Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Groundwater Protection Plans

What is 401 KAR 5:037?

It is the 1994 Groundwater Protection Plan (GPP) regulation.  It requires anyone engaged in activities that have the potential to pollute groundwater to develop and implement a GPP.  (view 401 KAR 5:037)

What is a Groundwater Protection Plan (GPP)?


A GPP identifies activities at a site that have the potential to pollute groundwater and defines best management practices (BMPs) used to protect groundwater.

What is the purpose of a GPP?

A GPP implements actions that protect groundwater for all current and future uses, and when it is implemented properly prevents groundwater pollution.

How do I know if I must develop a GPP?

A GPP is required if you conduct any of the activities listed in Section 2(2) of 401 KAR 5:037.  Activities that require a GPP (Section 2(2)(a through p):

  • Pesticide or fertilizer storage and handling for commercial purposes or distribution to a retail sales outlet.
  • Pesticide or fertilizer application for commercial purposes, public right-of-way maintenance, or institutional lawn care.
  • Land treatment or land disposal of a pollutant.
  • Storage, treatment, disposal, or handling of hazardous waste, solid waste, or special waste in landfills, incinerators, surface impoundments, tanks, drums, or other containers or in piles.
  • Commercial or industrial storing or related handling in bulk quantities of raw materials, intermediate substances or products, finished products, substances held for recycling, or other pollutants held in tanks, drums, or other containers or in piles.
  • Transmission in pipelines of raw materials, intermediate substances or products, finished products, or other pollutants.
  • Installation or operation of on-site sewage disposal systems.
  • Storing or related handling of road oils, dust suppressants, or deicing agents at a central location.
  • Application of related handling of road oils, dust suppressants, or deicing materials.
  • Mining and associated activities.
  • Installation, construction, operation, or abandonment of wells, bore holes, or core holes.
  • Collection or disposal of pollutants in an industrial or commercial facility through the use of floor drains that are not connected to on-site sewage disposal systems, closed-loop collection or recovery systems, or a waste treatment system permitted under the Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES).
  • Impoundment or containment of pollutants in surface impoundments, lagoons, pits or ditches.
  • Commercial or industrial transfer, including loading and unloading, in bulk quantities of raw materials, intermediate substances or products, finished products, substances held for recycling, or other pollutants.

Who is qualified to develop a GPP?

Anyone who needs a GPP may develop a GPP—no professional certification is required.

Where do I get my GPP application form?

There are no forms to fill out.  For the guidance on how to develop a GPP, download Preparing a Groundwater Protection Plan.   This guidance will be appropriate for most facilities.  However, review the other available guidance documents below for one that may be more suited to your facility activities.

Although they don’t specifically guide the development of a GPP, mini-guidances are helpful in pointing out activities with potential to pollute groundwater at the facilities listed below:

The Pollution Fact Sheets contain protective practices (BMPs) that may be used in a GPP:

Am I required to use the guidance in developing my GPP?

No.  However, the guidance is the preferred standardized format for the GPP.  The review process goes more efficiently when information is presented according to the outline format of the guidance.

Based upon 401 KAR 5:037, Section 3, the guidance assures that information required by the regulation is included in the GPP.
Remember:  Most deficiency letters are the result of failure to follow the format of the guidance and failure to read and follow the directions provided by the guidance.

What are Generic GPPs?

Generic GPPs are plans developed by the Division of Water.  Generic Plans are currently available for:

Some generic GPPs may be adapted to individual site facility GPPs.  Click on the desired instructions.

What is next when I have developed the GPP?

  • Implement the plan as soon as it is developed.  Implementation is not dependent upon approval by the GPP Program.
  • Retain your plan at your site (as required by 401 KAR 5:037) and keep records.  Records are proof that you are implementing your GPP.
  • Submittal of your GPP for review and approval is optional unless required by:
    • a Department for Environmental Protection Inspector or program,
    • the GPP Program, or
    • an Agreed Order.

How long is a GPP valid?

A GPP is valid for three years, or whenever activities, protective practices, or personnel change requiring an update.  Inspection and maintenance records must be retained for a period of six years.

What if I have questions or need assistance in developing my GPP?

Contact Susan Mallette, at 502-564-3410 or by email at

Back to Groundwater Protection Main Page