Tuesday, March 17, 2015



             The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan is considered to be the most important 
              requirement of the General Permit. Each facility covered by this permit is required to 
             develop a plan, tailored to the specific conditions and with the primary goal of controlling 
             pollutants that may be discharged into storm water runoff.  (Illinois EPA.Gov)

As our country has developed, it has become increasingly clear that measures need to be taken to maintain our water resources and protect waterways from pollution.  Over the course of time laws have been created to prevent dumping of industrial waste, use of chemicals that can wash into the waterways and even testing of materials to be used in landfills.  All of this is aimed at the same goal: protecting the water.   This is part of the reason that SWPPP came into existence and is now an important part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. Any Construction Site that disturbs one or more acres is required to have coverage under the NPDES general permit for storm water discharges from construction activities.

Contractors typically have at least a vague notion of what a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan [SWPPP] entails even if they are uncertain as to exactly how or where it is to be implemented.  

              A SWPPP is more than just a sediment and erosion control plan.  It describes all the 
              construction site operator’s activities to prevent stormwater contamination, control 
              sedimentation and erosion, and comply with the requirements of the Clean Water Act. 
              (EPA SWPPP GUIDE pg. 1)

A good SWPPP will incorporate best Engineering Practices (BMPs) using knowledge of the hydrologic and natural features of the land.   In plain English that means a Civil Engineer will use the knowledge they have of the way the water travels to determine where there may be concern for damage to the environment or potential pollution to occur.   Since most developments will require a Civil Engineer in the planning stages, it is frequently the Engineer who will take care of the required Notice of Intent (NOI) to the IEPA and who can then provide the contractor with a SWPPP.  

When developing a site, the contractor then needs to make sure their staff are trained and understand the requirements and implementation of the SWPPP.   Some of these measures include:

     • How and where to install silt fence, 
     • Perform dewatering, 
     • Stabilizing Construction Entrance/Exit to minimize erosion
     • Designated Washout Areas for Concrete
     • Maintain Logs and Regular Inspections

Overall putting a good SWPPP into place is a necessary part of construction and development.   With the right measures contractors and developers can ensure that their project has minimal damage to the local environment by reducing polluted runoff, minimizing erosion and controlling sedimentation.
Need help preparing a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan on your next project?  Just Call (630-554-6655) or Email and we can help!