MakingWaves - Stormwater General Permit for Construction; Water Well Contractor Program; Scholarship; Black River Initiative

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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MakingWaves - News from the Division of Water

In This Issue:

  • General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities
  • Water Well Contractor Program Registration
  • N. G. Kaul Scholarship
  • Black River Initiative Newsletter

SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity Issued

DEC has issued the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity (GP-0-20-001). Upon its effective date of January 29, 2020, GP-0-20-001 replaces the previous general permit, GP-0-15-002, which expired on January 28, 2020. DEC announced this general permit in the January 29 issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin.

GP-0-20-001 is a five-year general permit for stormwater discharges to surface waters from certain construction activities. This general permit may also authorize stormwater discharges to groundwater in cases where DEC has determined that a permit is necessary.

In New York, stormwater discharges from certain construction activities (including discharges through a municipal separate storm sewer system) are unlawful unless they are authorized by a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit. An owner or operator of a construction activity must operate under an effective individual SPDES permit, which addresses the stormwater discharges, or obtain coverage under GP-0-20-001.

Copies of the final GP-0-20-001, fact sheet, and responsiveness summary are available on DEC's Stormwater Permit for Construction Activity web page. This web page also describes how to gain coverage under GP-0-20-001 for planned construction activities.

Water Well Contractor Program Registration Open

DEC's Water Well Contractor Program is currently accepting applications for the Certificate of Registration for the period April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. Registration is required by March 31 each year for all water well contractors who drill or repair water wells in New York State. The on-site contractor must be certified for the work that they are conducting (well drilling and/or pump installation). A Preliminary Notice must be filed prior to drilling a well and a Water Well Completion Report must be filed upon completion of water well drilling. For additional information, contact Water Well Program staff at 877-472-2619 or

N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship Application Period Open

Applications are being accepted for the N.G. Kaul Memorial Scholarship. In honor of the former Director of DEC's Division of Water, up to $5,000 in scholarships is available to students pursuing graduate or doctoral degrees in environmental/civil engineering or environmental science concentrating on water quality who show a commitment to government service.

Scholarship applications are available on the NY Water Environment Association Scholarship web page. Applications are due by February 28 at 5 p.m.

Annual Black River Initiative Newsletter Available

The Tug Hill Commission, in collaboration with DEC's Great Lakes Program and other organizations in the Black River watershed, has released the 2019 Black River Initiative newsletter. The newsletter details efforts among the Tug Hill Commission, DEC, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and other partners to advance the Black River Watershed Management Plan and Nine Element Watershed Plan.