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County Development Permits

If you are constructing or subdividing land in unincorporated Travis County, a development permit from the TNR Development Permit Center is required, as well as other permits that may be applicable. The development permit process includes storm water requirements for construction and post-construction from the County or another jurisdiction, depending on the location and size of your project. Contact the TNR Permit Center at (512) 854-4215, for information.

Local Environmental Permit Considerations

Depending on the overall size of the disturbance associated with your project and its physical location within Travis County, your jobsite may or may not have to meet several additional requirements related to Storm Water prior the commencement of Construction Activities onsite.

Projects that are at least one acre and less than five acres in size, must comply with the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Permit rules and regulations for small construction sites listed in the TXR150000 Construction General Permit. Projects that are larger than five acres, must comply with the TPDES Permit rules and regulations for large construction sites listed in the TXR150000 Construction General Permit.

Contact the TNR SWMP Permit review group at (512) 854-7686 for assistance in determining which regulations must be met.

Regional Information

State Information

  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
  • TCEQ Stormwater Permits
  • Assistance Tools for Construction Stormwater General Permits
  • State of Texas Electronic Reporting System (STEERS)
  • Notice of Intent (NOI)
  • Notice of Change (NOC)
  • Construction Site Notice (CSN): Primary Operators of Large Construction Sites
  • Construction Site Notice (CSN): Secondary Operators of Large Construction Sites
  • Construction Site Notice (CSN): Operators of Small Construction Sites
  • Notice of Termination (NOT)
  • TCEQ Has Inspected Your Business: What Does This Mean to You?
  • Texas Administrative Code: Signatories to Applications
  • Texas Administrative Code: Signatories to Reports

Federal Information

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • EPA Region 6
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

Construction Storm Water Practices

Storm water runoff and pollution discharges from construction activities are one of the greatest long-term threats to water quality in urbanizing areas. Construction processes required to build our homes, businesses, and roads, cause soil disturbance resulting in significant storm water pollution if the proper controls and practices designed to minimize such impacts are not implemented.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans, or SWP3s, are required on all construction sites one acre or more, and erosion and sediment controls (ESC) and other practices are required on all construction activities as necessary.

Some of the most common SWP3 and ESC practices include:

  • Silt Fence
  • Rock Berm
  • Drainage Diversion
  • Stabilized Construction Entrance
  • Sediment Trap
  • Sedimentation Pond
  • Site Phasing
  • Tree and Natural Area Protection
  • Mulch
  • Seeding
  • Soil Retention Blanket

Post-Construction Storm Water Management Practices

After construction of new development is completed, continuous low levels of runoff pollution will typically continue to occur. The levels and extent of this pollution can be greatly minimized if proper site design, site location, and engineering control practices are employed.

Some of the most common post-construction practices include:

  • Grass and landscaping
  • Creek Buffer Zone
  • Vegetative filter strip
  • Grass lined swale
  • Flow dissipation
  • Rock Riprap
  • Detention Pond
  • Detention Filtration Pond
  • Sedimentation Pond
  • Retention (Wet) Pond
  • Bio retention Pond

Low Impact Development

Low Inpact Development (LID)  is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. LID employs principles such as preserving and recreating natural landscape features, minimizing effective imperviousness to create functional and appealing site drainage that treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product.

By implementing LID principles and practices, water can be managed in a way that reduces the impact of built areas and promotes the natural movement of water within an ecosystem or watershed. There are many practices that have been used to adhere to these principles such as.

Some of the most common post-construction practices include:

  • Bio Retention Facilities
  • Rain Gardens
  • Vegetated Rooftops
  • Rain Barrels
  • Permeable Pavements

Permitting Requirements

From this webpage, an applicant can find basic information and forms that must be submitted as a part of the Travis County Basic Development Permit application. Get an overview on Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) requirements for development in unincorporated Travis County. Review Frequently Asked Questions on the environmental review process. Print and complete a SWP3 Summary and either the residential or large residential/commercial checklist.

  • Most minor and major man-made changes to land require a Travis County Basic Development Permit. This includes changes to improved and unimproved real estate and changes in use to real estate.
  • A Travis County Basic Development Permit is required for land development in any part of Travis County not within the corporate boundaries of a municipality.
  • TNR, the Environmental Quality Program (EQP) staff is responsible for environmental review of the submitted Basic Development Permit application. EQP conducts a technical review to ensure the development meets all storm water management requirements.

Environmental Review of Development Proposals FAQ's

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) Requirements for Residential Development Permits

Residential Construction Permit Requirement Checklist

Large Residential & Commercial Construction Permit Requirement Checklist

Travis County TNR Environmental Specialists closely monitor active construction sites in the unincorporated area of the county. The main purpose is to ensure construction activities are occurring with the proper permit, that SWP3 requirements are being fully implemented, and that water pollution into our drainage ways, creeks, rivers, and lakes does not occur. The Travis County TNR Storm Water Inspection Report is utilized when a construction site is inspected.


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