable waters require Section 10 permits.

To comply with Section 10, do the following.

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  • TxDOT must obtain any required Section 10 USACE permit for proposed work before work begins in TxDOT ROW. Contractors are responsible for obtaining any off site permits, including PSLs.
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  • Review the commitments pertaining to the USACE permit in the EPICs section in the PS&E.
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  • Ensure that the contractor is familiar with the work and associated impacts that have been authorized in the Section 10 permit.
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  • Ensure that the contractor adheres to all agreements, mitigation plans, and BMPs required by the permit.
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  • Review and approve any changes in the contract that may alter the USACE permit prior to work being conducted. When contractor-initiated changes to the issued Section 10 permit are desired, it is the contractor's responsibility to obtain a new or revised Section 10 permit from the USACE at the cost of the contractor. This may result in lengthy delays and no delay clams are allowed in this regard.
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  • Understand that failure to comply with all permit conditions may result in contract work stoppages being issued by the USACE.

For more information on Section 10 permit requirements, refer to the Environmental Handbook for Water Resources, or contact ENV's Natural Resources Management Section.

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Work in Section 9 Navigable Waterways

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulates bridges and causeways over navigable waters under the General Bridge Act and Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Any project that will construct a new bridge or causeway, or reconstruct, or modify an existing bridge or causeway across a Section 9 navigable water will require a USCG bridge permit, bridge permit exception request, and/or a bridge lighting authorization.

To comply with Section 9, do the following.

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  • TxDOT must obtain any required Section 9 permits from the USCG for proposed work before work begins in TxDOT ROW.
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  • Review the commitments pertaining to the USCG permit in the EPICs section in the PS&E.
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  • Ensure that the contractor adheres to the stipulations of the authorization/permit and associated best management practices.
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  • Review and approve any changes in the contract that may alter the USCG permit prior to work being conducted. When contractor-initiated changes to the issued USCG permit are desired, it is the contractor's responsibility to obtain a new or revised USCG permit at the cost of the contractor. This may result in lengthy delays and no delay clams are allowed in this regard.

For more information on Section 9 permit requirements, refer to the Environmental Handbook for Water Resources, or contact ENV's Natural Resources Management Section.

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Work Over the Edwards Aquifer

The TCEQ administers the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP) to prevent pollution of the Edwards Aquifer to protect groundwater use and maintain Texas surface water quality standards. If work involves soil disturbing construction activities in areas identified as the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone, and Edwards Aquifer Transition Zone in the following eight counties, EAPP compliance may apply: Medina, Bexar, Comal, Kinney, Uvalde, Hays, Travis, and Williamson.

To comply with the EAPP, do the following:

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  • TxDOT must obtain any required EAPP authorization via required submittals such as a Water Pollution Abatement Plan (WPAP) or Contributing Zone Plan (CZP) from the TCEQ before work begins.
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  • Review the commitments made in the WPAP, CZP or other EAPP permit in the EPICs section in the PS&E.
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  • Ensure that the contractor adheres to the stipulations of the EAPP authorization including associated BMPs and performance of the work in accordance with contract requirements.
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  • Ensure that the contractor has the necessary information to recognize subsurface voids in bedrock. This information is available from the District Environmental Coordinator (DEC). If a subsurface void is encountered, the contractor must notify the DEC. The void must be protected until an evaluation is completed and the contractor is cleared to continue work near the void.
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  • When contractor-initiated changes in the construction methodology affect the previously compliant impacts to the Edwards Aquifer, including encountering subsurface voids, immediately notify the district environmental coordinator and EAPP engineer, who may need to notify the TCEQ and/or assist in obtaining a revised EAPP permit or void closure authorization.

For more information on EAPP permit requirements, refer to the Environmental Handbook for Water Resources, or contact ENV's Natural Resources Management Section.

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Work in Coastal Counties

Work in coastal counties including Orange, Jefferson, Chambers, Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Matagorda, Jackson, Calhoun, Victoria, Refugio, Aransas, San Patricio, Nueces, Kleberg, Kenedy, Willacy, and Cameron counties, may trigger Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) compliance requirements under the Texas Coastal Management Program (TCMP).

To comply with CZMA and the TCMP, do the following.

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  • TxDOT self-certifies its transportation projects as consistent with the goals and policies of the TCMP by avoiding impacts or appropriate permitting. TxDOT must obtain any required permits for consistency with the TCMP for proposed work before work begins in TxDOT ROW. Contractors are responsible for obtaining any off-site permits, including PSLs.
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  • Review any commitments pertaining to the TCMP and/or USACE permit in the EPICs section in the PS&E.
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  • Ensure that the contractor adheres to the stipulations of the authorization/permit and associated best management practices.
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  • Review and approve any changes in the contract that may alter the TCMP commitment and/or USACE permit prior to work being conducted. When contractor-initiated changes that alter the TCMP consistency or any USACE are desired, it is the contractor's responsibility to obtain a new or revised permit from the USACE at the cost of the contractor. This may result in lengthy delays and no delay claims are allowed in this regard.

For more information on CZMA and TCMP requirements, refer to the Environmental Handbook for Water Resources, or contact ENV's Natural Resources Management Section.

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