As a contractor, site supervisor, owner or operator of a site, you may be held responsible for the environmental damage caused by your subcontractors or employees. If your site is greater than one acre, you will be required to secure a Stormwater NPDES Permit addressing water quality issues related to storm run-off and a Dust Control Permit with the Washoe County District Health Department Air Quality Management Division. However, even if your project is less than one acre, you are required by local agencies to install and maintain proper Best Management Practices (BMPs) to prevent runoff from leaving your site.
The Truckee Meadows Construction Site Best Management Practices (BMP) Handbook is a resource designed to assist the community in compliance with this program.
For further guidance about BMPs on Construction Sites, please contact the Bureau of Water Pollution Control, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection at 775-687-9418.
Sediment is the most common pollutant washed from construction work sites, creating multiple problems once it enters the storm drain system. Sediment deposited in the storm drain system increases the risk of flooding by clogging gutters and catch basins. Sediment also carries with it other work site pollutants such as pesticides, cleaning solvents, cement wash, asphalt and car fluids like motor oil, grease and fuel. Thus, poorly maintained vehicles and heavy equipment leaking fuel and oil on construction sites also contribute to water pollution.
- The Nevada Materials Exchange is a free service designed to help organizations find markets for materials they have traditionally discarded.
- Keep pollutants off exposed surfaces. Place trash cans and recycling receptacles around the site.
- Cover and maintain dumpsters. Check frequently for leaks. Place dumpsters under a roof or cover with tarps or plastic sheeting.
- Never clean a dumpster by hosing it down on-site!
- Keep materials out of the rain. Cover exposed piles of soil or construction materials with plastic sheeting or temporary roofs.
- Designate one area for auto parking, vehicle refueling and routine equipment maintenance. The designated area should be well away from gutters or storm drains. Make all major repairs off-site.
- Make sure portable toilets are in good working order. Check frequently for leaks.
Use as little water as possible for dust control.
- Clean up leaks, drips and other spills immediately. This will prevent contaminated soil or residue on paved surfaces.
- Never hose down "dirty" pavement or surfaces where materials have spilled.
- Use dry cleanup methods whenever possible.
- Report significant oil or fuel spills to the appropriate spill response agencies immediately. Use the telephone numbers provided here to report significant spills, illegal dumping, or clogged catch basins.
Advanced Planning to Prevent Pollution
- An erosion control program, worked out before construction begins, prevents or minimizes most erosion and sedimentation problems.
- Train your employees and subcontractors. Inform subcontractors about requirements and their own responsibilities.
- Schedule excavation and grading activities for dry weather periods.
- Control surface runoff to reduce erosion, especially during excavation.
- Use drainage ditches to divert water flow.
- Use gravel approaches to reduce soil compaction and limit the tracking of sediments into streets, where truck traffic is frequent.
- Prevent erosion by planting fast-growing annual and perennial grasses. These will shield and bind the soil.
- Do not remove trees or shrubs unnecessarily. They help decrease erosion.
Handling Materials & Wastes
- Practice Source Reduction - minimize waste when ordering materials. Order only the amounts needed to complete the job. Use recycled and recyclable materials whenever possible. For more information, call the Recycling Hotline at 800-597-5865 or visit the Bureau of Waste Management website.
- Never bury waste materials or leave them in the street.
- Dispose of all waste properly. Many construction materials, including solvents, water-based paints, vehicle fluids, broken asphalt and concrete, wood, and cleared vegetation can be recycled.
- Non-recyclable materials must be taken to an appropriate landfill or disposed of as hazardous waste. For disposal instructions, call the Nevada Small Business Development Center, Business Environmental Program at 1-800-882-3233.