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This fact sheet provides guidance on writing an adequate Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) that will assist in keeping a construction site in compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)/State Disposal System (SDS) Construction Stormwater Construction stormwater permit |(CSW) permit. The development of a proper SWPPP is a requirement of the permit and the responsibility of the owner.
A SWPPP is a plan that describes the strategies and steps that will be taken to prevent nonpoint source pollution discharging from a construction site. The SWPPP is a valuable tool and will become the backbone of the entire construction process related to erosion and sediment control and stormwater management, both during construction and post construction. The SWPPP includes a description of all construction activity, temporary and permanent erosion and sediment control BMPs, permanent stormwater management, and other pollution prevention techniques to be implemented throughout the life of the construction project. The SWPPP includes a combination of narrative plans and standard detail sheets that address the foreseeable conditions at any stage of construction.
All construction projects disturbing one acre or more or that are part of a larger common plan of development that ultimately disturbs one acre or more are required to apply for an NPDES/SDS Construction Stormwater permit through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The permit states that prior to submitting a permit application, the owner must develop a SWPPP for the construction site. The SWPPP is the plan developed by and for the permittees addressing how they are to meet the requirements and conditions of the CSW general permit specifically for their site. Site conditions, soil types and expected precipitation will be different for each site and the permittee must select the best and cost effective best management practices (BMPs) and installation locations for their particular site. The SWPPP is to be kept at the site for the duration of the project and retained in files for three years after the project is completed. If the construction project disturbs 50 acres or more and discharges to a special or impaired water, the SWPPP must be submitted along with the permit application to the MPCA 30 days prior to the start of any construction activity.
A successful SWPPP identifies the issues of concern before construction begins and is also adaptable for the many unexpected changes that come about with every construction project. Planning ahead is the most effective way to minimize erosion and sedimentation during construction and reduce project costs. A well organized and planned out SWPPP will assist in the prevention of unnecessary permit violations and save the owner and contractor time, money, and effort over the course of the project.
The NPDES/SDS Construction Stormwater permit outlines specific requirements of a SWPPP. In order to develop a truly effective and useful SWPPP, it is important to carefully think about each of these requirements and to clearly document a plan for the construction project. The Owner must identify a trained individual to oversee implementation of the SWPPP, including inspections and maintenance activities required by the permit. Also, the person preparing the SWPPP must be knowledgeable of the permit requirements and trained in preparation of SWPPPs.
The SWPPP must include the following components:
Please refer to the NPDES/SDS General Construction Stormwater permit for more complete details on SWPPP content.
The NPDES/SDS Construction Stormwater permit requires that the SWPPP be developed prior to the start of a construction project. It is often difficult to fully plan ahead and more often than not, unexpected changes arise throughout the duration of the project. For this reason, the SWPPP is a flexible and amendable document. It is a living document that should be revised as the project changes and should be used to document all project modifications. The SWPPP is also amended whenever:
In the case of a change in property ownership, any new owner is required to have an up to date and complete SWPPP. The new owner can modify the original SWPPP or develop a new SWPPP that covers all information required by the permit.