Frequently Asked Questions
What is NPDES and how does it affect me?
NPDES is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. This system is managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with state environmental agencies. It is mandated by Congress under the Clean Water Act of 1972. Point sources may not discharge pollutants to surface waters without a permit. The program uses the NPDES permitting system to require the implementation of certain controls such as SWPPPs (Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan), and Best Management Practices (BMPs), designed to prevent harmful pollutants from being discharged into local water bodies.
What is a SWPPP and why is it needed?
A SWPPP is a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. This plan is used to describe a process whereby a facility thoroughly evaluates the potential pollutant sources at a site, and then selects the appropriate measures designed to prevent or control the discharge of pollutants. In most States, it is required by law and must be developed prior to any ground breaking activity, and is required for both development and residential construction sites. The SWPPP is required to address measures to prevent erosion, sedimentation, and other potential discharges of pollutants to water bodies and wetlands. The SWPPP must include BMPs (Best Management Practices) that will be used to prevent any discharge or polluted water from leaving the site. At Alpha EMC, our SWPPPs are site-specific and created specifically for the requirements of that site.
What are BMPs?
The term “best management practices,” or BMP, was introduced and defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a practice or combination of practices that is an effective, practicable means of preventing or reducing the amount of pollution.
BMPs are best management practices. They include schedule of activities, prohibition of practices, maintenance procedures and other management practices to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants to US waters.BMPs are required to be identified in the SWPPP when your state requires a SWPPP. Examples include: silt fencing, vegetative strips, hydroseeding, mulching, etc.
What is an NOI/NOT?
NOI is a Notice of Intent and is the permit application required for NPDES.
As stated previously, the NOI traditionally requires that a SWPPP be created, a permit be filed, and compliance with the permit be enacted (this includes inspections and use of BMPs). The NOT is the Notice of Termination signifying that the construction activity is completed. It illustrates the permittee has achieved final stabilization on all portions of responsible work.
Alpha EMC prepares packets for our clients for NOIs and NOTs to assist in filing.
What is Phase I and Phase II?
Phase I In response to the 1987 Amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed Phase I of the NPDES Storm Water Program in 1990. The Phase I program addressed sources of stormwater runoff that had the greatest potential to negatively impact water quality.
Phase II The Phase II Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on December 8, 1999, requires NPDES permit coverage for stormwater discharges from: Certain regulated small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s); and Construction activity disturbing between 1 and 5 acres of land.
Where does Alpha EMC do business?
Alpha EMC provides support in the domestic U.S.
What do I do if a regulatory agency visits my site?
If you are a Alpha EMC client, you can take a deep breath and relax. First, provide the regulatory agent all requested information and call your local Alpha EMC representative for further guidance. Our goal is to arrive at your site as quickly as possible and to provide you with additional support.