The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has its hand in many of the biggest and most important industries in the country, from agriculture to transportation. The EPA creates and enforces regulations that protect the environment from potentially harmful human activity. As a nation that is constantly growing and changing and expanding, construction is a big deal. In 2022, the total market value of the U.S. construction sector, including residential, commercial, and public, was estimated at a staggering 1.8 trillion dollars. Suffice it to say that construction sites are also subject to strict EPA regulations, particularly when it comes to water.
The Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines, as outlined by the EPA, were developed in 2009 and amended in 2014. These regulations aim to standardize construction sites to prevent water pollution. Requirements include typical procedures such as erosion prevention, soil stabilization, and prohibition of toxic discharges.
Rain and other inclement weather is an inevitability in construction. It’s critical that the site operators have established a plan to redirect and contain contaminated water before it pollutes the local rivers, lakes, and sewer systems. Common pollutants include chemicals and debris, sediment, pesticides, and oil and grease from construction vehicles. According to the EPA, construction projects must acquire a Clean Water Act permit to move forward with any activity that will affect 1 acre of land or more.
In 2022, the EPA updated their Construction General Permit (CGP) requirements to reflect changes since its last update in 2017. One of the key requirements is having a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) in place on a construction site. Operators can use the resources on the EPA website to develop a plan that meets the minimum requirements as outlined by the regulations.
Take additional measures to maintain a boundary around your construction site. The less your construction activity impacts the surrounding area, the better. For example, a simple silt fence can prevent excess erosion and sediment deposits. Furthermore, regularly cleaning the exterior of your vehicles will minimize the risk of oil or fuel in the water, which will significantly lower the potential for pollution. Keeping the vehicles clean when coming and going from the construction site is an important job. But with the help of Neptune’s automated wash systems, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Learn more about the strengths and features of our industry-leading wheel wash systems, or contact us today to become a part of the clean road revolution!