Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans

What is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan?

A Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) identifies the potential sources of pollution that might have a negative impact on water quality during construction activities; and clearly states how those pollution problems will be minimized or prevented. This plan is required under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program and is designed to prevent erosion, sedimentation, and the discharge of other pollutants from leaving construction sites and entering storm drains, streams, and rivers.

The purpose of the NPDES program is to prevent or minimize negative impacts from construction activities during and after construction. The NPDES Phase II rule regulates construction activities greater than or equal to one (1) acre or projects that are part of the common plan of development that will disturb land that is equal to or greater than one (1) acre. These Phase II permits were required after March 10, 2003.

All projects that disturb one acre or more are required to submit a SWPPP for review and approval prior to clearing land or grading. SWPPPs contain information about the site, including stream bank setbacks, vegetation, hazardous materials, endangered species, phasing of construction activities, Best Management Practices (BMPs), spill prevention, and site inspections.

A copy of the SWPPP must be kept on the job for the duration of the project. Along with the SWPPP, there should be copies of the permit and inspection records. All employees working on site should be aware of the location of the SWPPP and its contents. A public notification sign with the permit number and the Department of Natural Resource's (DNR) telephone number should be visible from the construction entrance.