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Contrary to popular belief, the fee collected for the Drainage Permits does not serve as revenue to any other area but the Stormwater Program. Although the NPDES Phase II program is Federally mandated, the City receives no federal funds to operate the program. The fee collected funds the actual permit process including staff, vehicles and materials as well as inspections, compliance checks and enforcement.
If your project disturbs 1 acre of land or more, you will be required to file a notice of intent with the State of Illinois’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The City also requires a Class 2 Drainage Permit to be drawn but the requirements mimic what is already required by the Illinois EPA.
When in doubt, contact the Engineering Division of the Public Works Dept at 309.524.2363. Working without a permit means being out of compliance with both the City and State and can bring fines and legal action.
Erosion control practices should be inspected and maintained by the permit holder prior to any visit from the City. If the City inspections show inadequate protection of the site, permit holders will be contacted on a limited courtesy basis. If corrections are not made or if the site is not maintained to prevent erosion, a notice of violation, fines and legal action will follow.
The responsibility to maintain erosion control does not end or transfer until proper city staff verifies the project as permitted is complete and the site is stabilized. At that time, the permit will be closed out.
There are many options available for different site conditions and you may have to research before you determine the right practice for your project. There are also independent companies that specialize in erosion control that may be able to provide services for your project.
You may also contact the Engineering Division of the Dept of Public Works at 309.524.2363 with questions or concerns. The Engineering Division will operate within its parameters to assist in BMP decisions. Proper installation, maintenance, and inspections will be the responsibility of the permit holder.
For Class 2 Drainage Permits, projects 1-acre in size or more, design calculations and engineer certified existing and proposed drainage plans are required. These requirements mimic those of the Illinois EPA and Illinois state drainage law for site disturbance over 1-acre.
There are consequences for being in violation of the Stormwater Ordinance that can include fines of up to $750 per day, per violation as well as court costs and clean up charges. It is important to take the opportunity to learn about the Drainage Permit process so that appropriate steps can be taken before a project is started and to reduce the possibility of violations and/or fines. Again, contact the Engineering Division for assistance.
Class 2 Drainage Permits require more time to review because of the large quantity of information submitted, the City’s cooperative efforts with the Illinois EPA and the in-depth calculations required. The City will make every reasonable effort to provide a quick and hassle-free permit process.