Why is it necessary to authorize or permit stormwater discharges from construction sites?

As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up sediment, debris, and chemicals, and transport them to receiving waterbodies. Stormwater discharges containing sediment and turbidity can cause an array of physical, chemical, and biological impacts on receiving waters. In addition to sediment and turbidity, a number of other pollutants (e.g., metals, organic compounds and nutrients) associated with construction sites may become absorbed or adsorbed onto mineral or organic particles found in fine sediment and end up being discharged to nearby waters. The sediment, turbidity, and other pollutants entrained in these stormwater discharges contribute to aquatic ecosystem degradation, increased drinking water treatment costs, and impairment of the recreational use and aesthetic value of impacted waters. Sediment can also accumulate in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, leading to the need for dredging or other mitigation to prevent reduced water storage or navigation capacity. The requirements in the proposed CGP for construction site stormwater discharges are necessary to minimize erosion from construction sites and to minimize the discharge of sediment and other construction site pollutants in stormwater.

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