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Everything you wanted to know about Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) but were afraid to ask! – Construction, development, and public works projects for city, county, and State or Federal stormwater runoff is regulated. In this article, you will find stormwater compliance’s what, who, when, where, and why. Need service? Contact us online.

SWPPP work, what’s up with that?

Stormwater is rain or snowmelt that flows over surfaces to generate Stormwater Runoff. As the water runs off, ugly pollutants can contaminate the water. Nobody wants ugly water to impact our natural water sources. Do they? We don’t think so.

Construction pollutants are harmful to wildlife and threaten our water quality.

The regional, state, and federal governments require SWPPP activities.So doing your part to comply with pollution prevention requirements goes a long way in protecting the environment to minimize pollutant exposure.


SWPPPs and WPCPs(Water Pollution Control Plans) appear on bid sheets everywhere when you work with City, County, State, and Federal infrastructure projects. The main difference between the two is that a SWPPP is written for projects that disturb 1+ acre of soil, whereas a WPCP applies to projects that disturb <1 acre of soil.

There are exceptions. Some projects qualify for a waiver if they are over 1 acre in size. Your site would require a Rainfall Erosivity Waiver.

SWPPPs and WPCPs, content varies. Expect similar drawings, diagrams, and other relevant information, but the WPCP is the baby brother of the SWPPP. Not as robust, but the intent is the same. Head of stormwater pollution at the source.

Permits, why?

When your construction site disturbs over an acre of soil, obtaining a permit from the state or federal government will be needed to comply with a Stormwater Construction General Permit (CGP), and this permit outlines the requirements not to pollute nearby water sources. Once construction is completed, but operations continue, a permit known as the Industrial General Permit(IGP) covers monitoring best management practices(BMP) monthly, reporting each month, and any qualifying storm events.

Smaller public projects will need a Water Pollution Control Plan (WPCP) per your regional water board’s requirements.

  • For more information about the California Permit, click here.
  • For the full California Construction General Permit, click here.
  • For the Federal Permit, click here.

For my site, what permit do I need?

California sites are under the California Construction General Permit. On federal or tribal lands, your site could need a federal Construction General Permit from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

WPCPs follow local/regional requirements for Stormwater Management. When a project plans to impact streambeds, lakes, or any body of water, State and Federal permits, such as the 1600-Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, come into play. Or projects that impact water sources and listed species will need the Water Boards 401 and the Army Corp 404 permits.

Navigating the permit space is easy with Soar Environmental. Contact us online or call us for help understanding permits at

BMPs during the summertime, why?

Rain is unpredictable, plain, and simple. But beyond that BMPs protect against non-stormwater discharge too.

In addition to reducing Stormwater and Non-Stormwater Discharges, BMPs are required for sediment and erosion controls. Permit compliance is year-round.

Stormwater inspections aren’t just for stormwater.

Don’t let the term ‘Stormwater’ fool you. BMP inspections also look for other substances, including dust control, erosion control, and the potential for new sources of pollution.

Required weekly and quarterly inspections ensure BMPs are functioning and you are prepared for rain events and compliance. No operation wants a notice of violation!

Why so many inspections?

Simple answer compliance. No one likes the authorities stopping by unannounced and being in violation. Qualifying Stormwater Events (QSE) are different as these include taking water samples to a lab for testing and reporting to the authorities.

Staying in compliance prevents pollution and avoids costly fines.

Soar Environmental serves the State of California.

We serve the great State of California from Oregon to the Mexican border. Contact us online or call us to inquire how we can serve you.

Complying with Stormwater regulations made easy.

Allow us to consult with you about your requirements. We provide construction and industrial stormwater services. If you have special needs that include spill prevention control and countermeasure plans and hazardous materials management plans. We can help. Contact us online.