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Reissued Construction Runoff Permits Effective August 1

constructionThe Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's (MPCA) updated construction stormwater permits go into effect on August 1, 2013. Construction runoff can contain harmful pollutants, such as sediment, that contaminate waters. The contamination increases drinking water treatment costs and damages aquatic ecosystems. The volume of runoff can also be a problem as development causes more rainwater and snowmelt to drain into local waters. The increased flow can cause erosion of stream beds and river banks.

The MPCA says the reissued general permit for construction stormwater aims to protect lakes and streams with temporary practices during construction to manage runoff, as well as the permanent treatment of additional runoff. “Runoff from construction sites and new developments has the potential to cause significant water quality impacts to our water resources. The revised general permit issued by the MPCA provides a framework for balancing construction and development with protection of these important resources,” says Jeff Hruby, AE2S Water Resources Group Manager.

Changes in federal and state laws prompted updates to the MPCA's permit. Minnesota state laws now support low-impact development to retain and conserve water, which requires a site to mimic its natural hydrology as the landscape is developed. Under the new permit, developed sites can no longer discharge the first inch of new runoff downstream. Property owners must allow for rainwater and snowmelt to soak into the ground, such as through rain gardens or porous pavement. If infiltration is not feasible, other techniques should be used, such as green roofs or other methods of capturing runoff.

Also, the MPCA now requires permit applications to be submitted electronically due to the large number of applications it processes - between 1,000 and 3,000 each year. The permits must be reissued every five years. For more information about the MPCA's new stormwater runoff permit, click here. For guidance in determining what the MPCA permit changes mean for you, contact Jeff Hruby at 701-221-0530 or Jeff.Hruby@ae2s.com.

 

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please contact Heather Syverson at 701-364-9111 or Heather.Syverson@ae2s.com.
 
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