Did you know the #1 pollutant to the streams and surface waters in North Carolina and across the entire US is SEDIMENT? It’s true. That’s why NC and other states mandate sediment and erosion control inspections at construction sites on a weekly and sometimes more frequent basis. In addition, stormwater outfalls—those locations on construction sites where water is allowed to run off the construction area and also stormwater discharge locations on permitted sites after construction is done—have to be periodically inspected for visual (and sometimes chemical) discharges of pollutants. Inspections aren’t for the file—they should be used proactively to evaluate better field practices to avoid, reduce, or eliminate sedimentation and other pollutant discharges. If your site contractors or managers aren’t reviewing these inspections on a regular basis, needs for repairs or other noted suggestions for improvements can show up on the inspection reports repeatedly. This is easy fodder for regulatory agencies to pick apart and use as a basis for new and ongoing violations.
USE YOUR INSPECTIONS WISELY.
Require your inspectors to ADVISE—not just fill out a form and report it to you. And hold their feet to the fire—if you get NOVs, or your construction contractor claims they are not getting advisory assistance from the inspector, CHANGE INSPECTORS! One last thing—NEVER have your construction contractor provide self-inspections (or through a sub-contractor they hire) without a clause in their contract that they repair any NOVs on their own dime. Otherwise, you control the process (and costs of NOVs) by hiring your own inspector (should cost less than $200 a week during construction), deduct the cost from the construction contractor’s price, and require them both to coordinate and show proactive compliance progress throughout your construction project.
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