Stormwater runoff – picking up everything in its path – from the air, from the ground and from any other fluids it comes in contact with.
Stormwater management has always been an issue of concern, but it wasn’t until the Clean Water Act of 1972 that the government started to regulate construction sites with this particular matter in mind.
Because rain comes down so hard and fast in Northeast Florida, the ground can’t absorb the water as it falls. Runoff and flooding are significant issues here. On a construction site, where the ground is being moved and/or restructured, rain water puddles, pours and takes with it enough other “stuff” to quickly become a pollution problem. Hence the need for a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, (SWMPPP) which is now mandated by permit for all major construction projects.
Permits issued are specific to both the area, and the project. Rarely are two the same. It is the permit that outlines all the preventive measures required to handle the stormwater at your site. The EPA offers instructional resources. (click the highlighted letters to open a link.)
It might seem like regulatory overkill, yet here are just a few of the kinds of pollutants you find on most construction projects… all of which are exacerbated by rain.
Stormwater management systems can be decorative as well as utilitarian.
- land clearing,
- operation of diesel engines,
- burning, and
- working with toxic materials.
- diesel and oil;
- cleaners and
- other harmful chemicals; and construction debris and dirt
All construction sites generate high levels of dust (typically from concrete, cement, wood, stone, silica) and this can carry for large distances over a long period of time. Construction dust is classified as PM10 – particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter, invisible to the naked eye.
Diesel is also responsible for emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide. Noxious vapors from oils, glues, thinners, paints, treated woods, plastics, cleaners and other hazardous chemicals that are widely used on construction sites, also contribute to air pollution