Do you need a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for construction activities in Florida? The answer is “yes.” Understanding, submitting, and complying with the guidelines set in this important paperwork will keep you out of trouble. Otherwise, you might face repercussions, which may include but not limited to huge fines, as outlined in the guidelines for NPDES Stormwater Violations under the Environmental Litigation and Reform Act (ELRA).
You need to submit an SWPPP to obtain the Construction Generic Permit, which is a requirement for construction activity discharges that disturb at least an acre of land or less than an acre of land but is a component of a common development plan or sale. In addition, you need the CGP if your project discharges stormwater to surface waters of Florida or those through a municipal separate storm sewer system.
Whether you have a small or large construction activity, the NPDES stormwater program will regulate its discharges. This program requires controls from facilities to reduce the discharge of pollutants into the nearby waterways. On-site controls prevent water quality degradation due to siltation and debris that would otherwise pollute rivers, wetlands, habitats and beach closings.
[To determine the receiving waters for your construction site or facility, you must obtain a map with identified water bodies.]
For an idea, project managers should apply the best management practices on erosion and sediment controls, like installation, implementation, and maintenance practices to reduce offsite sedimentation and prevent the violation of water quality standards.
Controls also minimize the sediment discharges from the facility or construction site and the disturbance of steep slopes.
CGP Requirements in Florida
Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit, you should obtain coverage and implement techniques that will reduce erosion and sedimentation and that will manage stormwater. The DEP issues the generic permit under Section 403.0885 (Florida Statutes).
- Submit a CGP Notice of Intent (NOI) by paper copy or online.
- Devise an SWPP plan and implement it to comply with the generic permit.
To discontinue permit coverage, you must submit a Notice of Termination, either by paper or online. The permit coverage becomes ineffective only when the termination eligibility requirements are met.
How to Obtain the Permit Coverage
- Secure a CGP and review it.
- Develop and implement an SWPPP.
- Submit the notice of intent with the application fee.
- $400 for a large construction project disturbing at least five acres of land
- $250 for a small construction project disturbing at most five acres of land
*If your construction project goes beyond a five-year period, you must renew the coverage, or submit a NOT to terminate coverage.
SWPPP Requirements in Florida
Depending on the state where your project is, you must write and implement an SWPPP in a certain way, like in Florida.
We at PRO SWPPP ensures that all clients comply with the CGP in the state to help them prevent any trouble.
The SWPPP must follow the standard industry practices especially in the creation of a SWPPP document as outlined by the FL DEP.
What does it include? It must reflect the requirements as outlined in the state’s CGP, and at the very least should contain the following in detail.
- Stormwater personnel or team
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Description of the construction activities
- Site map
- Non-stormwater discharges
- Dewatering controls
- Stormwater best management practices
- Permanent stormwater management controls
- Maintenance activities
- Certifications and signatures
[SWPPP Certification: All contractors and subcontractors must sign a copy of the SWPPP certification statement, which must be done before construction activities. This certification should have the name and title and name of every signatory, address, and telephone number of the contracting firm, and the signature date.]
But then, you must prepare the plan before the NOI and implement its guidelines once you’ve received the permit coverage authorization. Before any construction activity, however, do what your SWPPP says.
Part of compliance, you must keep and update your SWPPP, as needed, in the duration of the project from beginning to completion.
You can expect much paperwork on inspection, revision and other documentation in between. And as stated on the NOI and SWPPP, keep documentation and records at the construction site or another location. Keep these records for at least three years after the site’s final stabilization or submission of the Notice of Termination.
Updating the SWPPP
It is a living document, so it needs to stay current. Why? It must constantly reflect the site’s current condition. So, if there needs a revision, you must update your SWPPP within seven (7) calendar days and attach it to the SWPPP.
Revisions, include things like a change in design, operation, construction or maintenance of the project that will affect discharge significantly. You must also revise if there is a new outfall; if BMPs are infective as revealed by an inspection; or if a new contractor or subcontractor implements a part of the SWPPP.
With SWPPP in place, project managers, contractors and subcontractors, adhere to the best management practices (BMPs) and guidelines to prevent pollutants from contaminating the runoff from snowmelt and rainstorms that collect oil, grease, sediment and chemicals, including phosphorus and nitrogen. The runoff carries these pollutants into waterbodies and storm drains.
As these drain systems do not treat or provide treatment to the collected water, an SWPPP ensures that a plan and its implementation is in place to prevent stormwater contamination. Without it, discharged, untreated and polluted runoff will contaminate the water we’re using for drinking, fishing and swimming. (Here is also what could happen if you did not have an SWPPP for your site.)
To stay in compliance, you must manage and maintain the SWPPP to keep yourself out of trouble with 3rd party environmental groups or regulators.
We understand how complex this entire process is and how full your plate already might be to worry about it. So, if you need a stormwater permit in Florida, let’s talk. We can help with a current permit, inspections, training or SWPPP. Call 833-GET-SWPP today!