What is the CSEP?

The Colorado Stormwater Excellence Program (CSEP) is the first regulatory agency recognized, industry self-policing stormwater compliance management program in the nation.

The CSEP methodology includes all of the fundamental aspects of a full ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) but is streamlined and standardized for stormwater construction general permit management. SRM calls this EMS-based program methodology the Uniform Stormwater Management System (USMS).

Compared to a full ISO 14001 EMS, our USMS is much easier for construction companies to implement and to sustain long-term. Voluntary industry participation, industry self-policing and the need for very minimal regulatory oversight make the CSEP a truly unique program.

CSEP Participant Benefits

  • Dramatically improved compliance proficiency
  • Monthly project compliance assistance by SRM
  • USMS Basic and Advanced Stormwater Certification Classroom Training
  • Regular Division compliance assistance and upon participant request
  • Confidential monthly compliance performance measurement for participants
  • EPA agrees to defer to Division for formal enforcement on CSEP participants
  • Dramatically lower risk of formal Division enforcement actions and associated penalties
  • 24 hour grace period to correct serious deficiencies before formal enforcement
  • Reduced MS4 inspection frequency
  • Division and industry recognition of participant efforts
  • Lower compliance costs on every project


Interested in the benefits of the CSEP? Contact SRM

CSEP Principles

Corporate Commitment

Pollution Prevention &
Compliance Assurance

Measurable Results & Continuous

Accountability Structures

Enabling Systems


In March of 2005, SRM was commissioned by the Colorado Water Quality Control Division (Division) to design and implement the CSEP to serve as a compliance assistance program for the State’s construction industry.

The CSEP began as a four-month pilot program with five of Colorado’s prominent builders and developers and ended in July 2005, returning very promising compliance improvement results for all participants. The Division extended the pilot program for a second, longer stage in order to integrate additional program improvements, broaden participation and to prove program results could be sustained over a prolonged period.

Upon once again producing great results, the CSEP was extended indefinitely by the Division but lacked adequate funding by the State Legislature for the Division to fully support. In 2010, SRM, with the help of AGC Colorado, the Division, and a number of State Legislator Sponsors, introduced a Bill to officially recognize the CSEP and provide the Division needed funding.

In May 2011, HB11-1026 passed the Colorado Legislature nearly unanimously and was signed into law by the Governor. Since then, CSEP participation has grown to include companies from small, local-based companies to large nationally-based building and development organizations.

CSEP Methodology

Use of the USMS methodology is a CSEP prerequisite for participants. The USMS is proven to yield full minimum permit compliance when implemented by participants, it is relatively simple and cost-effective for any organization to implement and reduces the burden of individual compliance program development on participants.

How the CSEP works

The CSEP Advisory Board, which includes Division representation, is the governing body of the CSEP and approves all policies and procedures including minimum performance levels for participants. The non-profit AGC Colorado Chapter is the official CSEP Administrator and is responsible to assure the CSEP conforms to all HB11-1026 requirements.

Participants agree to implement the USMS on all construction projects in the State that require a Stormwater Construction General Permit.  Participants must also agree, among other things, to acquire the monthly oversight and assistance inspections performed by SRM. SRM is authorized by the CSEP Advisory Board to offer compliance assistance, monthly compliance audits and to measure and document participant performance.

The Division directly oversees SRM’s performance to assure thorough, unbiased oversight inspections are being conducted and reported accurately to the CESP database. The Division also offers participants permit compliance assistance through the funding provided in the legislation. Each stakeholder, including three participant representatives, holds a voting position on the CSEP Advisory Board to assure equal and fair representation.

Want to know more about the CSEP?

Read the CDPHE Water Quality Control Division’s CSEP brochure.

Find detailed information on the CSEP website.

If your company is interested in the benefits of participating in the CSEP, contact us.