Stormwater - Construction Activities Overview

Stormwater runoff from construction activities can have a significant impact on water quantity. As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris, and chemicals and transport these to a nearby storm sewer system or directly to a river, lake, or coastal waterways. Polluted stormwater runoff can harm or kill fish and other wildlife. Suspended sediment in stormwater can destroy aquatic habitats, and high volumes of runoff can cause stream bank erosion. Additionally, larger debris can clog waterways and potentially reach the ocean where it can impact marine habitats.

Looking for Permit Coverage?

If you are planning any construction/land-disturbing activity (including clearing, grading and excavating) within the State of South Carolina, you must first apply for coverage under the State's NPDES Construction General Permit (CGP) .

All requirements for permit coverage are based off their amount of disturbance and location. Please see the links below for further information.

Are you in a Coastal County?

If your construction site is located within one of the eight coastal counties then your project may have different requirements.

Where to Apply

Information on where to apply for Stormwater NPDES coverage based on the counties.


Application & Forms

Download the Notice of Intent Application and other Forms to obtain permit coverage.


Technical Documents

Templates, checklists and other documents to help prepare your Stormwater Management Plan

What are the eight coastal counties?

The eight coastal counties are Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Beaufort, and Colleton Counties. Please see the following for permitting processing flow charts for Coastal Zone Projects:

Do I need a Coastal Zone Consistency (CZC) determination if my project is in a Coastal County?

Yes, Coastal Zone Consistency determination from DHEC's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC-OCRM) is still required and a Coastal Zone Consistency submittal package must be submitted with request for permit coverage to the Bureau of Water in its coastal office. Bureau of Water staff will provide the CZC submittal package to DHEC-OCRM for review upon receipt. Contact DHEC-OCRM regarding submittal requirements.

What needs to be submitted to obtain permit coverage for my project?

Items required to be submitted to obtain coverage under the CGP is determined by a number of conditions (whether or not your project is located within a coastal county, the amount of disturbance, part of a LCP, and if it is within 1/2 mile of a RWB).

Coastal Submittal Requirements Non-Coastal Submittal Requirements
More than 2 Acres of Disturbance More than 2 Acres of Disturbance
1 - 2 Acres of Disturbance (Non-LCP*,  Not Within 1/2 Mile of CRW**) 1 - 2 Acres of Disturbance (Non-LCP*)
1.0 - 2.0 Acres of Disturbance  (Within 1/2 Mile of CRW**)

Less than 1 Acre (Non-LCP*)

Less than 1 Acre (Non-LCP*, Not Within 1/2 Mile of CRW**)  
Auto Coverage, Less than 1 Acre (Non-LCP*, Within 1/2 Mile of CRW**)

*LCP - Larger Common Plan
**CRW- Coastal Receiving Waters

Why does DHEC need to issue permit coverage for my construction project?

DHEC is the permitting authority for the NPDES Stormwater Program as approved by the EPA, who itself is tasked with running this program Nationwide as mandated in the Clean Water Act. As the permitting authority, DHEC must regulate stormwater runoff from construction sites to improve water quality.

Each project owner must develop and implement a site-specific stormwater management plan to control stormwater runoff and sediment from construction sites. These plans must be reviewed and approved by DHEC.


Environment Stormwater