EROSION & SEDIMENT CONTROL
Why Erosion and Sediment Control?
As stated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), "The most environmentally dangerous period of development is the initial construction phase when land is cleared of vegetation and graded to create a proper surface for construction." During the initial stages of construction, sediment laden stormwater runoff from construction sites can discharge into receiving water bodies, thereby degrading the water quality and harming ecosystems which thrive in aquatic environments. Even a small amount of sediment from a very large construction site can do serious damage to nearby water bodies. In the last five years, state and federal agencies have begun cracking down on Contractors who attempt to skirt Erosion and Sediment (E&S) Control regulations by cutting corners on their E&S measures or ignoring them all together. In particular, home builders and private developers have been subjected to nationwide investigations conducted by Federal EPA inspectors, particularly in city and/or state jurisdictions where enforcement of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements have been lax. Failure to comply with these requirements constitutes a violation of the Clean Water Act and may subject the violator to potential fines of $2,500.00 to $25,000.00 per day on the low end with the high end upwards of several million dollars. In some instances, gross violations can carry criminal charges under the Clean Water Act. It is important for Contractors and Operators of all sizes to practice proper Erosion and Sediment Control measures regardless of the size of the construction site to ensure that construction activities do not harm local water quality. However, for large construction sites in excess of one acre, WRMA can assist your firm in ensuring that all local and state E&S requirements are met throughout the construction phase of your project.
Certified and Experienced
WRMA's Professional Engineers and inspectors hold certifications in Erosion and Sediment Control from recognized authorities including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as well as the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). This is important since both Florida and Maryland are among the select group of states whom authorization to issue such NPDES permits including permits for stormwater discharges have been delegated by the USEPA to each state's respective environmental regulatory authority (FDEP/MDE). The WRMA Engineering team is highly experienced in producing Erosion and Sediment Control plans for Construction sites of all scales.
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)
For constructions sites with disturbed areas of greater than one acre, WRMA can assist in obtaining NPDES Construction General Permits (CGP) as well as provide Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP's) ahead of planned construction activities. A SWPPP plan is essentially a site specific plan which must identify potential sources of pollution that may reasonably be expected to affect the quality of stormwater discharge associated with construction activity as well as the E&S best management practices (BMPs) that will be implemented to help prevent sediment laden stormwater from being discharged untreated outside the limits of construction. Other characteristics of a SWPPP include:
- Descriptions of the selected BMPs to be implemented that will be used to reduce the pollutants in stormwater discharge associated with the construction activity.
- The SWPPP must be developed before a Notice of Intent (NOI) is filed in order to receive CGP coverage and must meet or exceed FDEP requirements.
- The SWPPP must be available at the location identified in the NOI beginning on the first day of construction activities.
- The SWPPP will contain a narrative and a site map of the construction site limits and discharge points.
- The SWPPP must be developed and implemented for each construction site covered by the CGP permit and must be prepared in accordance with good engineering practices.
The good news is that with sound preparation and proper documentation, complying with these state & federal regulations doesn't have to be a complex process. WRMA can guide your project through the permitting process, including appropriate selection of E&S BMP's, development of Erosion & Sediment Control plans, details and specifications, a comprehensive SWPPP document, and provide periodic field inspections so that when and if your project is inspected, your site's E&S measures and documentation will be in good order.
Contact us to learn more about how WRMA can assist with your Erosion and Sediment Control plan for your next planned construction job.