Stormwater industry update

July 2009 » Departments » COMMENT
Shanon Fauerbach, P.E.

Of the $3.86 billion provided for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, three states will receive the most investment at the levels indicated: New York, $431.6 million; California, $279.6 million; and Ohio, $220.1 million. Ten states, including Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming, will receive the minimal investment of $19.2 million.

Some of this money, and other monies already targeted for stormwater management, will continue to fund projects we all can agree are of great importance for our nation’s environmental health. Knowing the pressing need for education and communication among professionals about this topic, this issue of CE News contains the second segment in a three-part series on stormwater management. This month we provide expert commentary on stormwater initiatives related to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program.

John Kosco, P.E., CPESC, a principal engineer with Tetra Tech, Inc., discusses the challenge of setting post-construction design standards and industry trends; the report begins on page 19. He wrote, “Stormwater management is moving toward the use of controls that minimize runoff (through reduced impervious surfaces) and infiltrate runoff from small storms onsite using distributed practices.” Learn about the complexities facing the industry in this thought-provoking article.

Donald W. Richardson, C.P.G., R.B.P., and Daniel L. Harpstead, P.E., explore two seemingly parallel objectives — to redevelop brownfields safely and manage stormwater with modern, sustainable approaches — and discuss the need for aligning strategies to accomplish both goals on brownfields sites. The authors explain that there is need for “a balanced solution to brownfield redevelopment that takes into account LEED criteria and stormwater regulations often requir[ing] the engineering teams to think outside the box.” Harpstead’s firm, Kleinfelder, fulfilled this objective on a hazardous wasteland in Yuma, Ariz. The 24-acre recreational site had lead concentrations exceeding non-residential soil lead limits by 45 percent. Kleinfelder engineers borrowed from road construction technologies used by the Arizona Department of Transportation to design a chipseal cap to cover lead-impacted soils. By using this design, the team avoided taking the contaminated soil offsite to landfills, which would release gases into the air, and allowed for the reuse of the land. More information about the project is available at www.kleinfelder.com/index.php/news-room/news-releases/329-kleinfelder-project-strives-for-greener-brownfields

The third feature, by Shirley D. Morrow, CPESC, CISEC, reviews commonly missing elements of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans. Five of 10 missing elements are described on page 28, and details about another five are provided in the online version of the article. The following additional elements are addressed online: spills of petroleum or hazardous materials at or above reportable quantities, logical sequence of construction, limits of disturbance, discharge points, and perimeter controls.

Even experienced engineers working in stormwater management everyday need to keep up with the critical topics of the day, as well as refresh some of the basic knowledge and skills to stay sharp for clients. I hope this series of articles helps.

Shanon Fauerbach, P.E., sfauerbach@stagnitomedia.com


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