In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage for storm water discharges from construction activities that disturbed five (5) or more acres of land. In December 2003, this requirement was added to small construction activities. Small construction activities, as defined by the EPA, are those “that result in a land disturbance equal to or greater than 1 acre and less than 5 acres.” Also regulated as small construction activities are those “disturbing less than 1 acre…if they are part of a larger common plan of development or sale with a planned disturbance equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres.”
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has been designated the Permitting Authority for the State of Arizona for issuing Construction General Permits (CGP) under the Arizona Pollution Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) program. The operator(s) must comply with all requirements outlined in the CGP as prepared by ADEQ. Required documents for obtaining a CGP permit include a Notice of Intent (NOI) form, and the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) detailing the best management practices (BMPs) to be implemented for site sediment and pollution control. The ADEQ has created a Smart NOI program which allows for completion and submittal of the NOI form over the internet. Once a construction project is complete and the project's disturbed area is stabilized to at least 70 percent of natural background levels, or responsibility for the project has been assumed by another operator; a Notice of Termination (NOT) must be submitted to end participation in the AZPDES storm water program.