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CSGP: Apply for Coverage

After assessing your site, you need to begin the application process in the form of an electronic Notice of Intent (eNOI).

While the NOI application process isn’t lengthy, there are several critical pieces of information you must know to complete the NOI. These items are explained in more detail below.

Navigating Ecology’s Website

There are several online accounts you must set up before you are able to access and submit permit documents. These accounts include a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account, A Department of Ecology Signature account, and Ecology’s WQ Web Portal. The NOI must be submitted on the WQ Web Portal a minimum of 60 days before site operations. Information gathered during the NOI process will be public information on the State of Washington Water Quality Permitting and Reporting System (PARIS), so it is important that the information is accurate and complete.

SAW Account
Secure Access Washington (SAW) is a central login used for multiple state agencies to ensure that people have secure online access to potentially private information. Since this system is used by many state agencies such as the Department of Licensing, there is a decent chance that you already have a SAW account in your name. If you don’t, you will need to create one.
After logging in or creating a SAW account, you will need to add Ecology’s WQWebPortal to the account. This portal is where you will be able to apply for coverage through the NOI, set up your signature account, track permit status, access and submit water quality data, and report changes to your facility.
Department of Ecology Signature Account
Within the WQWebPortal, you will need to create an Ecology signature account. This account will allow you to electronically sign documents such as your NOI and eventually your Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs). Signature accounts are reserved for those who have signatory authority for the permit. The NOI requires the signature of the owner, partner, or responsible corporate officer of a company. Future reports required by the permit (such as a DMR) can be signed by these same people, or by a duly authorized representative such as a site manager, superintendent, or CESCL.

Location of Outfall and Discharge Locations

As part of the NOI process, you will be required to identify all the locations where stormwater leaves your project (known as “discharge locations”), and where that stormwater enters a receiving water or infiltrates into the ground (known as “outfall locations”). While discharge locations are located at the boundary of your site, outfalls can be located some distance away.  Identifying these locations can be tricky and often requires site walks and reviewing your jurisdiction’s GIS maps or archived drainage maps. 

SEPA and Public Notice

Construction sites will be required to enter information regarding their State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) decision as part of the NOI. Many sites will have to go through this SEPA process, while some may be exempt. For more information about the SEPA process see our SEPA Page.

Public Notice is required for all sites in conjunction with the NOI process. Public notice must be published in a newspaper that is circulated within the county your project resides. This notice must circulate at least once a week for two consecutive weeks (7 days apart). A 30-day public comment period begins the day of your second public notice publication. It is important to understand that Ecology will not give you permit coverage until after the 30-day public comment period is over.

Public Notice Language

(Name of operator/permittee), (address of operator/permittee), is seeking coverage under the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Construction Stormwater NPDES and State Waste Discharge General Permit.

The proposed project, (Project name), is located at (street address, intersection, crossroads, or other descriptive site location) in (name of the nearest city), in (County).

This project involves ________acres of soil disturbance for_____________construction activities.

(List all named and un-named surface waterbodies, or groundwater if Applicable).

Any persons desiring to present their views to the Washington State Department of Ecology regarding this Application, or interested in Ecology’s action on this Application, may notify Ecology in writing no later than 30 days from the last date of publication of this notice. Ecology reviews public comments and considers whether discharges from this project would cause a measurable change in receiving water quality, and, if so, whether the project is necessary and in the overriding public interest according to Tier II anti-degradation requirements under WAC 173-201A-320.

Comments can be submitted to:

[email protected], or

ATTN: Water Quality Program, Construction Stormwater

Washington State Department of Ecology

P.O. Box 47696

Olympia, WA 98504-7696

 Site Map

You will also be required to submit a site map for your project with your NOI. Site maps are also a critical component of your SWPPP, and need to identify where your site is, where construction and storage activity takes place, where the stormwater leaves the site, and where sampling will occur as part of 11 site map elements.

11 Site Map Elements

1. The direction of north, property lines, and existing structures and roads

2. Cut and fill slopes indicating the top and bottom of slope catch lines

3. Approximate slopes, contours, and direction of stormwater flow before and after major grading activities

4. Areas of soil disturbance and areas that will not be disturbed

5. Locations of structural and nonstructural controls (BMPs) identified in the SWPPP

6. Locations of off-site material, stockpiles, waste storage, borrow areas, and vehicle/equipment storage areas

7. Locations of all surface water bodies, including wetlands

8. Locations where stormwater or non-stormwater discharges off-site and/or to a surface waterbody, including wetlands

9. Location of water quality sampling station(s), if sampling is required by state or local permitting

10. Areas where final stabilization has been accomplished and no further construction-phase permit requirements apply

11. Location or proposed location of LID facilities 

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Erosivity Waiver

Small, low-risk sites under 5 acres or sites that don’t discharge into the waters of the state may apply for an erosivity waiver. An erosivity waiver waives the operator from coverage under the CSGP. To be eligible for an erosivity waiver, your site must not only be under 5 acres, but the site must have a calculated erosivity factor (“R factor”) under 5 and have all construction activities occurring in the “dry season”.

Dry Season Dates

Western Washington (west of cascade crest): June 15- September 15

Eastern Washingon (east of cascade crest, excluding Central Basin): June 15- October 15

Central Basin (Eastern WA Region 2- see figure): No timeframe restrictions apply

Erosivity Factor Calculation
The US EPA has an erosivity factor calculator that you can use to help determine if your site is eligible for an erosivity waiver based on the timeline of construction and location. Remember that sites must have an erosivity factor of less than 5 to be eligible for an erosivity waiver. Rainfall Erosivity Factor Calculator | US EPA