Diff between SWPPP vs NPDES

Site Grading & Site Design Vignettes and Multiple Choice

Diff between SWPPP vs NPDES

Postby cma52572 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:26 pm

Diff between SWPPP vs NPDES

Here is my understanding . PLEASE tell me if/where I am wrong.


SWPPP is a more casual thing. Its essentially a legally enforceable promise to complete these BMPs to protect SW and prevent pollution. Its done through your general construction permit.

For projects less than 5 acres but more than 1 acre.

So if your project is less than 1 acre you don't need SWPPP?

Look at NPDES requirements to develop your SWPPP even though you may not need an NPDES permit.


NPDES is actually a permit handled by State, EPA AND local permitting authority. For 5 acres or more.
So you don't need NDPES if less than 5 acres?

NPDES requirements are created by your state. They may or may not just adopt the EPA requirements. You must comply w/ requirements of ALL 3 (unless your location has a local qualifying program).

Not a case of the most stringent applies. Its a case of ALL requirements apply?

Civil engineer creates the SWPPP?

"Site Designer" would be the Landscape Architect right? Not the Architect?

Designer of Erosion and Sediment control plan is the civil engineer right???

Site Operator signs off on SWPPP?

Pre Construction meeting for SWPPP... It says site designer needs to be there. I don't see that the architect needs to be there. Is that correct? I also don't see that the Owner needs to be there.

So this means there is one Pre Construction meeting prior to site work and then another prior to building construction w/ the Architect???

Thanks for any help. This is SOOOOO confusing to me!!!!
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Re: Diff between SWPPP vs NPDES

Postby Coach » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:15 pm

Know what SWPPP is/does, know what basic documentation requirements are, know who prepares it. Beyond that, give your brain a break.
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Re: Diff between SWPPP vs NPDES

Postby Ruby » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:54 am

NPDES is what requires the SWPPP to be developed. NPDES is a regulation of the EPA, and SWPPP is their way of making sure the activity requiring the SWPPP prevents pollution into the stormwater. If this makes sense--it's sort of circular reasoning, but that's how I understand it. If you want to read more on it, go to the EPA site, but like Coach said, just be familiar with SWPPP, not NPDES.

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Re: Diff between SWPPP vs NPDES

Postby cma52572 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:51 pm

right..I know its all circular. Its confusing because NPDES is only required for very large projects. So in many cases no NPDES is required, but an SWPPP is still required and w/ SWPPP you go to NPDES for requirements even though you don't actually need to apply for NPDES coverage. The SWPPP is handled under your General Construction permit.

But NPDES permit would require state or EPA approval. Its so damn confusing!!!
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