National Menu of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Stormwater-Construction
Disclaimer: The BMP examples and references included on these fact sheets are not intended to be comprehensive. Additionally, the list of BMPs is not all-inclusive, and it does not preclude MS4s from using other technically sound practices.
Uncontrolled stormwater runoff from construction sites can significantly impact rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Sediment in waterbodies from construction sites can reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, clog fish gills, smother aquatic habitat and spawning areas, and impede navigation.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits specify minimum elements and require regulated MS4 owners/operators to develop, implement, and enforce a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater to the small MS4 from certain construction activities.
This primarily includes developing:
- An ordinance,
- Requirements to implement erosion and sediment control best managment practices (BMPs),
- Requirements to control other waste at the construction site,
- Procedures for reviewing construction site plans,
- Procedures to receive and consider information submitted by the public, and
- Procedures for inspections and enforcement of stormwater requirements at construction sites.
In addition to the stormwater requirements that Phase II MS4s place on construction sites, construction operators may also need to apply for NPDES permit coverage, generally if their project disturbs more than 1 acre and discharges to a waterbody.
- EPA's stormwater construction website – Describes NPDES permit requirements.
BMP Fact Sheets
The fact sheets describe practices that stormwater managers may consider as they develop their programs. These fact sheets generally provide applicability, implementation, and effectiveness information to help municipal stormwater operators develop their programs.
Note that some erosion controls may use alternative natural/biodegradable materials in lieu of plastic materials. EPA encourages employing controls that have been shown to minimize impacts on the environment and wildlife and recommends removing any netting products when no longer needed. EPA's Trash Free Waters Program includes information on the impacts of plastic pollution and ways to reduce the release of plastics/microplastics into the environment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also provides recommendations on the type of netting practices that are considered “wildlife friendly.”
Municipal Program Oversight
- Construction Phase Plan Review (pdf)
- Contractor Training and Certification (pdf)
- Local Ordinances for Construction Site Stormwater Control (pdf)
- Municipal Construction Inspection Program (pdf)
Construction Site Planning and Management
- Construction Sequencing (pdf)
- Erosion and Sediment Control Inspection and Maintenance (pdf) (formerly Construction Site Operator BMP Inspection and Maintenance)
- Preserving Natural or Existing Vegetation (pdf)
- Chemical Stabilization (pdf)
- Compost Blankets
- Dust Control (pdf)
- Geotextiles, Matting and Netting (pdf)
- Gradient Terraces
- Land Grading (pdf)
- Mulching (pdf)
- Riprap (pdf)
- Permanent Seeding (pdf)
- Sodding (pdf)
- Soil Retention (pdf)
- Soil Roughening (pdf)
- Temporary Slope Drains (pdf)
- Temporary Stream Crossings (pdf)
- Wind Fences and Sand Fences (pdf)
- Check Dams (pdf)
- Grass-Lined Channels (pdf)
- Land Grading (pdf) (formerly Permanent Slope Diversions and Temporary Diversion Dikes)
- Brush Barrier (pdf)
- Compost Filter Berms (pdf)
- Compost Filter Socks (pdf)
- Construction Track-out Controls (pdf) (formerly Construction Entrances)
- Filter Berms (pdf)
- Sediment Basins and Rock Dams (pdf)
- Sediment Filters and Sediment Chambers (pdf)
- Sediment Traps (pdf)
- Silt Fences (pdf)
- Storm Drain Inlet Protection (pdf)
- Straw or Hay Bales (pdf)
- Treatment Chemicals for Particulate Removal from Construction Stormwater (pdf)
- Vegetated Buffers (pdf)
Good Housekeeping/Materials Management
- Concrete Washout
- General Construction Site Waste Management (pdf)
- Spill Prevention and Control Measures (pdf)
- Vehicle Maintenance and Washing Areas at Construction Sites (pdf)
- Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Web Site - Provides plain language information on environmental rules, including stormwater, for the construction industry.
- Model Illicit Discharge and Connection Stormwater Ordinance - Includes erosion and sediment control ordinance language.
- Urban Management Measures Guidance - Chapter 5 focuses on construction site erosion, sediment, and chemical control.
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for Construction Activities - Steps necessary to develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan for construction activity.
- Outreach Materials for the Construction Industry – Includes brochures in English and Spanish and a poster.