As we set out for a day on the river, or maybe a quick spin through one of the County's open space parcels, it can be pretty discouraging to find that the Crystal or Roaring Fork River is muddy on a dry sunny day. Or maybe there is cement runoff from a nearby construction site running down the trail where we are walking our dog. This type of discovery can often be credited to improper management of stormwater or construction water. In every case where humans are the cause, this pollution should not be occurring.
The Colorado Water Quality Control Division's Permits Unit regulates the discharge of pollutants into the state's surface and ground waters. You must obtain permit coverage (or an R-Factor waiver) to discharge stormwater from any construction activity that disturbs at least 1 acre of land (or is part of a larger common plan of development that will disturb at least 1 acre). The owner or operator of the site must apply for coverage under the Stormwater Construction General Permit at least 10 days prior to the start of construction activities. The application is available from the Division's web page:
Once the State Stormwater Construction General Permit has been issued, Pitkin County conducts inspections of those sites that either hold a Stormwater Permit or should hold a Stormwater Permit but do not. This County-State collaboration is viewed as an opportunity for Pitkin County to not only ensure construction sites are in compliance with state requirements, but also as an opportunity to help local businesses and individuals understand what is expected of them under this state permit. Any questions on this program should be directed to the County Planning Engineer, Catherine Berg at 970-429-2790.
On a local level, Pitkin County also requires Drainage and Erosion Control Plans with many of its land use permit applications and building permit applications. Having our own requirements for drainage and erosion control enables us to better manage smaller sites that are not currently covered under the state program. Please contact Pitkin County Community Development
, or the County Engineer for additional information on their specific requirements for Drainage and Erosion Control Plans. We have also developed a guidance document
to help you understand what a Drainage and Erosion Control Plan must contain.