The Department of Planning and Permitting is implementing new water quality rules effective August 16 that will affect developers, contractors, designers, businesses, and homeowners planning to file grading or building permit applications. The rules are intended to protect the city’s streams and our fragile coral reefs from the impacts of development.
Changes to the rules were mandated by the Hawaii Department of Health and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. The rules establish minimum requirements to protect waters from pollutants associated with land disturbance during construction.
Under the new rules, any project that requires a building permit and that involves “ground disturbance” will require an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) to detail measures that will be taken to prevent sediment and other pollutants from entering the city’s storm drain system. Land disturbance includes digging, moving or storing soil on site, and breaking up concrete or asphalt.
The plan must also include a project drawing showing where best management practices (BMPs) will be installed to prevent runoff into the storm drains. Inspections will be required during construction to ensure the best management practices are installed correctly and are working. The plan must be done by an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan coordinator certified by the city. The new rules will also require inspections during construction and post-construction best management practices.
In addition to the new rules, a $250 plan review fee will be collected for each Erosion and Sediment Control Plan submitted to the Department of Planning and Permitting for approval. A double plan review fee will be charged for land-disturbing activity that begins without an approved Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. A $150 fee will be charged for each revision to an approved plan.
For more information about the rule changes, go to http://bit.ly/2ux4oia. For building permits, call 768-8230, or for grading and trenching permits, call 768-8216 or 768-8217.