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Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP)

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The North Fork of Chester Creek receives the stormwater runoff from Merrill Field. This community asset is home to fish, wildlife and recreational opportunities for Anchorage residents and visitors. Merrill Field must comply with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater program that regulates discharges into this stream to protect it.

Merrill Field provides runway, taxiway, and apron services for fixed based operators and other private, commercial and general aviation activities. Stormwater discharges at Merrill Field come from industrial activities that include:

  • Vehicle and equipment maintenance and storage
  • Material storage
  • Airplane washing
  • Runway snow removal
  • Pavement deicing
  • Pavement painting and maintenance
  • Waste handling
  • Snow collection and storage

All the information you need to know to keep Merrill Field in compliance with local, state, and federal laws is available on this site.


Why is stormwater a concern?
Stormwater runoff is rain water and snow melt that runs off the land and makes its way to wetlands and streams.  Stormwater is not treated before it reaches these outfalls.  If care is not taken, stormwater runoff can also contain toxic chemicals, oil and grease, and other contaminants that are a major source of water pollution and can pose a serious threat to public health and the environment. To protect our water resources, Merrill Field Airport is required to maintain a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

What can Merrill Field Airport users can do to help prevent stormwater pollution? Merrill Field users are partners in our efforts to protect the environment. We urge each of you to do the following to keep area streams clean and healthy:

  • Practice Good Housekeeping
  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs) when washing and fueling your aircraft
  • Perform aircraft maintenance only in the Maintenance Building
  • Immediately report all spills and leaks and familiarize yourself with what to do in the event of a spill
  • Get a spill response kit
  • Train your employees on the importance of preventing stormwater pollution and the associated practices and procedures
  • Attend seminars offered by Merrill Field Airport to raise your awareness and to learn your responsibilities.

What should I do if I have a spill? Immediately report all spills to Merrill Field Maintenance at 907-343-6303. Read More

Why phosphate-free detergents?  Phosphorus, generally in the form of phosphates, has historically been one of the main ingredients in detergents to improve the detergent’s cleaning efficiency, especially in hard water areas. Their strong cleaning performance, however, has been overshadowed by their harmful effects on rivers, lakes, streams, and other fresh waters.  While an important plant nutrient, higher than normal phosphate levels can destroy the health of the water body as they allow algae in the water to grow faster than normal, turning clear streams green and cloudy. (Excerpt from:


Good Housekeeping
Spill Response Kit

Fueling - TOP

Download Fueling Brochure - 840 kb pdf

Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for fueling are crucial for preventing fuel and oil spills from entering the stormwater system at Merrill Field airport.
There are three categories of BMPs important to fueling:

  • Good Housekeeping
  • Prevention
  • Spill Response

Use the following Good Housekeeping practices:

  • Do not clean fueling areas with running water.
  • Wash water picks up fuel, oil, and grease that pollute the stormwater system. Use dry methods instead of water. Wipe down the pumps, mop, or vacuum sweep the pavement.
  • All fueling operations must be in accordance with AMC Title 11, Chapter 11.60, Municipal Airports.
  • See AMC 11.60.190

Take the following Prevention precautions:

  • Equip fuel tanks with overflow protection and/or automatic shut off devices.
  • Have spill containment equipment with portable fuel trailers at all times.
  • Train fueling employees to pay attention at all times during fueling.
  • Avoid filling tanks 100%. Leave headspace for thermal expansion.

If a Spill occurs:

  • Call 911 for emergency spill assistance.
  • Report all spills to Merrill Field Maintenance at 907-343-6303. Spilled material must be removed in accordance with AMC 11.60.280. Failure to clean up a spill propertly will results in a $300 fee in accordance with AMC 14.60.

Good Housekeeping - TOP

Download Housekeeping Brochure - 815 kb pdf

By practicing basic good housekeeping measures, the chance of pollutants getting into the storm drains, and eventually the streams and wetlands of Anchorage, is greatly reduced.  Merrill Field management is doing its part, but we need all of the airport users to do their part as well.

To help prevent storm water pollution, please take care to:

  • Store portable fuel trailers in an area that limits leaks or spills and equip the tanks with overflow protection or shutoff valves.
  • Keep spill containment equipment with portable fuel trailers at all times
  • Keep a spill response kit at the fueling area at all times.
  • Use drip pads under leaking equipment.
  • Dispose of dirty rags, oily towels, batteries, and used parts in accordance with AMC 11.60.290.  Do not use the dumpsters for anything but trash.
  • Do not dispose of oil in the waste cans labeled “No Oil” (see AMC 11.60.290). Failure to properly dispose of waste will result in a $300 fine (see AMC 14.60).
  • Ensure that all materials, products, oil, and hazardous materials are properly labeled, closed, and covered. Materials should also be placed in a controlled area with secondary containment.
  • Wash your aircraft only at an approved washing station.

As part of its commitment to prevent stormwater pollution, airport personnel will perform regular drive-by inspections of the airport area and note any practices that may compromise storm water runoff.

Washing - TOP

Download Washing Brochure - 648 kb pdf

Merrill Field is regulated by law that prohibits washing of planes where washwater directly discharges into storm drains. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines washwater as an industrial discharge that must be treated or discharged into the sanitary system and not into storm drains.

Merrill Field has a washing facility for tenant use that is connected to the sanitary system. When using this facility tenants must follow these major guidelines meant to ease the work of the sanitary treatment system (see AMC 11.60.340).

  • No dumping of used oil or grease at the washing facility.
  • Wash the surface of the facility after use.

This washes detergents, oil, grease, etc., into the sanitary system and cleans the surface so stormwater does not pick it up later.

  • Use environmentally friendly (biodegradable) products whenever practical.

Phosphate-free detergents are easier for the system to break down.
Provide MSDS information readily available for products used in washing.

Spill Response Kit - TOP

Download Spill Kit Brochure -  717 kb pdf

Spill response kits contain the necessary tools and equipment to immediately respond to spills   Keep the kit near the fueling area at all times. By treating the spill immediately, the potential for the hazardous material entering the stormwater system is greatly reduced.

Put together your spill response kit and make sure it is stored in a convenient location for quick access.  Be familiar with what is in the kit and use it in the event of any kind of spill. 

Spill Response Kit Contents

  • Absorbent Pads (Oil, Gas & Diesel)
  • Universal Absorbent Pads (Antifreeze & Non-Hazardous Materials)
  • Oil Absorbent Pillows
  • Absorbent Socks (Oil, Gas & Diesel)
  • Hazmat Disposal Bags (trash bags)
  • Pair of Goggles
  • Pair of Nitrile Gloves
  • Spill Instruction Sheet
  • Laminated List of Contents

Other spill equipment may be added to the kit as desired/required. 
The spill response kit needs to be housed within a Rubbermaid Action Packer®, drum, or bucket with a lid. The container needs to be clearly marked and easily transported.

Immediately report all spills

Immediately report all spills to Merrill Field Maintenance at 907-343-6303. Spilled material must be removed in accordance with AMC 11.60.280. Failure to properly clean up a spill will results in a $300 fine (see AMC 14.60).

Call 911 for emergency spill assistance.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) in accordance with AS 46.03.755 and 18 AAC 75 Article 3 requires reporting of any release of a hazardous substance as soon as the person has knowledge of the discharge.

Merrill Field will report oil discharges to ADEC according to the following:

  • Spills of quantities from 1 to 10 gallons are reported monthly.
  • Spills in excess of 10 gallons but less than 55 gallon must be reported within 48 hours.
  • Spills in excess of 55 gallons must be reported immediately.


Download SWPPP Document - 722 kb pdf
Download SWPPP Document Map - 885 kb pdf


Individual leaseholders at Merrill Field are required to complete a SWPPP for their individual leased area and have it on site.  It isn’t hard to do!  You do not need to file a “Notice of Intent” with DEC.  Just complete your plan and keep it on site.  Click here (pdf) for a step by step guide on how to complete your SWPPP.  The instructions reference several appendices that can be found here:


State and Federal Compliance Agencies:


Responsibilities Staff
Oversight of the Stormwater Pollution
Prevention Program (SWPPP)
Paul Bowers
Airport Manager
Telephone: 907-343-6301

SWPPP inspections, reviews, updates, modifications and implementation; site evaluations, employee training coordination and recordkeeping Alex Jumao-as
Airport Assistant Manager
Telephone: 907-343-6311

SWPPP development, housekeeping, inspections, and preventative maintenance. Oversees spill prevention and response, control of non-stormwater discharge, sediment, and erosion control. Terry Brady
Maintenance Coordinator
Telephone: 907-343-6303

Primary contact for spill and leak response. Jim Vignola
Hazmat Coordinator
Anchorage Fire Department
Telephone: 907-267-5052

Responsible for completing quarterly, routine, and comprehensive inspections. Develops all inspection reports and ensures they are submitted to Merrill Field and filed in the Master SWPPP. Conducts and coordinates annual inspections and comprehensive site compliance evaluations. Responsible for annual leaseholder training program.

Robin Reich
Solstice Alaska Consulting, Inc.
Telephone: 907-929-5960


Message from the Manager:

Welcome to a new web site to supplement the information you find on the Municipal web site about Merrill Field. The purpose of this site is to provide information, guidance and tips to enable full compliance with our Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). On this site you will find basic information about the SWPPP, Frequently Asked Questions, who gets the call in the event of a spill and lots more. We will let you know when the site is updated.

Paul Bowers, Merrill Field Manager

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Click on the following button to report any fuel spill to assist Merrill Field in their compliance efforts.

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