Sediment Control Overview

Sediment control regulation in its broadest definition stems back to 1972 and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (also referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The Act  was amended to provide that the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States from any point source is effectively prohibited unless the discharge complies with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.

Sediment Control - Phase I Rule

Further amendments to the CWA in 1987 added a new section - Section 402(p) to the Act.  This section establishes a framework for regulating municipal and industrial discharges of storm water under the NPDES program. The regulations require that construction activities disturbing an area of five acres or more must be regulated as an industrial activity.  It also mandates that the activity be covered by a NPDES permit.  On November 16, 1990, final regulations known as the “Phase I Rule” established application requirements for regulated stormwater discharges.

Sediment Control - Phase II Rule

The EPA finalized “Phase II” regulations in December 1999, which require controls on stormwater discharges from a broader sector of municipalities, industries and construction sites. Specifically for construction, the Phase II Rule requires construction sites disturbing equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres to control pollutants in stormwater runoff. Construction activity disturbing less than one acre requires a permit if it is part of a larger common plan of development or sale disturbing a total of one acre or greater, or is individually designated for permit coverage by the NPDES permitting authority. The Phase II regulations went into effect on March 10, 2003.

Sediment Control can be broken down into several specific activities. Below, we outline common Sediment Control and Erosion Control topics.

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