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A stormwater general permit is both a permit and a handbook for compliance. Each general permit has a fact sheet that summarizes the issues considered in drafting the permit. The fact sheet often helps the reader better understand the intent of the permit's provisions.
The process begins when EPA writes the general permit and publishes it in the Federal Register. Each general permit is written to cover a category of discharges under the Clean Water Act.
The owners/operators of discharges fitting the definition of that category must:
A general permit is both a permit and a handbook for compliance. Each general permit has a preamble (or fact sheet) that summarizes the factual, legal, methodological, and policy questions considered in drafting the permit. The information in the fact sheet often helps the reader better understand the intent of the provisions in the permit. The permit itself:
The plan written by the permittee to comply with the permit should contain activities that are effective in improving and protecting storm water quality. In order to adequately allow for variation within the regulated category of discharges the general permit necessarily has broadly written requirements. It is the permittee's responsibility to interpret and implement the general permit requirements by making any decisions needed to create a plan tailored appropriately to the specifics of the activities and of the site.
Each general permit runs on its own schedule. Each general permit has a five-year term that starts on the date of publication in the Federal Register. A permit may designate a particular time during the permit term, e.g., "year 1," for particular activities. It is possible to obtain permit coverage midway through a general permit's term but permit scheduled requirements do NOT get rescheduled based on starting date of coverage. They remain as scheduled in the permit, e.g., year 2 is from the first anniversary of publication to the second anniversary of publication.
Stormwater general permits can be obtained from the US EPA website (see link below),
EPA Region 1
5 Post Office Square - Suite 100
Boston, MA 02109-3912