What Developers are Required to Do

State Requirements

Construction activities that result in soil disturbances of at least one acre of total land area or larger, or are part of a larger common plan of development are required to obtain coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction Activity Construction General Permit Order 2009-0009-DWQ. Construction activity subject to this permit includes clearing, grading, and disturbances to the ground such as stockpiling, or excavation, but does not include regular maintenance activities performed to restore the original line, grade, or capacity of the facility.

The Construction General Permit requires the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) by a certified Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSD). Many California Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists have self-certified. In addition, the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) has a lookup tool to find licensed QSDs: CASQA QSP/QSD Lookup Tool.

Local Requirements

Local agencies are required to implement a construction site inspection and control program at all construction sites, with follow-up and enforcement, as needed, to prevent construction site discharges of pollutants into the storm drains. The program entails conducting reviews of erosion control plans, requiring General Permit coverage, conducting routine monthly wet weather inspections, and as-needed construction site inspections to confirm proper Better Management Practices (BMPs), documenting and reporting violations, and enforcement response, and training inspectors. 


To assist with managing potential pollutants from construction-related activities, various regulatory agencies and organizations have developed informational manuals, brochures, and guidance documents to comply with stormwater requirements.