Proposed Changes to Rule 5 (Construction Site Run-off)

The White River Alliance is serving on Construction Site Run-off (Rule 5) Advisory Committee for IDEM. We are one of several representative groups providing input into some important permit related changed on this topic. As a result, we are seeking input from our membership and constituents in order to offer constructive comments to the draft permit.  THIS IS IMPORTANT please read on…

The draft permit has already been discussed with US EPA and IDEM has already made every effort to meet federal requirements for the permit. What they are looking for now is input to help make the permit a good fit for our state/local realities and resource protection needs. It is the mission of the White River Alliance to improve and protect water resources; so, I’m asking that you please review and provide me any comments with this aim in mind. If you are part of another organization with a different mission or focus, and your comments are better aligned to their mission, please reach out to those organizations. Some of the other representative groups involved in the Advisory Committee include: INAFSM, IBA, INDOT, ACEC, and IN Constructors.


Rule 5 (the State Rule that governs Construction Site Run-off) is moving from a Permit by ‘Rule’, to a General Permit Process. The primary difference is that the master general permit process requires IDEM to revisit the permit every five years.  As I understand it, the primary concern that was raised by EPA regarding the current ‘Rule’ status was that Rules are adopted by a governing Board, a Board that is often made up of regulated entities (permit holders) which can create some conflict of interest. Also, General Permits are the ‘norm’ for addressing construction site run-off in most states; we are one of the few states that have not adopted this process.  This creates some confusion for applicants and consultants from other states that are not use to a Permit by Rule as they are always looking for the expiration date of our Master Permit; which we do not currently have.  There are some additional fine points regarding how this 5 year time frame for the General Permit will be administered but for now I’m seeking input mostly on content.  I’m happy to share what I know about how IDEM plans to handle the permit timeframe, as well as impacts to projects that overlap the timeframes of various 5 year permits, but let’s do that via discussion or via separate emails. Just message me at or better yet, please attend our Think and Drink Happy Hour Discussion Session on August 16th at 4pm and I’ll do my best to share what I know.


The Think and Drink Discussion Session will include a 20 min presentation highlighting some of the items in the powerpoint from IDEM as well as notes/insights/questions I asked at the first Advisory Committee meeting. Our discussion session will be informal, mostly a means of sharing your thoughts, opinions, concerns, ideas, questions, etc. with me before I provide collective feedback to IDEM.

PLEASE review the materials in advance of attending or in advance of responding to the survey. Light refreshments will be provided at the Think and Drink Discussion Session – we’ll try to make it ‘fun’, but no promises!

If you cannot make this session or would prefer to submit anonymous input, please utilize this survey link to provide input on some key topics in the draft permit… or do both! Please rest assured that this will not be your only/last chance for input. Rather, the comments that I (and others on the Advisory Committee) provide back to IDEM at the end of the month will be used to create another draft that will then be put out for wide-spread public comment. This two-stage process is aimed at publishing the ‘best’ draft possible for such widespread comment.

THANK YOU! …in advance for your time and thoughtful consideration of this topic. Construction site run-off is a very significant concern to water quality, and therefore we are hoping to utilize this opportunity to insure the best General Permit possible for protecting our water resources. Again, if you’d like to provide comment through another lens, aside from water resource protection, please utilize the input mechanisms of other participating representative organizations. We certainly recognize that some of our members wear many hats, and therefore bring many important perspectives to this discussion.

Construction Permit Draft

General Permit Meeting