What is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan?

Stormwater pollution from construction sites and industrial operations is a major environmental concern.  As stormwater flows over land, it picks up pollutants such as sediment, oil, chemicals, and debris, and carries them into our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Each construction site that disturbs over 1-acre of land along with certain industrial operations are required to have a comprehensive plan to prevent stormwater contamination.  These comprehensive plans are called Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP).

A SWPPP is required by the EPA under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The SWPPP outlines all potential sources of pollution as well as the measures an industry or construction site will take to prevent the pollution from entering waterways. Measures include best management practices (BMPs) and spill control practices.  The SWPPP anticipates where pollution may come from and outlines all measures needed to contain it.

Why is a SWPPP Important?

Stormwater pollution has significant impacts on our environment and public health. Polluted stormwater can harm aquatic life, contaminate drinking water sources, and make recreational areas unsafe for use. A properly implemented SWPPP can prevent or reduce the amount of pollution that enters our waterways.  Failure to implement a SWPPP can lead to costly fines and penalties for non-compliance with EPA regulations.

SWPPP Development and Implementation Requirements

The EPA has specific requirements for developing and implementing a SWPPP. These requirements vary depending on the type of facility or construction site, but generally include the following:

Identify Potential Sources of Pollution

The first step in developing a SWPPP is to identify potential sources of pollution on the site. This includes any areas where pollutants may be generated, such as unstable soil, fueling stations, storage areas, concrete washouts and temporary sanitary facilities. It is important to thoroughly assess the site to ensure all potential sources of pollution are identified.

Develop Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Once potential sources of pollution have been identified, the next step is to develop BMPs to prevent or reduce pollution. BMPs can include physical controls, such as spill containment systems or erosion and sediment control devices, as well as operational practices, such as regular maintenance and employee training. The EPA has a list of recommended BMPs for different industries and construction activities.  It is important to choose the appropriate measure for the type and volume of potential pollution sources.

Implement BMPs and Monitor Effectiveness

After developing BMPs, they must be implemented and maintained to ensure their effectiveness. This will include regular inspections, corrective actions, maintenance, and employee training. It is important to monitor the effectiveness of BMPs and make any necessary adjustments to ensure they are working as intended.

Keep Records and Update SWPPP as Needed

The EPA requires businesses and construction sites to keep records of their SWPPP and any changes or updates made to it. This includes records of inspections, corrective actions, maintenance, employee training and any changes to BMPs. The SWPPP should also be updated as needed to reflect any changes in operations or potential sources of pollution.

SWPPP Maps

SWPPP’s also include detailed maps showing locations of pollutant sources, control measures, site characteristics and drainage patterns.  SWPPP maps should be updated as changes to operations or BMP’s are made.

Who is Responsible for Developing and Implementing a SWPPP?

The responsibility for developing and implementing a SWPPP falls on the owner or operator of the facility or construction site. This may be a business owner, construction manager, or project manager. However, they may choose to hire a qualified consultant like McClure’s Environmental and Stormwater team to assist with the development and implementation of the SWPPP.

SWPPP Compliance Inspections

The EPA, state and/or local agencies may conduct inspections to ensure industrial facilities and construction sites are in compliance with NPDES requirements.  These inspections may be announced or unannounced and can result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.  Some states and local agencies have additional requirements that must be met in addition to what the EPA requires.  To avoid fines and penalties, it is important to have a thorough and up-to-date SWPPP in place and to regularly monitor and maintain BMPs.

Where We Make An Impact

A SWPPP is a crucial document for businesses and construction sites that are required to comply with NPDES regulations. By identifying potential sources of pollution, implementing effective BMPs and maintaining those BMP’s, facilities and construction sites can prevent or reduce stormwater pollution and protect our environment and public health. To ensure compliance and avoid costly fines and penalties, it is important to develop and implement a thorough and up-to-date SWPPP. McClure’s Environmental and Stormwater team is ready to guide you through the development and implementation of the SWPPP.

What is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan?

Stormwater pollution from construction sites and industrial operations is a major environmental concern.  As stormwater flows over land, it picks up pollutants such as sediment, oil, chemicals, and debris, and carries them into our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Each construction site that disturbs over 1-acre of land along with certain industrial operations are required to have a comprehensive plan to prevent stormwater contamination.  These comprehensive plans are called Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP).

A SWPPP is required by the EPA under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The SWPPP outlines all potential sources of pollution as well as the measures an industry or construction site will take to prevent the pollution from entering waterways. Measures include best management practices (BMPs) and spill control practices.  The SWPPP anticipates where pollution may come from and outlines all measures needed to contain it.

Why is a SWPPP Important?

Stormwater pollution has significant impacts on our environment and public health. Polluted stormwater can harm aquatic life, contaminate drinking water sources, and make recreational areas unsafe for use. A properly implemented SWPPP can prevent or reduce the amount of pollution that enters our waterways.  Failure to implement a SWPPP can lead to costly fines and penalties for non-compliance with EPA regulations.

SWPPP Development and Implementation Requirements

The EPA has specific requirements for developing and implementing a SWPPP. These requirements vary depending on the type of facility or construction site, but generally include the following:

Identify Potential Sources of Pollution

The first step in developing a SWPPP is to identify potential sources of pollution on the site. This includes any areas where pollutants may be generated, such as unstable soil, fueling stations, storage areas, concrete washouts and temporary sanitary facilities. It is important to thoroughly assess the site to ensure all potential sources of pollution are identified.

Develop Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Once potential sources of pollution have been identified, the next step is to develop BMPs to prevent or reduce pollution. BMPs can include physical controls, such as spill containment systems or erosion and sediment control devices, as well as operational practices, such as regular maintenance and employee training. The EPA has a list of recommended BMPs for different industries and construction activities.  It is important to choose the appropriate measure for the type and volume of potential pollution sources.

Implement BMPs and Monitor Effectiveness

After developing BMPs, they must be implemented and maintained to ensure their effectiveness. This will include regular inspections, corrective actions, maintenance, and employee training. It is important to monitor the effectiveness of BMPs and make any necessary adjustments to ensure they are working as intended.

Keep Records and Update SWPPP as Needed

The EPA requires businesses and construction sites to keep records of their SWPPP and any changes or updates made to it. This includes records of inspections, corrective actions, maintenance, employee training and any changes to BMPs. The SWPPP should also be updated as needed to reflect any changes in operations or potential sources of pollution.

SWPPP Maps

SWPPP’s also include detailed maps showing locations of pollutant sources, control measures, site characteristics and drainage patterns.  SWPPP maps should be updated as changes to operations or BMP’s are made.

Who is Responsible for Developing and Implementing a SWPPP?

The responsibility for developing and implementing a SWPPP falls on the owner or operator of the facility or construction site. This may be a business owner, construction manager, or project manager. However, they may choose to hire a qualified consultant like McClure’s Environmental and Stormwater team to assist with the development and implementation of the SWPPP.

SWPPP Compliance Inspections

The EPA, state and/or local agencies may conduct inspections to ensure industrial facilities and construction sites are in compliance with NPDES requirements.  These inspections may be announced or unannounced and can result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.  Some states and local agencies have additional requirements that must be met in addition to what the EPA requires.  To avoid fines and penalties, it is important to have a thorough and up-to-date SWPPP in place and to regularly monitor and maintain BMPs.

Where We Make An Impact

A SWPPP is a crucial document for businesses and construction sites that are required to comply with NPDES regulations. By identifying potential sources of pollution, implementing effective BMPs and maintaining those BMP’s, facilities and construction sites can prevent or reduce stormwater pollution and protect our environment and public health. To ensure compliance and avoid costly fines and penalties, it is important to develop and implement a thorough and up-to-date SWPPP. McClure’s Environmental and Stormwater team is ready to guide you through the development and implementation of the SWPPP.