Construction sites are a potential source of pollution from sediment transport due to erosion, trash and debris, and the variety of chemicals associated with materials and equipment used at a construction site.
Federal rules promulgated under the Clean Water Act specify that construction site operators and owners have a legal responsibility to keep sediment and other pollutants from leaving the construction site and out of on-site preserve areas and storm sewer system components.
Since June 2003 all sites disturbing 1 or more acres must have an "NPDES Construction General Permit" through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. FDEP has been delegated authority by the EPA to administer and enforce the program. A Notice of Intent (NOI) must be filed with FDEP, and a copy of the NOI must be sent to Collier County Engineering Services Department at least 2 days before ground breaking for construction.
NOTE- only the NOI (not the SWP3) is submitted to FDEP and only a copy of the NOI should be sent to Collier County Engineering Services.
Collier County also regulates and enforces control of sediment and other pollutants on construction sites under County Land Development Code, Division 3 with provision for site compliance inspections. Unlike the NPDES permit, County enforcement includes sites disturbing under 1 acre. Monetary fines, or closing a site may occur for non-compliance with approved site-specific sediment and erosion control plans, or for uncontrolled trash and pollution. Enforcement is the responsibility of the County’s Engineering Services Department (239-252-2400).
Collier County will continue to inspect construction sites for compliance with its own regulations, which apply to all construction sites regardless of size. Persistent problem sites may be referred to FDEP for further inspection and enforcement under the NPDES program.
Construction sites may also be inspected by FDEP inspectors as part of the NPDES Construction General Permit program. If a site is inspected, the inspector will check with the site operator for compliance with the NPDES Surface Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3), iincluding the records required showing self-inspection and remedial maintenance by the operator.
Collier County believes that compliance is best achieved through education and training. Avoiding problems with proper planning and follow-through should be everyone’s goal.
FDEP has developed a training and certification program for stormwater erosion and sediment control techniques suited to Florida. It is recommended that contractors responsible for implementing erosion control on construction sites receive this training since, by law, you are the responsible party. In the future, Collier County may require certain contractor licenses to have this certification.
Information on Florida’s "Stormwater, Erosion, and Sedimentation Control Inspector Training & Certification Program" can be found here.
The International Erosion Control Association and the Soil and Water Conservation Society are sponsors of an internationally recognized certification program called "CPESC", or, "Certified Professional Erosion and Sediment Control". Visit their website.
Last Reviewed August 6, 2014