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Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

To comply with federal and state stormwater requirements, automotive recycling facilities must prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Before starting the SWPPP, be aware that:

  • The SWPPP can be prepared by employees. A professional engineer is not required.
  • The same basic information is required in more than one place in the SWPPP and, once accumulated, can be used again.
  • Much of the information is based upon observation and common sense.

The major components of the SWPPP are:

  • Pollution prevention team;
  • Site map;
  • Description of potential pollutant sources;
  • Measures and controls for stormwater management; and
  • Comprehensive site compliance evaluation.

Pollution Prevention Team. Appoint a team of one or more people to develop a Pollution Prevention Plan. In addition, the team is responsible for keeping the Plan current – this means modifying it whenever changes in locations, materials, processes or other activities would render the Plan invalid or inaccurate.

Site Map. The map should locate the site (street boundaries, identifying landmarks) and it should indicate topographic features of the site such as hills and ditches.

Draw or outline the site according to scale on a plain piece of paper or a section of enlarged topographic map. Make the site plan big enough to contain the required information below. Then walk the site during dry weather and locate the following on the yard area of the map:

  • All buildings and driveways.
  • Loading/unloading areas.
  • Each stormwater outfall or drainage ditch that conveys water off-site.
  • Each stormwater control measure to reduce pollutants in the runoff.
  • Each outdoor activity such as dismantling, draining fluids, etc.
  • Places where previous spills or leaks have occurred.
  • Storage tanks for gasoline and other engine fluids.
  • Vehicle storage areas.
  • Parts storage, including batteries, tires and gas tanks.
  • Scrap metal storage.
  • Other materials or activities exposed to precipitation.
  • Drainage patterns.


While walking the site, count the items and record the number, size or amount. Also note if dry weather flows are occurring (they should not be occurring), or if sludges, stains, colors or odors are present on the site. These may be indicators of a leak or other problem.

A second walk around the site during a rainfall will allow you to identify where the rainfall drains for each section of the yard. Drainage patterns must be indicated on the site map. After the storm, revisit areas where stormwater has accumulated and look for color, odor, turbidity, floating solids, suspended solids, foam, oil sheen or other obvious signs of stormwater pollution. The drainage patterns that were just observed will indicate the area where the problem originated. The source should be identified and corrected before filing the Notice of Intent. Compliance with the General Permit implies that stormwater leaving the site will not be polluted.

Description of Potential Pollutant Sources. Much of the information for this description has already been accumulated while developing the site plan. This section includes:

  • Drainage and site map
  • Inventory of exposed materials.
  • Spills and leaks.
  • Any existing sampling data.
  • Risk identification and summary of potential sources.

Measures and Controls for Stormwater Management.

This section of the SWPPP includes:

  • Good housekeeping.
  • Preventative maintenance.
  • Spill prevention and response procedures.
  • Inspection.
  • Employee training.
  • Recordkeeping.
  • Non-stormwater discharges.
  • Sediment and erosion control.
  • Management of runoff.

Comprehensive Site Compliance Evaluation. This evaluation must be conducted periodically and not less than once per year. The evaluation may be conducted after your coverage under the General Permit begins, but must be conducted within one year. This requirement provides a mechanism for ensuring that the facility attains and remains in compliance. A description of the comprehensive site evaluation must be included in the SWPPP and should contain, at a minimum, a record of the following activities:

  • Review the SWPPP, BMPs, records and site map.
  • Walk the facility to verify compliance.
  • Identify existing problems.
  • Look for potential problems.
  • Determine if BMPs are being implemented and are adequate.
  • New sources of pollution should be identified and BMPs should be written.
  • Revise the site map and the SWPPP if needed.
  • Review monitoring results.
  • Include the date and person responsible for the site evaluation.
  • Record your findings. This information will be necessary for your annual report.

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