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National Pollution Discharge Elimination System

Construction Site Erosion & Siltation Control

In 1972 the Federal government amended the Clean Water Act (CWA) to provide that any pollutant discharged to waters of the United States from any point source was unlawful without a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In 1987 Congress added to the CWA section 402 which established the framework for addressing storm water discharges associated with industrial activity. Construction activity that disturbs one acre or more of land are defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(x) as an "industrial activity".

swp3 site

The City of Clearwater along with Pinellas County require that all construction activity that disturbs one acre or more file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with Florida Department of Environmental Protection and prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3).

The SWP3 is a basic statement of how the site should be managed to prevent or significantly reduce discharge of pollutants from the site during construction activity. No solid materials, including building materials, shall be discharged to waters of the United States. The City of Clearwater requires the preparation and certification of the SWP3 be done by a Professional Engineer. The SWP3 should be evaluated and modified as needed and contain signatures of all contractors attesting to having read and their willingness to abide by the directives stated in the SWP3.

The SWP3 must contain as a minimum the following elements:

  • Site Evaluation

Each plan shall provide a description of pollutant sources and other information as indicated:

  1. a description of the nature of the construction activity;
  2. a description of the intended sequence of major activities which disturbs soils for a portions of the site (excavation, grading, grubbing).
swp3 site
  • Site Assessment

As a result of the assessment, the plan must include:

  1. Estimates of the total area of the site and the total area of the site that is expected to be disturbed by excavation, grading, or other activity.
  2. Site maps indicating the drainage patterns and approximate slopes anticipated after major grading activities, area of soil disturbance, and outline of areas which may not be disturbed, the location of major structural and nonstructural controls identified in the plan.
  3. An estimate of the runoff coefficient of the site before, during, and after construction activities.
  • Erosion and Siltation Controls
  1. Each plan shall include a description of appropriate controls and measures that will be implemented at the construction site.
  2. And the timing during the construction process that the measures will be implemented.
  • Other Controls
  1. The plan must ensure and demonstrate compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local waste disposal, septic system, and sanitary sewer regulations.
  2. The plan must ensure that the application, generation, and migration of toxic substances are limited and that toxic materials are properly stored and disposed.
  3. The plan must address the proper application rates and methods for the use of fertilizers and pesticides at the construction site.
  4. Vehicle off-site tracking of sediments or the generation of dust must be minimized.
  • Preventive Maintenance
  1. Storm water pollution prevention plans must be amended to reflect any change applicable to protecting surface water resources in sediment and erosion management site plans or site permits.
  2. A description of procedures to ensure the timely maintenance of vegetation, erosion and sediment control measures and other protective measures identified in the site plan in good and effective operating conditions.
swp3 site
  • Inspection
  1. A report summarizing the scope of the inspection, name(s) and qualifications or the personnel making the inspection, the date (s) of the inspection, major observations relating to the implementation of the storm water pollution prevention plan, and corrective actions taken.
  2. Qualified personnel must inspect all points of any discharge into water of the United States or to a municipal separate storm sewer system and all disturbed areas of the construction site that have not been finally stabilized, areas used for storage of materials that are exposed to precipitation, structural control measures, and locations where vehicles enter or exit the site at once every seven days and within 24 hours after a rain event that is 0.25 inches or greater. Where sites have been finally stabilized; such inspection must be conducted at least once every month.
  • Certification

All contractors and subcontractors identified in the storm water pollution prevention plan must sign a copy of a similar nature to the certification statement listed below before conducting any professional service identified in the SWP3:

I certify under penalty of law that I understand the terms and conditions of the general National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that authorizes the storm water discharges associated with industrial activity from the construction site identified as part of this certification.

The certification must include the name and title of the person providing the signature, the name, address and telephone number of the contracting firm, the address (or other identifying description) of the site, and the date the certification is made.

swp3 site

The permittee must retain a copy of the SWP3 required by this permit onsite from the date of project initiation to the date of final stabilization. All controls must be consistent with the requirements set forth in the State Water Policy of Florida (Chapter 62-40, FAC), the applicable storm water or environmental resource permitting requirements of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southwest Florida Water Management District and any other requirements or subsequent amendments.

Upon completion of the project for which the initial contractor is responsible, a Notice of Termination (NOT) must be filed with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). This must be accompanied by a new Notice of Intent (NOI) from the new contractor for any discharge. This will release the first contractor and provide proper notification to the Florida Department of Environment Protection for the new contractor.