The state of Florida and the FDEP was given authorization by the EPA to implement their own NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permitting program in the year 2000. This program regulates point source discharges of stormwater into surface waters of the State of Florida from industrial, construction, and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). The FDEP was given the responsibility reviewing general permits request, issuing general permits, performing stormwater management compliance, and working with local municipalities to push enforcement initiatives. With construction being the most common permit issued, and by far the largest source of sediment water pollution in the United States, it is the most commonly audited by the FDEP and local municipalities.
Before you can file for your general permit you must first develop a SWPPP (Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan). The SWPPP main function is to identify any possible site pollutants that have the capability of affecting the stormwater discharging from your site boundaries. The SWPPP must also describe the Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that will be utilized on your site to reduce these pollutants from discharging off site. The FDEP does give a SWPPP template and a full list of requirements on their website. When creating your SWPPP, keep in mind that you’re not creating a finished product. Once construction starts the SWPPP is intended to be a living document that changes with your site. Once your SWPPP is completed you can file for your general permit or NOI (Notice of Intent). The SWPPP and NOI must be posted onsite at all time during construction.
The most common BMP’s used on a construction site in the State of Florida are silt fence, sock drain pipe, construction entrance, turbidity barrier, and street sweeping. When choosing which BMP’s you will utilize on your site keep in mind that all material BMP that is installed has a life span that usually doesn’t last longer than the projected life of the project. A preventative maintenance BMP like street sweeping when done and utilized correctly can dramatically reduce the need for other BMP’s your site by removing the sediment and tracking from your street before it reaches the storm system and discharges off site. If a BMP is not working as intended and a new BMP is used it must be changed in the SWPPP’s narrative.
Once the project is started and the permit is filed and the SWPPP is on site a routine inspection must be done by a qualified site inspector chosen by the construction sites operator. The inspection must be done every 7 calendar days and within 24 hours of the conclusion of a rain event of 0.5” or greater for the duration of the project. For a complete set of conditions and requirements pertaining to Inspection Frequency refer to the official Florida Construction Generic Permit.
Contact USA Services today to see how street sweeping can help save you money over structural BMP’s.