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In North Carolina, all construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land are automatically covered by the General Stormwater Permit - NC G01000. In addition, the NC Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973 requires all land disturbing activity, regardless of the size of disturbance, to control erosion and sedimentation (except agriculture and mining, which are covered by different regulations). Finally, local jurisdictions (towns, cities, and counties) have developed additional requirements to address the steep slopes and landslide prone areas of WNC.


Sediment is the most common pollutant affecting our waterways; in western North Carolina, 80% of streams are impaired due to sediment (Haywood Waterways Association 
It’s not just dirt).

NC General Stormwater Permit for Construction Activities

All development projects that disturb one or more acres of land are automatically covered by the General Permit (NC G010000) as long as they have also completed an erosion and sedimentation control (E&SC) plan that also covers ground stabilization and basin design. In North Carolina, the General Permit and E&SC plan are considered the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

In addition, the permit specifies:

Building Wastes Handling

    • Demolition and other waste areas, and earthen material must be located at least 50’ from storm drains and streams unless there is no feasible alternative.
    • No paint or liquid wastes in storm drains or streams.
    • No concrete materials in contact with surface waters, wetlands or buffers.

Monitoring and Inspections

    • On-site rain gauge required.
    • E&SC measures must be inspected once a week and within 24 hours after any 24-hour storm event greater than 0.5”.
    • All outlets where stormwater leaves the site must be inspected. If visible sedimentation is found off-site corrective action must be taken and documented.
    • Streams and wetlands on and off-site should also be inspected for visible sedimentation.
    • Sites discharging to streams listed on the state’s 303(d) list as impaired for sediment-related causes may be required to perform additional monitoring and inspections, as well as to apply more stringent management practices.

Operations and Maintenance

    • Regularly clean sedimentation basins.
    • Stabilize eroded banks, channels or spillway structures.
    • Repair/clear inlets and outlets, as well as inlet and outlet protection.
    • Repair piping, seepage, and mechanical damage.
    • Repair silt fence damage.

Civil penalties up to$25,000 may be assessed for permit violations.


Illustration of the soil stabilization requirements described in the permit. WNC towns, cities, and counties have additional requirements; see the Erosion & Sedimentation Control section.


General Permit – NC G01000. 2016.
Technical Bulletin for NC G010000. 2013.