Construction stormwater

A stabilized construction exit, made of rock keeps mud from vehicle tires off public roadsWhen 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: PDF icon Common plan of development (wq-strm2-22)
  • 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.

Online permitting

For assistance, refer to PDF icon Getting started with MPCA e-Services, visit the e-Services webpage, or email us at

Permit and program forms



Instructions and fact sheets

PDF icon 2018 NPDES/SDS permit for construction activity: Final permit (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.

Online Stormwater Permit Termination For terminating permit coverage. Complete and submit online. In order to terminate permits online, users must add the termination function to the “Service Selection” on the e-Services account page. Additionally, users will need to add each permit they wish to terminate to the “My Facilities” section on the e-Services account page.  Use these instructions if you are unfamiliar with the permit termination function: PDF icon Notice of termination online: Construction Stormwater Permits (wq-strm2-108)
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
File 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.

Developing the 2018 general permit

PDF icon Minnesota NPDES/SDS Construction Stormwater General Permit (wq-strm2-68a) (2013)

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.

Icon of impaired waters for map search toolSpecial and impaired waters search

Use this tool to identify if your construction site is within one mile of a special or impaired water.


  • 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
  • General program questions: Contact the Statewide Compliance Coordinator, Brian Green, at 507-206-2610.

Compliance and enforcement staff by areaConstruction stormwater staff map