Feb. 17, 2023, is the deadline for land developers and builders operating in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Mexico to obtain stormwater inspection training required under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) latest Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) Construction General Permit (CGP) for stormwater discharges from active construction sites. This new requirement under EPA's 2022 NPDES CGP applies only within these three states, where EPA is the CWA stormwater permitting authority.
Under EPA's latest stormwater permit, developers and builders must demonstrate they have taken the required stormwater inspection training or hired a consultant who is a "qualified person" under the permit to perform all the required stormwater site inspections.
One option for compliance is an online stormwater inspection training course EPA has developed comprising five modules, which EPA claims take approximately seven hours to complete, plus a multiple-choice format final exam.
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.
Although EPA's NPDES CGP for stormwater discharges became effective in February 2022, EPA gave developers and builders working within states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Mexico (e.g., EPA non-delegated states under the CWA’s 402 program) until Feb. 17, 2023, to demonstrate compliance with this new training requirement. Developers and builders who successfully complete EPA’s online stormwater inspection course receive a certificate, a copy of which must be available if their construction sites are later inspected by EPA officials or inspection contractors working on behalf of EPA.
EPA's online stormwater inspection training could also be important for developers and builders in those 47 states where EPA has delegated CWA NPDES permitting authority to those states. Because the CGP typically serves as the template for EPA-delegated states to follow, those states whose CGP permits are coming up for renewal are likely to see new stormwater inspection training requirements.
In addition, several states already have some form of stormwater inspection training required for developers, builders or stormwater consultants.
See the map below for details.