The Top Mistakes Companies Make When Creating Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans

This article is provided for educational purposes only. Information presented here does not constitute legal, financial, or other advice. Consult with appropriate professionals before preparing and filing any documents.

Stormwater pollution prevention is essential for companies to consider as they develop plans to control water waste. If they do not have a proper stormwater prevention plan, they risk facing fines and penalties from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Companies often scramble to update their stormwater pollution prevention plans in light of HHS and federal goals.

Despite the efforts, many still make common when creating their plans. By following a few tips, companies can create effective stormwater pollution prevention plans that protect their revenues and the environment.

1. Not Considering The Entire Stormwater Management Process

A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) is critical to any effective stormwater management program. However, many companies make one of the top mistakes when creating their SWPPPs - they do not consider the entire stormwater management process.

Some key points to keep in mind when developing an SWPPP:
  • Stormwater runoff from building roofs and parking lots can contain large amounts of pollutants that can end up in local waterways. Properly managing these pollutants can reduce the amount of pollution in waterways. 
  • Also necessary is implementing best practices for controlling erosion and reducing the amount of sediment in waterways. 
  • Proper maintenance of storm drains and street drainage systems play a crucial role in controlling stormwater pollution.

2. Not Including Public Involvement In The Plan-Making Process

Public involvement is one of the key steps in creating a successful stormwater pollution prevention plan. However, many organizations make the mistake of excluding public involvement from their planning process. This can result in ineffective policies that do not consider the different perspectives and needs of local citizens and businesses. Including public participation early in the planning process can help ensure that everyone affected by the plan understands its goals and objectives, and can provide feedback to help improve it.

3. Not Taking Into Account The Potential Impact Of Climate Change On Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and other impervious surfaces is one of the top sources of pollution in the waterways. According to the EPA, it's responsible for about a third of all U.S. water pollution. And climate change is making that problem worse.

As the Earth's temperature rises, rain becomes more intense and frequent, meaning that stormwater runoff containing both contaminants and water will run faster off impervious surfaces and deposit more pollutants into our rivers and streams. This is especially true in areas that have been dry for a long time or have never had much rain at all.

Even if your company already has a stormwater pollution prevention plan, now might be a good time to start thinking about how climate change could impact your operation. Your plan might need an upgrade.


Too often, organizations neglect to create a proper stormwater pollution prevention plan. However, SWPPPs are one of the most helpful tools to prevent environmental disasters.

It is recommended that companies create a pollution prevention plan that is not only specific to their needs but the environment as a whole. Companies should welcome public involvement and feedback. Pollution prevention plans should be updated regularly, and employees should be trained on how to comply with them. Companies should cooperate with local governments to develop regulations supporting stormwater pollution prevention.


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