When storm water drains off a construction site, it carries sediment and other pollutants that harm lakes, streams and wetlands. According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory, storm water runoff is a leading source of water pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 20 to 150 tons of soil per acre is lost every year to storm water runoff from construction sites.
--- Exposed soils on a construction site
Many studies indicate that controlling erosion can significantly reduce the amount of sedimentation and other pollutants transported by runoff from construction sites. To keep Minnesota’s valuable water resources clean the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issues permits to construction site owners and their operators to prevent storm water pollution during and after construction.
Site owners and their construction operators must sign off on a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. As part of the application for this legal document, the owner and operator must create a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) that explains how they will control storm water, in addition to implementing Best Management Practices (BMP’s) on their sites, to prevent sediment from escaping.
-- A ditch check is used to filter water -- Inlet protection blocks sediment
The Ramsey Conservation District has a Joint Powers Agreement with the MPCA to inspect all construction sites greater than one acre in size with in Ramsey County. Ramsey Conservation District Staff ensures that the SWPPP, inspection logs, and BMP’s are all being implemented properly on site.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Link/Permit Applications