By Matthew Trygg - Lead Compliance Manager, Illinois // 2021-11-15
The federal EPA is currently in the process of renewing their Construction General Permit (CGP), with the intent of adopting the revised CGP some time in 2022. The proposed CGP clarifies the difference between routine maintenance and corrective actions at the federal level. The EPA is defining a maintenance item as a repair that can be completed within 24 hours. Furthermore, they have added verbiage stating that the same routine maintenance is to be elevated to a corrective action where it is a repeated occurrence (same maintenance issue 3+ times = corrective action). The EPA is defining a corrective action to be any time that you find a stormwater control needs repair or replacement that will take more than 24 hours to complete. A corrective action is also being defined as any stormwater control that is not being maintained or remaining effective and in operating condition. These changes to the federal CGP will impact how states rewrite their CGPs, however how to dictate the difference will be determined by each state.
Currently, several states identify a difference between maintenance item and corrective actions. Knowing the difference between the two can drastically affect the timeline of when the item would need to be addressed.
In Ohio, for example, the time frame ranges from 3 days to fix a maintenance item or to 10 days to repair a corrective action. Per the Ohio CGP: “If the inspection reveals that a control practice is in need of repair or maintenance, it shall be repaired or maintained within 3 days of the inspection. If the inspection reveals that a control practice has not been implemented in accordance with the schedule contained in Part III.G.1.h of this permit, the control practice shall be implemented within 10 days from the date of the inspection.”
However, if your state does not explicitly call out a difference, such as Illinois, where everything is categorized as a corrective action, the standard shall be 7 days to fix it. Per the Illinois CGP:
“Corrective Actions: You must take corrective action to address any of the following conditions identified at your site:
a. A stormwater control needs repair or replacement; or
b. A stormwater control necessary to comply with the requirements of this permit was never installed, or was installed incorrectly”
Let’s say, for example, you have 15 feet of damaged silt fence on your site. In Ohio, you would have 3 days to make the repair after entering it as a maintenance item. In Illinois, on the other hand, you would have 7 days to make the repair after entering it as a corrective action. Now let’s say you have not installed your perimeter silt fence. In Ohio, this is a corrective action and you would have 10 days to install it. Whereas in Illinois, you would have 7 days to complete the install following discovery.
It is important to know what your state’s general permit defines as a corrective actions versus a maintenance item, as well as the time frames allotted to bring the item into compliance.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio EPA Permit No. OHC000005. (2018, April 23). https://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/permits/OHC000005/Final_OHC000005.pdf
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, General NPDES Permit No. ILR10. (2018, August 33). https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/forms/water-permits/storm-water/Documents/General-NPDES-Permit-ILR10-Construction.pdf
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Proposed 2022 CGP. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2021-05/documents/proposed_2022_cgp_-_permit_not_including_appendices.pdf