Construction stormwater

Developing the next Construction Stormwater permit. The current CSW permit is set to expire in July 2023, and the MPCA is working on a draft permit for public comment. Over the summer, the MPCA will be meeting with stakeholder groups and reviewing comments collected during the permit cycle. The draft permit will go on public notice around January 2023. The MPCA will hold a public information meeting during the public comment period to provide an overview of the proposed changes and an opportunity to ask questions to better inform your comments.   

When stormwater drains off a construction site, it carries sediment and other pollutants that can harm lakes, streams, and wetlands. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 20 to 150 tons of soil per acre are lost every year to stormwater runoff from construction sites. MPCA issues coverage to construction site owners and their operators under the Construction Stormwater general permit to prevent stormwater pollution during and after construction, and protect Minnesota's water resources.

Who needs a permit?

You need permit coverage if you are the owner or operator for any construction activity disturbing:

  • One acre or more of soil
  • Less than one acre of soil, if that activity is part of a larger "common plan of development or sale" that covers more than one acre

Common plan of development or sale

A common plan of development or sale — such as a subdivision, phased project, or combination of construction activities — is an area where multiple, contiguous, separate land-disturbing activities may happen on different schedules, but under one proposed plan.

Check if you need construction stormwater subdivision registration from the MPCA before construction begins. If a portion of a permitted project is sold, such as a single lot in a residential development, use the subdivision registration form (see table below) to transfer permit coverage to the new owner/contractor. This process allows a single permit covering an entire site to be broken up or “subdivided” to cover many different builders and sites.

Examples of common plan of development activities that require permit coverage

An example of required permit coverage in a common plan of development

Another example of requred permit coverage under a common plan of development

Apply for coverage

See the Steps to construction page for full details on what to do before you apply. Apply for construction stormwater permit coverage online. For assistance, refer to PDF icon Getting started with MPCA e-Services or email us:

Reminder: All required wetland permits or determinations must be complete before application.

Permit and program forms



Instructions and fact sheets

PDF icon 2018 NPDES/SDS permit for construction activity (wq-strm2-80a)

Permit Number: MN R 100001, issued on August 1, 2018.

PDF icon Construction Stormwater Permit Overview

Online Stormwater permit application

Complete and submit online. Permit coverage will begin one business day after submitting a complete application.

For assistance, refer to the fact sheet PDF icon Getting started with MPCA e-Services (p-gen1-17), visit the e-Services webpage, or email us at

Permit application FAQs

If the project is located in a Tribal Reservation, you will need to obtain permit coverage from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

File Permit modification form (wq-strm2-60c) For modifying information provided on the original application PDF icon Guidance for stormwater permit forms (wq-strm2-60i)
File Subdivision registration form (wq-strm2-60a) For transferring permit coverage on a portion of a site already covered by the permit See Guidance for stormwater permit forms above
File Transfer form (wq-strm2-60b) For transferring permit coverage for an entire site to a new owner or contractor See Guidance for stormwater permit forms above
Notice of termination For terminating permit coverage Permit terminations must be done electronically using e-services.
If you are new to this process, refer to this guidance document:
PDF icon Notice of termination online: Construction Stormwater Permits (wq-strm2-108)

Special waters and impaired waters

NPDES/SDS permits for construction sites with a discharge point that flows towards, and is within one mile (aerial radius measurement) of specially protected and impaired waters require additional controls and conditions as outlined in section 23 of the General Stormwater Permit.