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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 10:25 AM

Compliance Program

cloudsThe Stormwater Compliance Program was developed to ensure that Caltrans construction and maintenance activities comply with pollution control requirements. Stormwater runoff from Caltrans facilities is regulated by permits issued under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and California's Porter-Cologne Act.

Rough-graded slope stabilized with temporary paper fiber mulch.This compliance program - as an integral part of Caltrans overall Stormwater Management Program - provides monitoring and feedback during day-to-day operations so that water quality is protected.

Stormwater runoff can contain pollutants that get washed through the storm drain system into our waterways. As the agency responsible for managing California's highway system, Caltrans performs many necessary activities - Maintenance crew cleaning up after reparing pavement.from highway and bridge construction to maintaining roadways. These operations require measures for preventing potential pollutants from entering waterways and degrading water quality. The Stormwater Compliance Program verifies that these measures are implemented and puts Caltrans on the cutting edge of stormwater pollution prevention.

How compliance is achieved…

To ensure that all projects and operations remain in compliance with stormwater regulations, these procedures are now an integral part of the Caltrans Stormwater Compliance Program:

  • Site inspections and reviews are conducted for construction projects, maintenance stations, and maintenance activities
  • On-the-job training is provided for field personnel to use appropriate and effective Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Written reports are prepared to document the level of compliance, identify corrective actions, and note progress
  • Information is disseminated via group presentations and monthly bulletins to share valuable ideas and solutions to common challenges
  • Information about the compliance program in action is gathered to identify improvements and provide feedback for the overall Stormwater Management Program

The self-monitoring component of Caltrans stormwater pollution prevention activities – a process of continuous improvement...

A typical construction site review … The key to success is follow-up. Here, a Caltrans compliance inspector points out potential problems areas.

  • Stormwater plan is reviewed for required documentation
  • Construction site is reviewed to verify that appropriate BMPs are used and maintained
  • Inspection report is discussed with field personnel
  • Management is informed of any major deficiencies
  • Follow-up visits are scheduled to confirm the correction of deficiencies

Construction reviews

Earthwork operations are a major part of constructing highways.Construction sites can be a significant source of pollution to adjacent waterways, if not properly managed. Sediment and other pollutants can come into contact with stormwater runoff from the construction site.

Hundreds of construction projects have been reviewed for compliance with stormwater regulations. Different types of Best Management Practices (BMPs) are used for soil stabilization and sediment control depending on the project location and season. Other practices are also used relating to materials storage, waste disposal, and equipment fueling and maintenance.

Maintenance Reviews

Some Best Management Practices used for maintenance stations:

  • Spill prevention, control, and cleanup
  • Proper handling and storage of materials
  • Proper waste disposal and handling

compliance team inspecting maintenance facilityAll of Caltrans maintenance stations have been reviewed for compliance with stormwater requirements. Actions have been identified that are needed to improve compliance. Follow-up reviews are done to assist maintenance personnel with solutions for site-specific problems.

A Facility Pollution Prevention Plan (FPPP) prepared for each station serves as a planning, evaluation, and reporting tool to meet the guidelines of the Caltrans Stormwater Management Plan.

Caltrans is also reviewing maintenance field activities so that appropriate practices are implemented.


Division of Environmental Analysis, Stormwater Unit
California Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 942874, MS-27
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001
Email: Division of Environmental Analysis, Stormwater Unit