You already have a lot to consider when starting a new construction project: building plans, approvals and permits, finding contractors and sourcing materials. But you also need to make sure your site stays compliant with state-mandated stormwater regulations. 

The California Water Board is strict about regulating storm water runoff. They require annual reports to make sure construction sites are keeping harmful pollutants, fertilizers, debris and other materials from draining into the rivers, lakes and ocean.

Here are some commonly-asked questions when it comes to state-mandated compliance reporting:

Who is required to file an annual report?

The legally responsible party (LRP) is responsible for filing the report to the California Water Board if the project will disturb more than one acre. The LRP is typically the owner of the property, building firm, or property management firm.

What type of information must be included in these reports?

In order to start a new construction project, the LRP must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI). 

Included in the annual reports are weekly inspections, quarterly inspections, water samples for risk levels 2 and 3, and rain event action plans (REAPs) for risk levels 2 and 3. A project’s risk level is calculated in two parts: (1) Project Sediment Risk, and (2) Receiving Water Risk. Read more about determining risk level here.

When the project is finished, the LRP must submit a Notice of Termination (NOT).

Where are these reports submitted?

These reports are submitted through the Storm Water Multiple Application and Report Tracking System (SMARTS).

How often are these reports submitted?

Annual reports are due to the State Water Board on September 1 of each year with a July 1 through June 30 compliance year. SWIMS is available to help prepare these reports.  

What are the penalties for an incomplete report?

The penalties for negligence or discrepancy on a storm water system compliance report vary depending on the violation. It can range from $1,000 to tens of thousands of dollars.

The California Water Board can also visit your site to look for deficiencies in your storm water devices, and can issue fines if something is out of compliance.

As a project manager, you have a lot on your plate already. The experienced team at SWIMS will make sure your construction site is compliant, and will keep you away from distracting citations or expensive fines. Click here to schedule a consultation or free inspection.

For more information regarding annual reports, visit the California Water Board’s FAQ page here.