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 became effective on March 5, 2003 and authorizes the discharge of storm water associated with construction activities that result in the disturbance of 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.

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TPDES Construction General Permit (CGP)

Do the following to obtain coverage under the CGP:

  • develop Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWP3) for each project requiring one
  • submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to TCEQ and post a completed Construction Site Notice (CSN), if required
  • refer to the December 23, 2004 memo regarding TCEQ Storm Water Permit Notices of Intent and Fee Payment for Guidance and General Instruction for Using State of Texas Environmental Electronic Reporting System ( STEERS)
  • implement the SWP3 prior to beginning construction activities
  • provide a copy of the signed NOI, large construction activities, or CSN, small construction activities, to the operator of any municipal separate storm sewer system receiving the discharge, at least two calendar days prior to commencing construction activities
  • perform scheduled inspections, together with maintenance and improvement actions, consisting of best management practices (BMPs) to prevent the discharge of pollutants
  • submit a Notice of Termination (NOT), if required, after completion of all required activities and final stabilization.

Certification Requirements

The table below lists the documents requiring certification and individuals authorized to authorize certification. Place a copy of the authorization memorandum dated November 14, 2003 in the project’s SWP3 file.

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Authorized Individual or Position

(For Projects Managed)

Legal Basis

Notice of Intent (NOI)

District engineer or division director or his or her immediate staff (for example, 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 shall 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.

As determined appropriate, use Form 2118, "Construction Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan Field Inspection and Maintenance Report," or an alternate form containing all required information, 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, Water Resources Management Branch, Maintenance Division (MNT), or the Construction Division (CST), Field Engineering Branch (FE) for additional information or guidance.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)Prepare a SWP3 for projects that require one under 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:

  • 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
  • description of best management practices that will be used to minimize pollution in a runoff
  • description of any structural control practices used to divert flows away from exposed soils or to lessen the off-site transport of eroded soils
  • 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
  • description of other controls, for example, off-site vehicle tracking of sediments, generation of dusts, etc.
  • ensure compliance with any state and local plans
  • maintain all erosion and sediment control measures and other protective measures identified in the SWP3 in an effective operating condition
  • 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
  • identify and ensure the implementation of appropriate pollution prevention measures for all eligible non-storm water components of the discharge.

The above list is only a brief summary of the required contents of the SWP3. A more detailed discussion is outlined 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 a NOI at least 2 calendar days prior to commencing construction activities. Submit the NOI only after the SWP3 has been prepared. 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 a NOI and CSN. For small construction activities that do not require a NOI (that is, those involving total disturbed areas equal to or more than one acre but less than five acres), post the appropriate CSN.

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Contractor Involvement

In certain situations, the contractor is responsible for SWP3 preparation and obtaining authorization under the CGP. When contractor facilities (Project Specific Locations [PSLs]) such as asphalt or concrete plants are within the ROW, the contractor is responsible for preparing an SWP3 for these operations and obtaining any CGP authorization. Refer to the Project Specific Location QuickGuide for information regarding the contractor’s responsibility to provide SWP3 information on their ROW PSLs. Obtain a sketch indicating their location, other required information and the contractor CGP authorization number when issued and maintain the information with the contract SWP3.

Take responsibility for designated material sources identified in the contract and included in the department’s SWP3. CGP authorization obtained by the department does not cover contractor facilities off the ROW. For these off-ROW facilities, the contractor must prepare a separate SWP3 and obtain his or her own CGP authorization to construct the facility.

For any off-ROW PSLs within 1 mile of any project limit, obtain the following information from the contractor:

  • the PSL’s total acreage
  • acreage disturbed
  • location and
  • description (if it is an asphalt or concrete batch plant and authorized under the CGP).
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Conduct regular inspections of the construction site at least once every 14 calendar days and within 24 hr. 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, “Temporary Erosion, Sedimentation, and Environmental Controls,” of the Standard Specifications. 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:

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

Conduct inspections at least once every month:

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

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.

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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

Obtain any required Section 404 permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before work begins. Ensure that the contractor adheres to all agreements, mitigation plans, and standard best management practices required by the permit.

The following general types of construction projects require a Corps permit:

  • bridge crossings
  • temporary fills in jurisdictional waters including streams, wetlands, and some stock ponds
  • dredged material that flows back into water from upland dredged material placement site
  • land clearing in Corps jurisdictional waters.

Depending on the contract, either a Corps Nationwide Permit (NWP) or Individual Permit (IP) may be required. NWPs are a type of general permit issued for minor activities with minimal impacts to relieve the time consuming administrative burden for minor discharges. Procedures for an IP are very time-consuming and have extensive requirements. Ensure that all terms and conditions of the contract permit are satisfied.

Review and approve any changes in the contract that alter the Corps permit prior to work being conducted. When contractor-initiated changes in the construction method changes the impacts to water of the U.S., ensure that the contractor obtains new or revised Section 404 permits. Failure to comply with all permit conditions may result in contract work stoppages being issued by the Corps. For more information on Corps of Engineers permit requirements, contact the ENV, Water Resources Management Branch.

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Work in Navigable Waters of the United States

Obtain any required Section 9 permits from the U.S. Coast Guard before work begins. Ensure that the contractor adheres to the stipulations of the permits and associated best management practices required by the permit. When contractor-initiated changes in the construction method changes the impacts to navigable water of the U.S., ensure that the contractor obtains new or revised Section 9 permits.

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Work Over the Recharge or Contributing Zone of Protected Aquifers

Ensure that the contractor makes every reasonable effort to minimize the degradation of water quality resulting from impacts relating to work over the recharge or contributing zones of protected aquifers, as defined and delineated by TCEQ. Ensure the use of BMPs and performance of the work in accordance with contract requirements.

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Completion of a Project and Release of a Contractor

Unless otherwise specified in the contract, release the contractor after satisfactory completion of the contract and achievement of 70% perennial vegetative cover, or equivalent natural ground cover in the area. Final acceptance of the project may be granted if measures to control erosion, sedimentation, and water pollution, have been employed. Use the following to implement SWP3:

  • standard maintenance operations
  • Function Code 261, State Force Account – Storm Water Pollution Prevention, (refer to Code Chart 12, Function Codes and Descriptions by FIMS Segments, in Code Chart Reference Guide 12-1-95)
  • contract or
  • another construction contract.
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