FAQ's

When do you need a general construction permit?

A general construction permit is usually required anytime you will be disturbing more than 1 acre of land and will be discharging stormwater to a Waters of the U.S. (WOUS). There are additional requirements when you anticipate disturbing 5 or more acres of land.

What is STEERS? Why should I use it?

STEERS is an online paperless electronic permitting database created by TCEQ. Using STEERs expedites the permit review process so you receive your permit faster, usually within 24 hours. STEERs also saves money since TCEQ has a different payment structure using the online filing system. A STEERS account needs to be created before you can apply for a permit.

How do I sign up for access to STEERS?

When creating a new STEERS account, you will need to sign up for Stormwater General Permits under the STEERS Program Access using the step by step instructions below. Access to STEERS will not be completed until after you sign the Stormwater Participation Agreement (SPA). The signed SPA can be submitted electronically if you have a valid Texas Driver’s License (TDL). Electronic submission of the SPA results in same day access to the STEERS program. The signed SPA can also be mailed to TCEQ but it will be between 3 and 10 days before you receive access to the program. Keep in mind this process is only to gain access to the STEERS system. A permit is not submitted or renewed during this process.

  • 1. Go to the website https://www3.tceq.texas.gov/steers/
  • 2. Under Need Select “Create a New Account”
  • 3. Read the information and click the “Create a New Account” button.
  • 4. Enter all required information including your name, company name and title. If there is no company or title, then enter the Owner or Individual.
  • 5. Enter your email address. It must be unique.
  • 6. Enter your phone number and mailing address.
  • 7. Click “Next” and review the information for accuracy. If accurate, click “Next.”
  • 8. Look at the list of similar sounding names that already have a STEERS account. If none of the names on the list are yours, click “Next.”
  • 9. Fill in the security information. You may want to print this out after you have completed it because you will be asked one of the security questions every time you login. Your ER account number will be emailed to you immediately.
  • 10. Click “Save.”
  • 11. Select the program area “Storm Water General Permits (EPR_SW).”
  • 12. Click “Go.”
  • 13. Select the access type you will need for using ePermits. 30 TAC §305-44 requires the Executive Officer of a company or the person if owned by an individual to sign the application. Signature for applications cannot be delegated authority.
  • a. For OWNER/OPERATOR: Select “Storm Water Sign”
  • b. For CONSULTANT: Select “Storm Water Preparer”
  • 14. Select your relationship to the facility.
  • a. For OWNER/OPERATOR: Select “My employer is the facility…”
  • b. For CONSULTANT: Select “My employer is not the facility…”
  • 15. Select who is authorizing the account.
  • a. For CONSULTANT: Select “I, [Your Name], am applying for read, edit or preparer role…”
  • b. For OWNER/OPERATOR: Select “I, [Your Name], am applying for a signatory role…”
  • 16. Click “Add Access.”
  • 17. Click “Cancel.”
  • 18. Verify your account information is accurate.
  • 19. At the top of the page, select either: eSign SPA or Paper SPA.
  • a. eSign SPA- If you have a valid Texas Driver’s License (TDL), you can eSign the application. Enter your personal information and TDL numbers when prompted and click “eSign SPA.” Your ER account number will be sent to your email address immediately.
  • b. Paper SPA- Print out the SPA, sign it and mail it to TCEQ’s address shown on the SPA. Your ER account number will be emailed to you after the paperwork has been processed within 3 to 10 days.
  • 20. Set up your password using the instruction provided in the email with your ER account number.
  • 21. Start the renewal process by logging into STEERS by entering your Account Number and Password.
Help, I have a problem with my STEERS account.

Please contact us at (281) 442-4112 and we will work with you to resolve the issue.

Do you file the applications on my behalf?

We process the applications on your behalf.

An inspector showed up on my site. What do I do?

>Reach out to your Project Manager or contact us at (281) 442-4112 as soon as you are aware that somebody is onsite. 

What is the definition of an operator?

There are two types of operators: Primary Operator and Secondary Operator. A Primary Operator is directly associated with the construction activity and either:

  • (1) has operational control over construction plans and specifications, including the ability to modify those plans or specifications or
  • (2) has day-to-day operational control of those activities on the construction site necessary to ensure compliance with a SWPPP or other permit conditions (e.g. authorized to direct workers to carry out activities required by the SWPPP or other permit conditions).

A Secondary Operator is limited in the sense they are employees of other operators on the site or they have the ability to approve/disapprove changes to plans and specifications. If there are no other operators at the construction site, the secondary operator functions as the primary operator and must comply with associated permit requirements.

Do I need SWPPP if site is less than 5 acres?

Yes

Does NOI permit expire?

The general permit is effective for a term not to exceed five 5 years. At the time in open permits will need to be renewed.

How do I know if I need permit?

Determine the size of construction project, use the size of entire area to be disturbed, and include the size of larger common plan of development.

What is an NOI? (Notice of Intent)

A written submission to the executive director from an applicant requesting coverage under general permit.