Pollution Prevention and the Developer
Congress added Section 402(p) to the Clean Water Act in 1987 to establish a comprehensive framework for addressing stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity. In Phase 1 of NPDES, construction activities disturbing at least five acres of land were defined in 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations 122.26(b) (14) (x) as an "industrial activity.” In Phase 2, adopted May 2003, sites one acre or more are now covered under the Florida Multi-Sector General Permit of the NPDES.
The City of Fort Lauderdale requires that all construction activity disturbing more than one acre to have a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Department of Environmental Protection for construction activity on file. When applying for a building permit for these activities, the applicant must also submit a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to the City’s Building Services Department. The Building Services Department will examine the SWPPP to determine whether it meets all of the requirements. If approved, the project will be subject to inspections by the City’s Environmental Resources Division. Any violations of the SWPPP shall be corrected through a Notice of Violation or Stop Work Order issued by the City, and will be subject to any appropriate fines. For more information on permitting with the City, please visit Building Services.
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)
The SWPPP is a basic statement regarding how a construction site should be managed to prevent or significantly reduce discharge of pollutants from the site during construction activity. According to the SWPPP, no solid materials, including building materials, shall be discharged to any body of water in the United States. The SWPPP should be modified as needed and contain the signatures of all contractors and subcontractors attesting to their reading of the plan and their willingness to abide by its directives.
SWPPP Minimum Required Elements
The minimum elements the SWPPP must contain are as follows:
A. Site Evaluation
Each SWPPP shall provide a description of pollutant sources and other information as indicated:
- A description of the nature of the construction activity.
- A description of the intended sequence of major activities that disturb soils for major portions of the site (e.g. grubbing, excavation, grading).
B. Site Assessment
As a result of the site assessment, the SWPPP shall include:
- 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 activities.
- An estimate of the runoff coefficient of the site before, during and after construction activities.
- A site map indicating drainage patterns and approximate slopes anticipated after major grading activities, the area of soil disturbance, an outline of areas that may not be disturbed and the location of major structural and nonstructural controls identified in the plan.
C. Erosion and Sediment Controls
Each SWPPP shall include:
- A description of the appropriate controls and measures that will be implemented at the construction site to prevent stormwater runoff.
- The time that the measures will be implemented during the construction process.
D. Other Controls
- Off-site vehicle tracking of sediments and the generation of dust shall be minimized.
- The plan shall ensure and demonstrate compliance with applicable State and/or local waste disposal, sanitary sewer or septic system regulations.
- The plan shall address the proper application rates and methods for the use of fertilizers and pesticides at the construction site.
- The plan shall ensure that the application, generation and migration of toxic substances is limited and that toxic materials are properly stored and disposed.
E. Preventive Maintenance
Each SWPPP shall include:
- 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 are in good and effective operating conditions.
- Stormwater 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.
All contractors and subcontractors identified in a stormwater pollution prevention plan shall sign a copy of the following certification statement before conducting any professional service identified in the stormwater pollution prevention plan:
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 stormwater 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. The SWPPP is not valid unless the Certification Statement is signed.
(1) Qualified personnel (provided by the discharger) shall inspect all points of discharge into United States waters or to a municipal separate storm sewer system, as well as:
- All disturbed areas of the construction site that have not been fully stabilized,
- Areas used for storage of materials that are exposed to precipitation, and
- Structural control measures and locations where vehicles enter or exit the site at least once every seven calendar days and within 24 hours of the end of a storm that generates 0.5 inches of water or greater.
Where sites have been finally stabilized; such inspection shall be conducted at least once every month.
(2) A report summarizing the scope of the inspection, name(s) and qualifications of personnel making the inspection, the date(s) of the inspection, major observations relating to the implementation of the stormwater pollution prevention plan, and corrective actions taken.
The permittee shall retain a copy of the SWPPP required by this permit on site from the date of project initiation to the date of final stabilization. All controls shall be consistent with the requirements set forth in the State Water Policy of Florida (Chapter 62-40, Florida Administrative Code), the applicable stormwater or environmental resource permitting requirements of the DEP or appropriate guidelines contained in the Florida Development Manual: A Guide to Sound Land and Water Management (DEP, 1988) and any subsequent amendments.
NOTE: To verify the requirements for your specific conditions, please review Part III of the Tuesday, March 31, 1998 Federal Register. This is the Notice of the Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities.
The United State Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) also provides a SWPPP preparation guide .
Upon completion of the project, a Notice of Termination (NOT) should be filed with the DEP. This will release the first contractor and provide proper notice to DEP for the second contractor.
For more information on this permitting process and to obtain the appropriate forms, please visit DEP’s website at www.dep.state.fl.us/water/stormwater/npdes.