Stormwater runoff from construction sites can carry pollutants like sediment, chemicals, and debris into our waterways, harming aquatic life and degrading water quality. To prevent this, many construction projects require a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). This document outlines best practices and procedures for controlling stormwater runoff and preventing pollution.
Who Needs a SWPPP in Utah?
You need a SWPPP if your construction project involves more than one acre of land disturbance and you discharge stormwater to a waterbody or municipal storm sewer system (MS4).
Benefits of a SWPPP
Having a SWPPP in place offers several benefits:
Compliance with the Clean Water Act: The Clean Water Act prohibits discharging pollutants into waterways without a permit. A SWPPP helps you comply with this law and avoid potential fines.
Environmental Protection: SWPPPs protect our waterways and the environment by preventing pollution from construction activities.
Financial Protection: SWPPPs can help you avoid costly fines and penalties for non-compliance.
Site Management: SWPPPs provide a framework for managing stormwater runoff and preventing erosion and sedimentation.
What Should a SWPPP Include?
A SWPPP should include the following elements:
Site map and description: This includes information about the site layout, drainage patterns, areas of soil disturbance, and locations of potential pollution sources.
Best Management Practices (BMPs): These are specific measures you will take to control stormwater runoff and prevent pollution. Examples include sediment fences, silt traps, and erosion control blankets.
Inspection and maintenance procedures: This outlines how you will inspect and maintain your BMPs to ensure they are working properly.
Recordkeeping: This includes keeping records of inspections, maintenance activities, and rainfall events.
Keeping Your SWPPP Current
Your SWPPP is a living document that should be updated as needed. Examples of when you might need to update your SWPPP include:
Changes to the site: This could include adding or removing BMPs, or changing the layout of the site.
Changes to the project: This could include changing the type of construction activity or the schedule.
New regulations: If new regulations are adopted, you may need to update your SWPPP to comply.
A SWPPP is an essential tool for any construction project that involves stormwater runoff. By having a SWPPP in place, you can protect the environment, comply with the law, and avoid costly fines.
EPA SWPPP Guidance: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-construction-activities
NPDES Permit Program: https://www.epa.gov/npdes
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an attorney or regulatory expert if you have questions about SWPPPs or the Clean Water Act.