by Larkin Myers, PE, LEED AP vice president
It’s summertime and the dry weather means construction is happening in earnest in Memphis. Construction or demolition projects in the State of Tennessee that disturb more than 1 acre of soil are required to obtain coverage under the state’s Construction Stormwater General Permit. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issues a Notice of Coverage for each project, and the contractor is required to maintain the erosion prevention and sediment controls that are specified on the construction plans and within the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. The goal is to capture the soil that may be mobilized by rainwater and keep it from leaving the property.
Providing regular inspections is a key component of maintaining compliance with the General Permit. The permit indicates that twice weekly inspections must be performed at least 72 hours apart throughout the project when soils are exposed or disturbed. Inspectors must have an active certification by completing the “Fundamentals of Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Level I” course. A copy of the certification or training record for inspector certification should be kept on site. Tioga maintains three of these certifications to allow flexibility in providing inspections as needed for clients.
These inspections play a critical role in keeping sediment out of our waterways. Tioga staff reviews all erosion control devices for proper operation and notes when controls need to be cleaned or replaced. If any soils are tracked off the property or an objectionable color is noted in the discharge from the site, the contractor is notified immediately.
All observations are noted on the TDEC inspection form and provided to the contractor. All records must be maintained on-site with the SWPPP and inspector certification. The twice weekly inspections are required until the project completes the earthwork and all soils are permanently stabilized with vegetation. The contractor or owner can submit the Notice of Termination to TDEC to close out the coverage at that time.