Every time it rains, rivers and streams usually experience a huge increase in water levels as a result of storm water runoff. It is usually normal for the water in rivers and streams to change in terms of color and composition as dirt, and other deposits are introduced into the water from the storm water runoff. To ensure that the storm water runoff does not pollute rivers and streams, some environment protection guidelines must be implemented. SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan) is used to ensure that construction activities do not lead to pollution of rivers and streams as a result of contaminated storm water runoff from the construction sites.

SWPPP requirements are used to limit or specify what can actually leave a construction site as part of storm water runoff and what cannot. All this is done in an effort to ensure that the surrounding water sources and bodies are not polluted by a variety of contaminants. These contaminants include fuel, chemicals and soil and sand deposits among others.

Who needs SWPPP Compliance?

The SWPPP requirements were created by the USEPA. Depending on where you are in the country, the permit is provided under the EPA by state agencies or renamed and provided under state agencies.

Various conditions are specified under the regulation as to who needs the SWPPP. Small construction sites are defined as those covering less than one acre, or more but below five.

Sites covering one or more acres but less than five but are part of a larger planned development.

According to TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and other relevant regulations enforced form a federal point of view, operators on a construction site conducting clearing, excavation and grading work on a site that is one acre or larger but less than five in a larger planned development are required to prepare an SWPPP. They should also be covered under the NPDES (Nation Pollutant Discharge Elimination System)

Construction sites below one acre.

Developers working on a site where the land to be disturbed is less than one acre should abide by slightly different regulations. Where the site is not part of a larger planned development, preparation of an SWPPP is not actually required under the law, and a Construction General Permit is enough. However, if this site is part of a larger planned development, then SWPPP compliance becomes necessary, and a permit is required; as per the above provisions.

Once you have ascertained whether you need to prepare an SWPPP for your construction site, it is also worthwhile to consider looking up any exemptions applicable under federal and state regulations. These may help offset the cost of resources devoted to complying with SWPPP requirements.

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