Most catch basins connect to storm drains that discharge the runoff without treatment to the nearest brook, river, pond or ocean. The dumping of any material such as motor oil, paint, yard clippings, pet waste and sand into a catch basin can pollute the waterways, and is illegal.
Stormwater runoff is precipitation (rain or snow melt) that cannot be absorbed by the soil and, instead, washes off the surface of the land. As stormwater flows over a construction site it picks up pollutants, which may be transported into nearby surface waters by the runoff and can impair sport and commercial fishing, restrict swimming, and affect the navigability of many of our nation’s waters. Preventing soil erosion and sedimentation is an important responsibility at all construction sites.
In addition to the environmental impact, uncontrolled erosion can have a significant financial impact on a construction project. It cost money and time to repair gullies, replace vegetation, clean sediment-clogged storm drains, replace poorly installed best management practices (BMPs) and mitigate damage to other people’s property or to natural resources.
To address stormwater runoff, Congress directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a federal program to regulate certain high priority stormwater discharges. One such high priority source of pollutant loading is construction activity. EPA requires permits for stormwater discharges from both “large construction activities”* (5 or more acres) and from “small construction activities”** (1-5 acres).
On February 16,2012, EPA issued the final 2012 CGP.
For copies of EPA’s General Permit for Construction Activities or any questions you may have, contact EPA Region 1, Thelma Murphy at Tel. (617) 918-1615 or e-mail at Murphy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions concerning the Boston Water and Sewer Commission’s requirements for construction related discharges and for new and reactivated service connections, contact the BWSC’s Engineering Customer Services Division at (617) 989-7000.
Large Construction Activities are as defined at 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(x) including clearing, grading, and excavating activities that result in the disturbance of equal to or greater than five (5) acres of total land area but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb equal to or greater than five acres.
Small Construction Activities are as defined at 40 CFR 122.26(b)(15) including clearing, grading, and excavating activities that result in the disturbance of equal to or greater than one (1) acre and less than five (5) acres or will disturb less than one (1) acre of total land area but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb equal to or greater than one (1) acre or less than five (5) acres.