Construction Compliance Basics

Regulations

Stormwater Management Regulations are a key component of EPA’s Clean Water Act.

Overriding Goal

Protect the quality of U.S. waterways by reducing the discharge of sediment, oil and chemicals into storm drains, surface water and groundwater.

Who is regulated?

Three (3) main types of construction are now required to comply with these regulations:

  1. Commercial Construction
  2. Residential Construction
  3. DOT Roadwork and Highway Projects

Did you know?

  • Approximately 70% of all storm drains lead directly to open waterways, without treatment.
  • 46% of all impaired rivers and lakes in the U.S. are polluted due to uncontrolled stormwater runoff.
  • A one quart oil spill causes a two acre oil slick.
  • In construction activities – Phase II of the regulations went into effect in March 2003 and requires that construction sites that disturb 1 acre or more of land must have an EPA issued NPDES Construction Stormwater Permit in place before construction can begin.
  • The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources and non-point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.
  • In 2001, a major retail chain was fined $1 million by the EPA for stormwater violations.
  • If not properly managed, erosion from a one-acre construction site could discharge as much as 20 to 150 tons of sediment in one year.

Key Stormwater Acronyms and phrases:

Best Management Practices

“Best Management Practices” or BMP include operating procedures and products to control site runoff, spills, leaks and drainage from raw material storage. When filing a SWPPP, a detailed description of BMPs planned for use at the site is required. [compliance]

BMP

See Best Management Practices. [abbreviation,compliance]

See Bitmap. [abbreviation,computer]

Maximum Extent Practicable

Stormwater permits require that the discharge of pollutants into storm drains be reduced to the “maximum extent practicable”. [compliance]

MEP

See Maximum Extent Practicable. [abbreviation,compliance]

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

NPDES is the technical name for EPA’s stormwater management regulations. Regulated entities must comply with NPDES, 40 CFR 122.26 (1999). [compliance]

Non-Point Source Pollution

This term is synonymous with “stormwater runoff”. Unlike stormwater pollution, “point source pollution” can be easily attributed to a single source, such as a catastrophic leak from a storage tank. “Non-point source pollution” (stormwater runoff) has many contributors, e.g., oil leaks from vehicles in parking lots, sediment from multiple sources, a chemical or oil sheen from drums, tanks, equipment or raw materials stored outdoors. [compliance]

NPDES

See National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. [abbreviation,compliance]

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. The SWPPP is an erosion, sediment and waste chemical control plan. All regulated entities must file a SWPPP with the EPA to be granted a stormwater permit. [compliance]

Stormwater Runoff

Differs from stormwater pollution, “point source pollution” that is easily attributed to a single source. “Non-point source pollution” (stormwater runoff) has many contributors, e.g., oil leaks from vehicles in parking lots, sediment from multiple sources, a chemical or oil sheen from drums, tanks, equipment or raw materials stored outdoors. [compliance]

SWPPP

See Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. [abbreviation,compliance]

These terms and many others are also defined in the CoTradeCo Glossary of critical terms, important words, abbreviations, and acronyms.

Have questions about Construction compliance or UltraTech products?

You can always contact Trader Dan 866-530-4804 and he’ll get right back to you with the answer.

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