Stormwater Compliance for Landscape Subcontractors
The stormwater permit for construction requires the developer/contractor to ensure that landscape subcontractors or other outside service providers understand and follow the requirements of the permit and the SWPPP pertaining to the specific project and that the subcontractor follows the stormwater requirements.
Failure of the governing municipality (MS4) to assure compliance by the contractor and failure of the contractor to follow the stormwater requirements of the permit can bring non-compliance actions of fines for the city and/or the contractor, and even cause the construction project to be shut down.
You should refer to the SWPPP and SWPPP map to see what BMPs (Best Management Practices) are being utilized and where all BMPs are supposed to be. You can ask the project manager or site superintendent for access to or a copy of the SWPPP and SWPPP map if you need one
Stormwater Compliance Inspections and Corrective Action Requirements for Landscape Subcontractors
Under stormwater regulations, there will be regular site inspections to identify if there are any problems with the site BMPs. If a problem is identified, it will be noted as a corrective action item that must be remedied within a specified time period, usually 7 days or less.
You should communicate closely with the project manager and site superintendent regarding any concerns with stormwater compliance for the project and to be sure you are familiar with the SWPPP and SWPPP map.
Dirt ramps should never be used to gain access to the site. If necessary, other kinds of ramps should be used, such as silt sifter bags, rubber bags, or asphalt bags.
When landscape subcontractors are hauling materials onto the site, be sure to be entering at designated entrances. If there is a designated exit on the lot, then you should always exit there. You must avoid tracking sediment from the lot. Tracking applies to all vehicles and equipment. If you don’t need to drive onto the site or onto the lot then keep your vehicle on the street.
StabIlized exits are often done by using rocks large enough to shake the vehicles so that dirt is not tracked out of the exit. A geotextile should be placed under the rock to prevent the rock from being pushed down into the sediment or mud. Sometimes washing of tires is necessary to assure no tracking from the site. If trackout does occur, then it needs to be swept up as soon as possible, no later than the end of the day.
Hydraulic lines on trucks, lifts, and cranes can break. Be sure that a spill kit is available to contain the hydraulic oil if a line break occurs. If a hydraulic line does break the first thing to do is to prevent the oil from getting into the storm drain. Contain the oils in order to start the cleanup. Once the spill is contained then use absorbents to clean up the oil. Once the oil is absorbed then the absorbents need to be swept up and scooped into a bag, bucket, or bin and properly disposed of at a licensed facility.
When mixing drywall mud, paint, or grout on site, the mixing area needs to have plastic on the ground and be contained within the designated area. If there is any spillage outside of the containment it must be cleaned up and disposed of in the concrete washout.
Washing of applicators must be done in a designated washout. Washout waters should never be on the dirt. The washout can be a specific washout or the concrete washout. If paint is oil-based, it cannot go into the concrete washout. If the tools are washed into a bucket it needs to be sealed so that it doesn’t spill while being transported.
At the end of each day, all trash and debris will need to be cleaned up and contained within the dumpsters on site. The trash and debris need to be contained on site and properly disposed of. The site needs to be kept clean and organized.
Once storm inlets are installed, you should be careful not to damage the inlet protection.
Stormwater Compliance BMPs for Landscape Subcontractors
If fueling or maintenance of landscaping equipment takes place on site, the fuels and oils need to have secondary containment. There should be no overfilling and if there are spills or leaks, they need to be cleaned up and disposed of as previously explained.
At the end of each day, all of the scraps, plastics, wraps, or other debris will need to be cleaned up and contained within the dumpsters on site and properly disposed of. Dumpsters should be covered at the end of the workday and prior to rain. Blowable trash and debris need to be contained so that it does not blow out of the dumpster. The site needs to be kept clean and organized.
The dumpster needs to be covered when it is being hauled away. Trash around the dumpster needs to be cleaned up and contained.
When stockpiling soils on site be sure that the stockpiles are out of the street. Stockpiles should be on the dirt. If stockpiles need to be placed in the street then, they need to be contained with controls at the bottom of the pile. If possible the piles should be covered. Any sediment that gets into the street from the stockpiles needs to be swept up.
Any material storage needs to be placed on site and off of the street. The storage should be organized in a way to prevent any sediment or pollutants from getting into the street. Liquid materials need to have secondary containment.
After planting sod, trees, bushes, flowers, or seeding, the plant materials need to be cleaned up. These all carry sediments and possibly other pollutants. Once these are planted then the area needs to be swept up. Do not use water to clean up the streets, driveways, or sidewalks as that can wash them into the storm drains.
Fertilizers need to be stored in secondary containment if they are on site. When they are spread, fertilizers need to be prevented from getting into the street or on sidewalks. If the fertilizer is in the street then it needs to be swept up.
Portable toilets need to be located a minimum of ten feet back from the street and secured to prevent them from being blown or tipped over. The most common way to secure portable toilets is by staking them down. If there is no room to place the portable toilet at least 10 feet from the street then the toilet must have secondary containment and be secured.
If a portable toilet does tip over or spill, then the waste and waters need to be cleaned up and properly disposed of. Any spilled materials from a portable toilet need to be prevented from getting to the storm drain system.
It is expected of the landscape subcontractor to maintain and follow all requirements given by the SWPPP and to always refer to the SWPPP map to confirm all BMPs are being met.