The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides numerous instructional resources for developing effective Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), as a part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the NPDES Stormwater Program. Rain events and other precipitation events generate stormwater runoff. Further, temperature events and subsequent snowmelt events also generate stormwater runoff.

Stormwater Runoff Impacts

As stormwater runoff flows over land masses and other impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, it accumulates pollutants such as chemicals, debris and sediment that can cause negative impacts to our environmental and natural resources:

  • Harm inland and coastal waters;
  • Change hydrology and water quality;
  • Cause habitat modification and loss;
  • Increase flooding;
  • Decrease aquatic biological diversity, and;
  • Increase sedimentation and erosion.
Best Management Practices

As a result, construction companies and other stakeholders in the built environment use stormwater controls, also referred to Best Management Practices (BMPs) by the EPA.

Accordingly, BMPs help to filter pollutants and to prevent pollution, by controlling it at its source, such as at the construction site. The EPA authorizes a majority of states to implement and administer the NPDES stormwater permitting program, including for regulated construction- and industrial-stormwater discharges. However, in some states and territories in the US, the EPA remains the authority for the NPDES stormwater permitting program.

Further, refer to the following CGP and MSGP Coverage Areas link and table: Authorization Status for EPA’s Stormwater Construction and Industrial Programs.

Benefits of Stormwater Runoff Management 

The EPA highlights the following five benefits of an effective stormwater runoff management program for construction companies and other stakeholders in the built environment:

  1. Protection of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems;
  2. Improved quality of receiving waterbodies;
  3. Conservation of water resources;
  4. Protection of public health, and;
  5. Flood control.

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(Source: “NPDES Stormwater Program.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.)

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