What are BMPs

What are BMP Certificates and how do I get one?

To protect Lake Tahoe for future generations, all developed parcels must meet TRPA’s Best Management Practices (BMPs) requirements.


Pollutants in stormwater runoff from urban areas threatens Lake Tahoe’s clarity. BMPs mitigate the impacts of development by capturing stormwater generated by impervious surfaces, treating it for pollutants and mimicking pre-development conditions by infiltrating it into the ground. BMPs also stabilize soil so it can't migrate off-site and reach the Lake and are consistent with fire defensible space requirements. 


Properties in compliance receive a BMP Certificate of Completion, which remains active as long as BMPs are maintained and functioning properly. In some cases, presence of high seasonal ground water, shallow bedrock, slow infiltrating soils, location of utilities, or other site characteristics limit the ability to infiltrate the 20-year, one-hour storm event on site. Under these circumstances, property owners must implement sediment source control BMPs to come in substantial compliance with TRPA requirements and receive a BMP Source Control Certificate, until such time that they can participate in an area-wide water quality treatment project. TRPA tracks compliance with BMP requirements through the BMP Database and the LT Info parcel tracker where one can determine a property’s current BMP status and print a copy of the BMP Certificate.


BMP Retrofit Process

If your property does not have a BMP Certificate, there are three easy steps to bring a property into compliance:


Step 1: Free BMP plan or permit

Projects disturbing less than 7 cubic yards of soil to implement BMPs can submit a small BMP retrofit plan electronically for approval. Single family residential properties typically require a small BMP retrofit plan to install BMPs.


Projects disturbing more than 7 cubic yards of soil to implement BMPs, paving more than 400 square feet for the first time, or in need of engineered plans, submit a BMP Retrofit Permit. Most commercial and multi-family properties require a BMP Retrofit Permit to install BMPs.


See BMP Installation Service Providers List for engineers who have attended the BMP Contractors Workshop.

Step 2: BMP Implementation

Once your property has a BMP evaluation or a BMP Retrofit Permit, install the BMPs yourself or hire a qualified contractor to do the work.


BMP Installation Guidance and Resources

Step 3: BMP Final Inspection

Once BMPs prescribed in the small BMP Retrofit Plan or BMP Retrofit Permit are installed contact TRPA for a final inspection. If BMPs are installed as part of a development permit, contact TRPA or the local jurisdiction who issued the permit to schedule a final inspection. When the property passes a final inspection, TRPA will issue a BMP Certificate. Properties with certificates remain compliant as long as BMPs are maintained and functioning.


For more information call the BMP hotline at (775) 589-5202