At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Identify causes of stormwater pollution
- Describe legal provisions related to stormwater pollution prevention
- Explain goals of a stormwater pollution prevention plan, or SWPPP
- Describe best management practices, or BMPs
- Distinguish structural BMPs from operational BMPs
- Identify common structural BMPs and their methods
- List operational BMPs and key procedures
- Describe types of BMPs for preventing and responding to spills
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is the result of precipitation created by rain or snowmelt flowing over any exposed surface, such as equipment, roofs, roads, and pastures.
How does stormwater runoff contribute to pollution of our environment?
As the water flows over urbanized and industrial areas it has the potential to pick up a number of contaminants, like oil, sediment, chemicals, and litter. This water is then transported to nearby waterways.
How is stormwater runoff regulated in the U.S.?
Under section 402 of the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, was authorized to regulate discharges into the nation's water through a permit program called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES.
What is a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP)?
As part of the requirements for the NPDES permit program, each facility subject to regulation must develop and implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan, or SWPPP. This plan is designed by a team of professionals who identify and provide assessment of the existing source hazards, implement best management practices, increase awareness among employees, and monitor the plan's effectiveness through regular inspections, recordkeeping, and reporting.
What are best management practices (BMPs)?
The EPA uses the term "best management practices," or BMPs, to describe the preventative source control measures that are implemented to prevent stormwater contamination.
What are some types of structural BMPs?
Structural BMPs include flow diversion, spill and leak containment enclosures, debris and sediment controls, filtation systems, infiltration systems, spill response equipment, and wastewater treatment.
What are operational BMPs?
Operational BMPs are administrative procedures designed to eliminate or reduce contaminants at the source.
What are some examples of operational BMPs?
Operational BMPs include good housekeeping, regular equipment inspections, preventive maintenance programs, material management practices, spill response methods, outdoor work practices, waste management, and employee awareness training.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Stormwater runoff is the result of precipitation created by rain or snowmelt flowing over any exposed surface, such as equipment, roofs, roads, and pastures. As the water flows over urbanized and industrial areas it has the potential to pick up a number of contaminants, like oil, sediment, chemicals, and litter. This water is then transported to nearby waterways. Polluted stormwater draining from urbanized areas is one of the leading causes of water pollution in our lakes, streams, and oceans. When the contamination threat is multiplied by the millions of industrialized acres nationwide, it is easy to see why stormwater runoff poses a serious challenge to maintaining clean water.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – www.epa.gov
- EPA Stormwater - http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6
- EPA Water Pollution Prevention & Control - http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/
- EPA Publications - http://www.epa.gov/npdespub/pubs/industrial_swppp_guide.pdf