Application Requirements for Grading Permits

The University of Minnesota’s building standards for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), and Erosion & Sediment Control Plan details and requirements can be found on the Capital Project Management website.

The University's Grading Permit is to be applied for by the General Contractor and in doing so the General Contractor accepts responsibility for all subcontractor compliance with the project's Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan / Erosion & Sediment Control Plan.

Instructions and Information

Which Projects Need a Grading Permit?

Which Projects Need a Grading Permit?

Table 1: Permit/SWPPP/Erosion and Sediment Control Plan Required

(1) Use the Construction Stormwater Planning map to identify additional considerations.

(2) Refer to 31 01 20 for more information on the University of Minnesota Grading Permit.

Disturbed Area Additional Considerations (1) UMN Grading Permit Required (2) MPCA Construction Stormwater Permit Required SWPPP Required Erosion and Sediment Control Plan Required SWPPP Submitted to MPCA (30 Day Review Period)
>=50 acres Distance to impaired or special water is <=1 mile Yes Yes Yes No Yes
>=50 acres None Yes Yes Yes No No
>=1 acre None Yes Yes Yes No No
< 1 acre, but > 3,000 ft2 Disturbance is inside an Urban Area boundary Yes No No Yes No
< 1 acre, but > 3,000 ft2 Disturbance is outside an Urban Area boundary and disturbance is upgradient and adjacent to a water body or stormwater conveyance Per the University Civil Engineer No No Yes only if UMN grading permit is required No
3,000 ft2 None No No No No No


How Do I find My University Representative and Project Number?

How Do I find My University Representative and Project Number?

Finding Your University Representative (University Rep)

This is a U of M contact on the project that may have the title of Project Manager, Project Coordinator, Team Manager or Owner's Rep. This is the employee at the University of Minnesota (CPM, FM, UConstruction, System Campus, Research and Outreach Centers) who is responsible to ensure that the work is ready for the permitting process to begin.

If you do not know who your University Rep is, contact the entity that hired you (department, college, primary contractor, etc.).

Getting a Project or Work Order Number

You need only a Univerisity of Minnesota project number OR University of Minnesota work order number. Call Facilities Management Call Center 612-624-2900 for instruction to receive a project number. Only University of Minnesota Employees may apply for project numbers. Work order numbers should be obtained from your University Rep. If you are a contractor, please talk to your University Project Manager.

What Information Is Required for My Permit (Detailed Description of Work)?

What Information Is Required for My Permit (Detailed Description of Work)?

Building Permit Valuation

The applicant for a permit must provide an estimated permit value at time of application. Permit valuations must include the total value of all demolition work, including materials and labor, for which the permit is being issued, such as electrical, gas, mechanical, plumbing equipment, and permanent systems. For more information on calculating permit value, see our Building Permit Valuation page.

Scope of Work

Please submit a project scope of work to include the following:

  1. Detailed description of what work is being done (pertaining to this application) on this project
  2. Building name and address spelled out from acronym
  3. Floor(s)
  4. Room numbers
  5. Other applicable information that further describes the location
  6. For properties not part of the contiguous campus, a registered land survey must be submitted (if applicable)
  7. Certificate of Pesticide Application
  8. Location of any private or public utilities on site (i.e. wells, septics, fuel tanks, utilities) must be provided
  9. For disconnection of private utilities, a utility permit is required
  10. Building foundations and structures must be completely removed as part of the demolitions

Individual trade permits should include additional details regarding specific trade-realted work.

Which Documents Are Required to Apply for a Permit?

Which Documents Are Required to Apply for a Permit?

A copy of the project's Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) / Erosion & Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) and UMN reviewed Appendix K (with Section D filled out) are required to be attached to the permit application.  For the purpose of the grading permit application / review, the SWPPP/ESCP includes all documents referenced in the "Content Location" column of Appendix K.

The General Contractor is responsible for performing inspections for MS4 and SWPPP's as indicated in the above link:
Energy Management (EM) in conjunction with the Building Code Department (BCD) must be contacted for the following inspections:

  • Pre-grading inspection – before grading has begun and after placement of storm water management silt and runoff controls, and prior to any construction excavations.
  • Post-grading inspection – after grading is complete and prior to any construction excavations.
  • Periodic inspections to be determined based on project scope.

What is an MS4?

A municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) is a conveyance or system of conveyances; roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, storm drains, etc.

Only certain MS4s in Minnesota are subject to stormwater regulation under the Clean Water Act and Minnesota Rule 7090: The University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Duluth Campuses are included in the MS4.

The MS4 General Permit is designed to reduce the amount of sediment and pollution that enters surface and ground water from storm sewer systems to the maximum extent practicable. Stormwater discharges associated with MS4s are subject to regulation under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System (NPDES/SDS). Through the MS4 General Permit, the system owner or operator is required to develop a stormwater pollution prevention program (SWPPP) that incorporates best management practices (BMPs) applicable to their MS4. 

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS40 Overview

What is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)?

Your SWPPP must include a description of all erosion prevention and sediment control Best Management Practices (BMPs) to be utilized on the site to control sediment and other pollutant discharges from the site. The SWPPP must be prepared by an individual who is knowledgeable and trained in the preparation of SWPPPs. The SWPPP must be a combination of narrative, plan sheets and standard details that include the following components; Follow link:

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Overview

How Do I Apply for a Permit?

How Do I Apply for a Permit?

All permit applications must be submitted online through the online Accela permit system. Click the button below for application instructions.

Accela Permit System Instructions

How Long Does It Take to Get a Permit?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Permit?

An average time may vary anywhere between 2 days to 2 weeks and depends on the complexity of the work and the completeness of the plan submittals. It may take longer.

Which Inspections Are Required?

Which Inspections Are Required?

All projects that require a permit also require an inspection of work. The types of inspections required are determined based on project criteria and are assigned within the online permitting system (Accela). Once you complete a permit application through the online permitting system, you will be provided with a list of required inspections and information about how to schedule an inspection. Fore more information about inspections, visit our Inspections page.

How Do I Pay My Permit Fees?

How Do I Pay My Permit Fees?

Permit fees can be paid by check or credit card or with a U of M EFS account number (available for U of M departments). A total of all fees due will display in the Fees section of the online application once your permit application has been reviewed and fees have been invoiced.

Paying by Check

Fees assessed will be processed when BCD accepts your check. After payment, you will receive an e-mail that your permit has been issued and you may print your Permit and Inspection Report.

Checks should be made payable to the U of MN Building Code Department. During COVID-19, checks can only be submitted via mail at the address below. Please also email Peggy Krstyniak at when you mail the check.

University of Minnesota Building Code Department 
270 Donhowe Building
319 15th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Directions to our office can be found on the campus map.

Paying by Credit Card

You may pay by credit card only at the time you receive an e-mail stating that your permit is ready to be issued. Locate the permit number and pay the fees associated. Once the fees are paid, the permit status will reflect “Issued”. Print both the Permit and Inspection Report.

Paying by U of M EFS Number

Enter a correct budget string when you are applying for the permit; you will be notified when the permit is approved. The fees will display as paid and you will be able to print the Permit and Inspection Report.

Which Documents Am I Required to Post on My Project Site?

Which Documents Am I Required to Post on My Project Site?

All Inspection and Permit Reports are required to be posted at the job site. Inspectors will not provide the requested inspection without these posted documents.

How Do I Print My Permit Documents?

How Do I Print My Permit Documents?

To print your permit documents:

  1. Visit our online permit system and sign in. 
  2. Click the Search Application Link from the Permit Application Home Page or from a link on the permit application page to locate your permit.
  3. Click on the Application ID.
  4. Click on the Reports link in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. The number in parentheses indicates the number of reports that are available to print.
  5. Click on the document name to open it and select the printer icon in the upper-left corner to print.