Stormwater runoff from construction activities can have a significant impact on water quality by contributing sediment and other pollutants to creeks, streams, lakes, etc. Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) are a requirement set forth by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) which regulates water quality when associated with construction or industrial activities including demolition. The SWPPP addresses all pollutants and their sources, including sources of sediment or particle runoff associated with demolition, construction, construction site erosion, and all other activities associated with construction activity and controlled through the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs).
A SWPPP is a fundamental requirement of stormwater permits and identifies all potential sources of pollution which may reasonably be expected to affect the quality of storm water discharges from the demolition and construction site. The NPDES stormwater program requires construction site operators engaged in clearing, demolition, grading, and excavating activities that disturb 1 acre or more to obtain coverage under an NPDES permit for their stormwater discharges. When working within multiple states it should be noted that most states are authorized to implement their own Stormwater NPDES permitting program. EPA remains the permitting authority in a few states, territories, and on most land in Indian Country. In areas where EPA is the permitting authority, operators/contractors must meet the requirements of the EPA Construction General Permit (CGP).
Construction projects that disturb one or more acres are subject to three major requirements:
- Submit a permit application (or Notice of Intent) prior to the start of construction.
- Develop, submit, and fully implement an erosion and sediment control plan that is approved prior to initiating any on-site activities. This plan specifies the measures that will be put in place to prevent and/or control erosion and sediment run-off.
- Submit a Notice of Termination when the following criteria have been met: final stabilization of the site has been achieved as defined in the permit, all temporary erosion and sediment controls have been removed, and no potential remains for construction-related sediment discharge to surface waters.
There are a great number of sources which can be used in the development of a SWPPP. There are also a great number of variations as they pertain to each State and Federal requirement. Supporting its members, the NDA has located a strong source of information created by a partnership between The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Through this partnership, they have created the Construction Industry Compliance Assistance (CICA) web site to provide a source for plain language explanations of environmental rules for the construction industry. The information is provided free of charge by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences in partnership with the AGC with funding for the project provided by both the U.S. EPA and AGC. As with all sources such as these, the Inclusion of a resource and/or news item on CICA is provided for informational purposes only and does not imply an endorsement by the NDA, NCMS, EPA or AGC.
The CICA web site provides the following information on the SWPPP located on the left hand column under Stormwater:
- Effluent Guidelines
- 2012 Construction General Permit
- State Resource Locator
- Training Resource Locator
- Spill Prevention & Response Procedures
- BMP Links
- BMP Locator
- Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)
- More Resources
The CICA website provides additional information concerning a host of rules associated with environmental compliance for the construction industry and can be a useful source for additional items of concern. The above items do however provide an adequate source of support for SWPPP information on specific locations where your work is taking place and the requirements of those areas. The NDA has provided the following link as a means to support it members in their endeavors to meet all agency regulations and encourages the exploration and support of other sources to develop a complete program.