Drafting a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

Public Works Resource
August 3, 2012 — 1,443 views  
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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is important for construction site operators all over the country. Developing a SWPPP is typically required of the person who is responsible for the daily supervision of construction sites that must comply with stormwater discharge requirements.

Depending on your state, a SWPPP may be referred to in many terms, including a Construction Best Practices Plan, Sediment and Stormwater Plan, Construction Site Best Management Practices Plan and an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. Not only is a SWPPP required to comply with the Clean Water Act, but it is also quite important because stormwater runoff from these sites can cause harm to coastal waters, lakes and rivers.

Excessive stormwater can have a dramatic impact on the natural hydrology of the land, and stormwater runoff can move across surfaces that cause it to pick up pollutants and other toxins. Stormwater exposed to construction activities is especially at risk of picking up these toxins and causing soil erosion.

A SWPPP is a written document that must identify potential sources of stormwater pollution at the construction site and describe what preventative measures will be taken to reduce pollutants in stormwater discharges. Furthermore, this plan should also include how the site operator will comply with the terms of the construction general permit. Construction companies who do not provide a SWPPP are subject to fines from the EPA and/or a state-level environmental agency.

The EPA states that your SWPPP should include key elements such as a cover and title page, project contact information, site activity information, potential pollutant sources identification, descriptions of pollutant control methods, maintenance procedures, records of inspections, SWPPP amendments and SWPPP certifications. 

Ensuring all construction activities are in compliance with a SWPPP is usually the responsibility of the site operator and its workers. The plan should outline who is on the stormwater pollution prevention team and each person's role in the SWPPP.

Creating and abiding by a SWPPP can be a comprehensive and daunting process. This is why some construction managers find that hiring a company to create and help execute a SWPPP management program can be beneficial. These companies can assist in drafting the plans as well as provide the training and consultation needed to maintain construction site stormwater best practices.

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