Permit application FAQs

Do I need a Construction Stormwater Permit?

Bulldozer at construction siteYes, if your construction project will disturb more than one acre of land. If your project is under an acre in size, but is part of a larger common plan of development, you will also need a permit.

When can I start construction?

On a typical construction project, you may start construction seven days after you apply online. Those who do not have the means to apply online can submit a paper application after contacting the MPCA. Construction may start seven days after receipt of the postmark date of a complete paper application.

If your project will disturb more than 50 acres and water from your site discharges within one mile of a state-designated Special or Impaired Water, the SWPPP for the project will be reviewed by the MPCA engineering staff to determine compliance with permit requirements. Generally, this process will be completed within 30 days.  The online application will ask you to attach the SWPPP along with your application.

What happened to the paper applications?

The requirement for online applications helps the MPCA to reduce paper waste and the costs associated with processing the paper permit applications. Another benefit of the online application is it does not allow an incomplete application to be submitted, eliminating delays in the start of construction.

If you do not have internet access, the online application can be filled out by the Owner, Contractor or a Third Party. In cases where there is still no internet access, the applicant can contact the MPCA for a submittal number and fill out a paper application.

In order to submit a paper application, the applicant must contact the MPCA at 651-757-2119, 800-657-3804, or email csw.pca@state.mn.us to obtain a Submittal Number and the application. If no Submittal number is included on the paper application, it will be considered incomplete.

Am I filling out my application correctly?

The online application does not allow you to submit an incomplete application. The application program verifies that all required fields are filled out before allowing the application to be submitted.

If you are filling out a paper application and leave anything blank, then it's probably not filled out correctly. See the Steps to construction webpage or call 651-757-2119 or 800-657-3804 for questions.

I do not have a contractor named yet. Can I still fill out my application?

Yes. For now, use the owner information in both owner and contractor fields of the form. The owner signs both parts of the form. After the contractor has been identified, use the Notice of Termination/Permit Modification (NOT) form to add the contractor. Use number 2 on the NOT Form, (Transfer Modification), and check (e) and (f). Then sign (A-1) and have the new contractor sign (A-4).

How can I find out if my site is within one mile of a Special or Impaired Water?

Use the Special or Impaired Water search tool.

How do I pay my permit fee?

When you apply online, you will have the option of paying the $400 application fee either through a checking account or credit card. If you need to fill out the paper application, attach a check for $400 made out to the MPCA and include it with your application.

If I am required to submit a paper application, or I cannot apply online, where do I mail my application?

Mail to: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Construction Stormwater Program
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194

When will I hear back from the MPCA regarding the status of my permit application?

If you apply online, you will receive immediate proof of application with an automated email confirmation. If you submitted a paper permit application, you will receive an email or letter confirmation for your records within 14 days for most projects.

What is the status of my permit coverage?

You can check the status of your permit using the Construction Stormwater Permit Search application, or by calling the MPCA at 651-757-2119 or 800-657-3804.

When will I hear back from the MPCA regarding my Notice of Termination/Permit Modification (NOT) Form?

Bulldozer at construction siteIf you are submitting the NOT form to transfer permit coverage for a portion of the site to a new owner or contractor (Subdivision), the new owner and contractor will receive a confirmation letter or email after the form is processed.

If you are submitting the NOT form to transfer the entire site to a new owner or contractor (Transfer Modification), the new owner and contractor will receive a confirmation letter or email after the form is processed.

If you are submitting the NOT to terminate permit coverage, you will not hear from the MPCA unless there is a mistake on the form.

To determine if coverage has been received or the permit has been terminated, please check the Construction Stormwater Permit Search application. It may take a few days for the NOT changes to show up at the permit search site.

Note: “Active” means the permit is still open; “Inactive” means the permit has been terminated or closed.

How do I complete the NOT form if the original contractor is out-of-business?

The owner can complete the contractor information and sign the form. Then note the reason for not being able to complete the contractor’s signature.

What is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)?

A SWPPP describes the scope of the planned construction project and describes measures to control runoff. A SWPPP must be completed before submitting your application. Training is required to complete a SWPPP.

A consultant trained in SWPPP preparation may be able to prepare your SWPPP. To verify that the SWPPP contains the proper information, use the Microsoft Office document icon SWPPP checklist (wq-strm2-47).

For simple construction sites disturbing only an acre or two, use the Microsoft Office document icon SWPPP Template for Small Construction Sites (wq-strm2-12).

Review the PDF icon Permit Training Requirements for more information on training requirements.

Basic permit preventative measures to control stormwater

These five simple steps will help keep you in compliance with the stormwater permit and prevent devastating environmental effects to a nearby wetland, creek or lake:

  1. Stabilize exposed soil: Without plant roots to hold soil in place, soil can quickly wash away in a downpour. Cover exposed slopes with temporary mats or mulch before heavy rain.
  2. Control your perimeter: Watch the flow of water on and off your site. Silt fences or other barriers help keep sediment on site. Water diversions, such as embankments, may be used to help keep extra water from entering the site.
  3. Maintain silt fences and other BMPs: Erosion and sediment control BMPs only work so long, so replace or repair the BMPs if they are no longer effective. Silt fences need to be cleaned out or replaced if silt has reached one-third the height of the fence.
  4. Keep vehicles from tracking: Install a rock pad at the exit to your site to minimize tracking unto roads and residential streets.
  5. Protect stormwater inlets: Install an inlet protection devise to keep sediment out of the storm sewer.

Visit the Stormwater Program for Construction Activity for more information on prevention practices to help meet these requirements.

Contact the MPCA

For more information call the Stormwater Hotline at 651-757-2119 or 800-657-3804
For staff directory or general questions, contact the MPCA Information desk at:
651-296-6300 or toll-free: 800-657-3864