When stormwater drains off a construction site, it carries sediment and other pollutants that 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. Controlling erosion can significantly reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants transported by runoff from construction sites.
To keep Minnesota’s valuable water resources clean, the MPCA issues permits to construction site owners and their operators to prevent stormwater pollution during and after construction.
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)/State Disposal System (SDS) Construction Stormwater General Permit authorizes stormwater runoff from construction sites. This permit was reissued on August 1, 2018.
Who needs an NPDES/SDS permit
You need an NPDES/SDS permit 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 is greater than one acre. See: Common Plans of Development for more information.
- Less than one acre of soil, but the MPCA determines that the activity poses a risk to water resources.
Visit the Steps to construction page for details on how to apply for permit coverage.
Permit and program forms
Instructions and fact sheets
Permit Number: MN R 100001, issued on August 1, 2018.
Complete and submit online. Permit coverage will begin one business day after submitting a complete application.
If the project is located in a Tribal Reservation, you will need to obtain permit coverage from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
|Permit modification form (wq-strm2-60c)||For modifying information provided on the original application||Guidance for stormwater permit forms (wq-strm2-60i)|
|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|
|Transfer form (wq-strm2-60b)||For transferring permit coverage for an entire site to a new owner or contractor||
|Notice of termination form (wq-strm2-60d)||For terminating permit coverage||See Guidance for stormwater permit forms above|
NOTE: The form titled "Notice of termination/Permit modification form" has been replaced by the last four forms listed above.
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.
Use this tool to identify if your construction site is within one mile of a special or impaired water.
- Special Waters List
- Known Calcareous Fens List
- General Information about Impaired Waters and the Current TMDL List of Impaired Waters
- Report a complaint: Report observed pollution problems to your regional inspector (see map below) or submit a complaint online at the Citizen Complaints page.
- Technical assistance: Contact your regional inspector (see map below).
- Permit application questions: Refer to the fact sheet Getting started with MPCA e-Services, visit the e-Services webpage, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- General program questions: Contact the Statewide Compliance Coordinator, Brian Green, at 507-206-2610.