Land disturbance activities include clearing, grubbing, excavating, grading, filling and other activities that result in the destruction of the root zone and/or other activities that are reasonably certain to cause pollution to waters of the state.

Land disturbance permits are required for construction disturbance activities of one or more acres, or for construction activities that disturb less than one acre when they are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will disturb a cumulative total of one or more acres over the life of the project.

The primary requirement of a land disturbance permit is the development of a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) which incorporates site-specific best management practices (BMPs) to minimize soil exposure, soil erosion and the discharge of pollutants. The SWPPP ensures the design, implementation, management and maintenance of BMPs in order to prevent sediment and other pollutants from leaving the site.

When it rains (or other forms of precipitation), stormwater washes over the loose soil on a construction site, and various other materials and products being stored outside. As stormwater flows over the site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris and chemicals from the loose soil and transport them to nearby storm sewer systems or directly into rivers, lakes or coastal waters. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is responsible for ensuring that construction site operators have the proper stormwater controls in place so that construction can proceed in a way that protects your community’s clean water and the surrounding environment. One way the department helps protect water quality is by issuing land disturbance permits.

Electronic Permitting

In order to improve efficiency and customer service, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has transferred to an electronic process for obtaining General Missouri State Operating Permits for land disturbance activities. This process is known as Electronic Permitting or ePermitting for short. The ePermitting system is designed to allow you the user to receive a land disturbance permit in minutes as compared to days or weeks with the submittal of a paper application. As of Sept. 1, 2012, the department no longer processes paper applications for land disturbance activities unless the applicant can provide specific criteria why they cannot use the ePermitting system. If you are unable to apply for a land disturbance permit through ePermitting, please contact your local department regional office regarding other application options. A regional office map and contact information for the office in your area is available online. For more information about the ePermitting process or to begin your application visit the ePermitting information Web page

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for Construction Sites

Best Management Practices for Construction Site Activities

Certification Training and Exam Options

  • American Public Works Association Certified Stormwater Manager (CMS)  for experts in the public and private sectors who coordinate and implement stormwater management programs for city, county, state, provincial, and federal agencies. These individuals assist in administering drainage, flood control, and water quality programs.
  • CISEC - Certified Inspector of Sediment and Erosion Control (national program)
  • EnviroCert International - Provides oversight and direction for the following certification programs.
  • Stormwater USA - Get your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan straight : Online Stormwater training and certification. Compliance Inspections and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans.