The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has updated and issued the Stormwater General Permit for Construction Activities that affect Texas construction projects. The updated requirements and definition changes went into effect March 5, 2023. Active construction sites greater than 1 acre will need to reapply to continue coverage under the reissued permit. All sites authorized under the previous permit need to review and revise the site Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), posted site notices and associated documents.

TCEQ has approved changes that construction projects in Texas need to consider when obtaining or renewing authorization to discharge stormwater from construction activities.

  • Dewatering: The revised permit updated the definition of dewatering as the act of draining accumulated stormwater — as opposed to rainwater — or groundwater from building foundations, vaults, trenches and other similar points of accumulation. Additionally, a daily inspection is required at each location where dewatering is occurring and when permit changes are needed.
  • Commencement of construction: This term will now refer to the initial disturbance of soils associated with clearing, grading or excavation activities, as well as other construction-related activities. These activities could refer to demolition, grubbing, stockpiling of fill material, and/or placement of raw materials at the site. The modification affects the activities that define the start of construction and when permit coverage will be needed.
  • Site plans: In addition to drainage patterns, approximate slopes anticipated before and after major grading activities must be depicted on the site map. This update is an addition to the previously existing permit.
  • Clarified requirements for timing on inspection frequency: The frequency of inspections must be implemented within the first five calendar days of a month. This change is an update from the previous wording specifying schedule changes should happen at the beginning of a calendar month.
  • Require electronic submittal of Signatory Authority Delegation Forms: Large construction site operators must electronically submit delegation forms using TCEQ’s online STEERS system.

Facilities operating under TCEQ’s previously issued Stormwater General Permit for Construction Activities will have a 90-day grace period, also called the renewal period, to update existing SWPPP and submit a renewal Notice of Intent (NOI) for large construction sites, where the site or larger common plan of development disturbs 5 acres or more. An NOI serves as the first step to receiving a construction stormwater permit in Texas and a SWPPP details a course of action for how the project team plans to implement compliant measures and minimize pollution discharges in stormwater resulting from construction activities. The renewal period will close on June 5, 2023.


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Andrew Sly is a senior compliance specialist at Burns & McDonnell. With over 15 years of experience, Andrew has an expansive career providing environmental compliance solutions for clients in the industrial, oil and gas, manufacturing, and transmission and distribution industries.