In December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new tool to assist small residential lot builders in developing their required stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP). Small Residential Lot SWPPP Template supports compliance with EPA’s Construction General Permit.

All builders must seek Construction General Permit coverage for construction activity disturbing more than one acre. Permits can apply to smaller sites that are part of a larger subdivision or development as well. Builders must draft a SWPPP that identifies potential sources of pollution that could affect stormwater runoff quality from the site.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the permitting process is too complex for many small builders that are constructing homes on individual lots within a subdivision. However, the association applauded the announcement of the template, saying that it will greatly simplify the SWPPP writing process, saving small builders time and money.

The tool is an optional, easy-to-complete document that streamlines SWPPP development and is fully compliant with SWPPP requirements outlined in the Construction General Permit. At fewer than 20 pages, the template provides a simplified menu of compliance options, such as reinforced silt fences, for typical small residential construction sites.

States can modify the template to use it with their construction general permits. The template is accompanied by an educational brochure that provides basic sediment and erosion control and stormwater pollution prevention guidance common to all small residential lot projects.