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Construction site storm water runoff control

  • Published
  • By Environmental
  • 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron
Storm water runoff from construction activities can have a significant impact on water quality. As storm water flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris and chemicals and transport these to a nearby storm sewer system or directly to a river, lake or coastal water. Polluted storm water runoff can harm or kill fish and other wildlife. Sedimentation can destroy aquatic habitat, and high volumes of runoff can cause stream bank erosion. Debris can clog waterways and potentially reach the ocean, where it can kill marine wildlife and impact habitat.

Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System is a regulatory program to control discharges of pollutants to surface waters. Texas assumed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System from the EPA Sept. 14, 1998.

In addition to the storm water requirements TPDES permit coverage place on construction sites, construction operators must also follow the Phase II Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems requirements. MS4 are required to develop a program to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff for construction sites disturbing one or more acres. This primarily includes developing:

· An ordinance;
· Requirements to implement erosion and sediment control best management practices (BMPs);
· Requirements to control other waste at the construction site;
· Procedures for reviewing construction site plans;
· Procedures to receive and consider information submitted by the public, and
· Procedures for inspections and enforcement of storm water requirements at construction sites.

The TPDES storm water program requires construction site operators engaged in clearing, grading, and excavating activities that disturb 1 acre or more, including smaller sites in a larger common plan of development or sale, to obtain coverage under a TPDES permit for their storm water discharges.

The new TPDES General Permit for Phase II MS4 - TXR040000 was issued by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) with an effective date of 13 Dec 13. Operators as Sheppard Air Force Base (SAFB) were required to apply to the TCEQ authorization under the new permit by 11 June 14, which was completed. Existing authorizations will remain active until the new applications are approved.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) & Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).