From the Desk of Mia Tagliagambe
Project Engineer

December 11, 2020

An Environmental Scientist, Jim Ferraiuolo, kneeling next to a newly planted tree with a watering tool, wearing a bright orange sweatshirt, beanie, jeans, and boots.


“What are you doing?!”

“Are you from the town?”

“Are you supposed to be here?”

These are questions I get asked often while I am on site performing Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan inspections also known as SWPPP (Pronounced SWIP). After a couple of times of being asked the same questions it occurred to me that not many people have heard of or even realize what erosion control is or how it is managed. A person may see a silt fence as just a regular black fence that acts as a construction fence but those little black fences are a part of a much bigger picture called Stormwater pollution prevention.

To be clear A Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is a site-specific, written document signed by a company executive that (1) identifies all of the activities and conditions at their site that could cause water pollution, and (2) details the steps the facility will take to prevent construction site stormwater from polluting receiving bodies of water of the state.

When starting a new construction project, one of the most important tasks is achieving erosion control within the site. A SWPPP, defines the process of controlling stormwater runoff and pollutants from a site. SWPPP implementations occur during and after construction activities. This includes scheduled inspections by trained personnel to confirm all aspects of the SWPPP are being maintained. All projects including redevelopment projects disturbing one acre or greater of soil require a SWPPP.

You may be asking yourself, how do get a SWPPP for my site? Who do I contact? A SWPPP must be prepared by a professional engineer or landscape architect. JRH can provide these services for you. There are three different categories that your site could fall under. These categories include: Standard SWPPP, SWPPP Standard Conditional Release, and SWPPP Conditional Release Self-Certification.

A Standard SWPPP is a document that shows a projects ability to contain stormwater runoff on site using NYS-approved methods and designs. A SWPPP Standard Conditional Release is a document that supports the theory that runoff from the site cannot by any means discharge to waters of the State. Conditional Release documents are for sites where there are no surface waters in the surrounding areas. This document will prove that no sediments or water from your site, will reach any State waters. Therefore, this will release you from having to provide a full Standard SWPPP. This Conditional Release contains a preparer’s certification statement and are reviewed for consistency by a third party. Lastly, SWPPP Conditional Release Self-Certification is a document that also supports the theory that runoff from the site cannot by any means discharge to waters of the State. This self-certifying release contains a certification statement and are stamped by a licensed professional. The professional stamp indicates the professional’s certainty that the project will apply the practices of SWPPP measures.

Once it is determined which document most relates to your site, it is prepared and submitted to the municipality that the site falls within. The municipality reviews, comments and approves the SWPPP. At this time implementation of the erosion control measures begin. There is a fee associated with the submitting but that is determined by the municipality’s acreage formula.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans are an essential and required element when it comes to dealing with stormwater runoff and pollutants.

I hope this post has helped you understand the basics of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, SWPPP. If you have any questions, including pricing and applicability, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone at 631-234-2220, or by my email at [email protected]

Mia Tagliagambe
Project Engineer
J.R. Holzmacher P.E., LLC