<p>What is an SWPPP and When Does a
Project Need One?
SWPPP stands for Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans. It is a requirement for all
construction sites seeking coverage under your state’s Construction General Permit.
The plan identifies the possible sources of pollution that can affect the immediate
environment surrounding your construction activity via storm water discharges coming
from your worksite. It also outlines environmental best management practices (i.e. Silt
Fence, Inlet Protection, Diversion Dikes, etc.) to be implemented in order to reduce or
prevent pollutants from adversely affecting the surrounding environment. Lastly, it
assists in bringing your site into full regulatory compliance with the Construction
SWPPP requirements can differ from state to state. However, there are typically only
slight variances as states must meet the minimum federal NPDES SWPPP requirements.
The operator of the construction site is responsible for the creation and implementation
of the SWPPP. This is typically the general contractor in charge of the construction.
Occasionally, an SWPPP drawing will be required by the regulating authority prior to
breaking ground on the construction site, but this varies according to federal, state and
When is a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan Needed?
Projects that are going to disturb at least one acre of soil are required to have Storm
Water Pollution Prevention Plan as part of the Construction General Permit
requirements. In some locales, the SWPPP must be certified by a qualified SWPPP
developer that has undergone a rigorous certification process. Additionally, site
inspections are often required to be performed by a CESSWI Certified inspector. In
contrast, many states still require only pertinent construction industry experience in
order to compile an SWPPP and/or perform inspections. Contrary to what some will
tell you, you do not require your plan be created by a Professional Engineer, and