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Construction Stormwater Management

When construction at a project site is underway, soil is often disturbed, and prevention of erosion and stabilization of the remaining soil can be a challenge. Controlling erosion can significantly reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants transported by runoff from construction sites. The University therefore takes active steps reduce pollutants in stormwater at constructions sites by:

  1. Reviewing plans and specifications for any development or redevelopment project that may disturb soils.
  2. Ensuring that Construction Stormwater Permits are in place for projects and sites requiring permit coverage; and,
  3. Auditing and consulting at construction sites to ensure that erosion control measures are in place.

Review of Plans and Specifications

Any project disturbing soils on University property or as a result of University activities is required to have temporary erosion and sediment controls. During the Design Development phase of design, project documents should include Soil and Site Sedimentation Control specifications, as well as the initial Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Sheets for EHS review and approval. These documents are the basis for permit compliance when the project moves to the construction phase.

The following templates should be used by project designers as a guide for development of University documents:

After the project reaches 90% completion of DD documents, the Project A/E completes and submits the Project Initiation Form to EHS with attachments to provide all necessary project compliance documentation. This form is required even for those projects not requiring permit coverage.

Permitting Projects

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits are required for any construction activity disturbing:

Stormwater permits require preparation of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) prepared by the Architect/Engineer for site and project specific conditions. University EHS staff or its designated campus stormwater point-of-contact will review, approve all NPDES Construction permit applications and SWPPPs, and arrange for the owner's signature on permit applications and documents. The University EHS staff or its designated campus stormwater point-of-contact for each project is listed on the SWPPP for the project.

Permit Application Procedure

To obtain an NPDES permit for a University project, follow these steps:

  1. After the MS4 Project Initiation form is submitted to DEHS (see previous section), the SWPPP and other attachments are reviewed for compliance with permit requirements and conformity to University standards and procedures.  Once the Project Initiation form is approved, the SWPPP has been declared complete and adequate for permit application.

    Note: The at-risk contractor SHOULD NOT apply for a permit until the MS4 Project Initiation form has been reviewed and approved by University EHS staff or its designated campus stormwater point of contact.

  2. Based on the approved SWPPP and Project Initiation Form, the Contractor initiates completion of an electronic permit application at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA’s) e-Services web site. The MS4 Project Initiation Form and SWPPP document should contain all of the information needed for permit application.
  3. Login or create a new account on the MPCA e-Services web site at:
  4. Complete the online application up to the certification step – but do not complete the certification or payment steps
  5. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for completing the online permit application for University projects is available here.
  6. Following the instructions in the SOP, “share” the electronic document with the University SWPPP contact for the project. 
    • For Duluth projects, the SWPPP contact is Erik Larson, UserID=EJLARSON.
    • For other project locations, the SWPPP contact is Julianne Rantala, UserID=73419613A.
  7. The MPCA’s e-Services web site will send an email to any user granted access.  Once this notice is received, the University SWPPP contact will review the permit application information for consistency, completeness and accuracy – making needed changes directly to the electronic record.  
  8. The University SWPPP contact will contact the contractor contact(s) listed on the permit application when review has been completed. If there is a tight deadline or several days have elapsed without University SWPPP response, please contact Erik or Julianne for a status update.
  9. After you’ve received verification from the University SWPPP contact that the electronic application has been reviewed and approved, log back into the MPCA e-Services web site.  Complete the certification and payment steps of the permit application process.
  10. After the payment step, and again after the permit application has been completed, the MPCA’s e-Services web site will send an email to any contact listed in the permit application.  Permit coverage documents and the Copy of Record can be downloaded from the e-Services site.
    • Print the Coverage Card and post in the job site trailer. 

Note: There is a 7-day waiting period from the time of permit issuance until soil disturbing activities can begin at the project site.

Permit Termination Procedure

When construction activities have been completed and the project site has been restored to at least 70% uniform perennial vegetative coverage, the Contractor should follow these steps:

  1. Contractor completes a hard-copy version of the MPCA Notice of Termination form ( and submits to University EHS staff or its designated campus stormwater point-of-contact for review and "Owner's Signature".
  2. University EHS staff or its designated campus stormwater point-of-contact completes final inspection, reviews document and submits to the MPCA. The contractor will be copied on correspondence to the MPCA.

Auditing and Consulting

University Notifications

To allow for University auditing and consultation on erosion and sediment controls at University projects, the Contractor must notify University EHS staff or its designated campus stormwater point-of-contact at each of the following project milestones:

It is expected that for any finding noted by the University, corrective action will be immediately taken, and photographic or other evidence of compliance provided to EHS staff as soon as practicable.

Contractor Inspections

Permit-required inspections (weekly routine inspections and precipitation events) are completed by the Contractor from the date of permit issuance until the Notice of Termination has been sent to the MPCA. Use the approved University inspection form (or an alternate University-approved inspection form) to document all inspections.

The Contractor maintains precipitation records onsite for use in determining applicable precipitation events. Use one of the following online sources (which maintains an electronic record of events) or install an onsite rain gauge and keep a daily weather log onsite. Indicate the source of the weather data in the SWPPP materials.