Last month EPA announced the availability of a free, online stormwater inspection training course intended to demonstrate who is a "qualified person" required to performing all stormwater site inspections required under EPA’s 2022 Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) Construction General Permit (CGP) during the active phase of land development or construction activities. EPA's online course comprises five modules, which take approximately seven hours to complete, plus a multiple-choice format final exam.
Under EPA's 2022 NPDES CGP for stormwater discharges, permit applicants (i.e., developers and builders) have two options to demonstrate compliance with EPA’s "qualified person" requirement:
- Provide a valid stormwater inspection certificate or license from either a state agency or third party, provided the curriculum for that stormwater inspection program met EPA's minimum curriculum requirements found under Part 6.3 of the 2022 CGP, or
- Take EPA's online stormwater inspection training course, pass the exam, and obtain a copy of the certificate demonstrating successful completion of EPA's stormwater inspector training course.
EPA's stormwater inspection training requirement applies immediately only in those three states (New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Mexico) where EPA is the permitting authority for the CWA NPDES CGP for stormwater discharges from active construction sites. In addition, although EPA's NPDES CGP for stormwater discharges became effective in February 2022, developers and builders within those three EPA non-delegated states will have until Feb. 17, 2023, to demonstrate compliance with this new training requirement.
EPA's online stormwater inspection training is also important for developers and builders in those 47 states where EPA has delegated CWA NPDES permitting authority to the states. Since EPA's NPDES CGP typically serves as the template for EPA-delegated states to follow, those states whose NPDES CGP permits are coming up for renewal are likely to see new stormwater inspection training requirements. In addition, several states (see map) already have some form of stormwater inspection training required for developers, builders or stormwater consultants.
See the map below for details.