Stormwater Regulatory Update: March 2010

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  • 3 things in 10 minutes: 1- changes to state SW rules for next spring 2- SW Utility District Tips 2- the answer to why stormwater vexes you
  • You’ve heard about MassDEP’s recharge work You’ve heard about Federal, Sate and Local stormwater rules Third part of my presentation: your expectations
  • This is what many of us assume a “real” stormwater program would be
  • This is how stormwater has been described to me quite a few times sicne I started working on Stormwater Environmental activists – who want more protective rules Developers – who want standardization, not different rules in different locations Regulators – who prefer one set of rules
  • Add these up and you get a lot of different ways in which pollution from stormwater is being addressed at federal, state and local levels This is the way it is Accepting Stormwater on stormwater’s terms Because the world is not made up of point sources and point source programs But the question remains: is stormwater doing the job?
  • Today’s Meeting is about Stormwater Basics in Massachusetts Federal State Local
  • Reconvened the Stormwater Advisory Committee Update for Recharge , nor a comprehensive rewrite of the Handbooks Will make corrections Update for recharge based on what we’ve learned in last decade or so Spring publication Recharge Design Subcommittee: More accurate methodology ~ allow more recharge when soils permit Looking at 5 choices of methodologies Dynamic between complexity to mirror conditions and simple for everyday use by various audiences Policy Subcommittee: How to encourage LID How to accommodate specific needs of “ultra-urban” areas BMP Subcommittee: Adequacy of BMPs for WQ and recharge flow Add to guidance additional classers of BMPs Correct Stormwater Advisory Committee will continue its work past the Spring publication deadline
  • Rain Garden Pembroke
  • Bioretention Wilmington
  • Permeable Pavers Hyannis
  • That depend son what job you expect stormwater programs to do Let’s read through these comments together
  • They come from a state which recently revised it stormwater rules It’s interesting to see a state say right our front that its program won’t by itself cure the entire problem Point source programs tend to have that kind of expectation
  • It describes a web of regs and incentives collabortaion of dfederal stete and local levels all occurring over time working synergistically to continually reduce pollution So what state was this from? Maybe the way we do stormwater right now – Einsteinian, relativistically IS the best way to work on stormwater
  • MassDEP’s newly re-organized web site How to get to the stormwater information My e-mail address for info about stormwater updates


  • 1. Stormwater Regulatory Update SuAsCo March 2010
  • 2.  
  • 3. Regulatory Background
    • Federal Regulations
    • State Regulations
    • Local Bylaws
    • Still to come . . .
      • Residual Designation Authority
      • National changes in 2012
  • 4. Stormwater Expectations
    • Why isn’t stormwater control more of a “real” program?
    • Why isn’t there just one stormwater program with one set of rules?
  • 5. “Newtonian” Stormwater
    • “ Precipitation Management”: Controlled from when it hits any terrestrially-related object to ultimate deposition
    • Classic regulation - separate state, federal and local laws and active staffing at all levels
    • Stems from our “Point Source” Model
      • Small number of big pipes
      • Each source regulated through a single permit
      • Environmental staff works at “the source”
      • State and Federal staffing level geared toward regulating 100s of sources
  • 6. “Chaos Theory” of Stormwater
    • Stormwater Programs appear to control intermittently and haphazardly
    • Can’t tell when programs apply and when they don’t
    • Example: “the permit allows me 5 years until I have to do anything”
    • Product of Frustration
    • Tens of thousands of sources
  • 7. “ Einsteinian” Stormwater
    • Not that we’re so smart . . .
    • . . . it depends on what the activity is and where it occurs.
    • It is what it is: different programs that need to be coordinated
      • MS4s – in “thickly settled” areas
      • MSGPs – specific industrial uses
      • Inside wetlands jurisdictional areas
      • Construction sites > 1 acre
      • In Towns with Local bylaws
  • 8. Regulatory Background
    • Federal Regulations
    • State Regulations
    • Local Bylaws
    • Still to come . . .
      • Residual Designation Authority
      • National changes in 2012
  • 9. Key Stormwater Programs – Federal
    • Federal Regulations
      • Multi Sector General Permit (MSGP)
      • Construction General Permit
      • MS4 permit
        • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System
      • All the above require filing of Notices of Intent (NOIs) for permit to discharge
      • Also Individual Permits
  • 10. How To Search for Fed’l NOIs
    • Start at EPA’s web site:
    • Search for “stormwater”
    • My 4 th result was “stormwater program”
    • At that site scroll down to and click on “search, sort and view . . . NOIs” OR
  • 11. Key Stormwater Programs - State
    • Co-permittee with some EPA permits
      • MS4
    • State Clean Water Act applies
    • Wetlands Stormwater Standards
      • Adopted as part of Wetlands regulations
      • Referred to in other permits, e.g. MSGP
      • May be used in future permits and bylaws
  • 12. 2008 Update to the MassDEP Stormwater Handbook
    • Increased recharge
    • More protection at redevelopments
    • Clearer rules about O&M
    • Upgraded BMP information
    • Revised technical calculations
  • 13. Where Is the Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook?
    • Go to
    • In “Quick Links” on the left, highlight “Stormwater” and click “Go”
    • Click on “ Stormwater Permitting as it Pertains to the Wetlands Protection Act ”
    • Click on “Web Page” of “The Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook”
  • 14. MA Stormwater Handbook
    • Volume 1, Chapter 1: The Stormwater Management Standards
    • Volume 1, Chapter 2: Legal Framework for Stormwater Management
    • Volume 2, Chapter 1: The Three Components of Stormwater Management
    • Volume 2, Chapter 2: Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs)
    • Volume 2, Chapter 3: Checklist for Redevelopment Projects
    • Volume 2, Chapter 4: Proprietary Stormwater BMPs
    • Volume 2, Chapter 5: Miscellaneous Stormwater Topics
    • Volume 2 Appendix: Operating and Source Control BMPs
    • Volume 3, Chapter 1: Documenting Compliance 
    • Stormwater Report: Checklist
    • TSS Removal Calculation Worksheet
  • 15. Key Stormwater Actions – Local
    • Conservation Commissions apply State Wetlands Act locally
      • Includes Stormwater Standards
    • MS4 permit requires “locally enforceable mechanisms”
      • For construction, “post-construction” and IDDE
    • Local Initiatives
      • Subdivision and land use rules
      • Stormwater rules
  • 16. Common and Coming Themes
    • TMDLs
      • Specific pollutant - Phosphorus, Bacteria, etc.
      • Impervious Cover
    • Residual Designation Authority
      • Federal requirement for EPA to act upon a non-point source
    • Local Green/Sustainability Initiatives
  • 17.  
  • 18. Common and Coming Themes
    • Keep it On Site
      • Impervious Surface
      • 1” rules?
    • From stormwater piping to distributed systems
      • Site Design
      • Pollution Prevention
      • Low Impact Development
    • Funding: Stormwater Utilities?
  • 19.  
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22. Massachusetts Sensitive Areas
    • Stressed Basins
        • ~40% of state
        • basins with lowest flows in MA
    • Impaired Waters
        • ~ 75% of assessed lakes impaired
        • ~ 70% of assessed rivers impaired
        • in all 27 Massachusetts watersheds
    • Wetlands
    • Water Supply areas
  • 23. Massachusetts Sensitive Areas
  • 24. Is This . . .
    • Stormwater rules do not ensure that all water resources will be protected from the quantity and quality impacts of stormwater pollution
    • But they help - significantly.
  • 25. . . . the way . . .
    • Additional work needs to occur through other programs as well
    • Each of these individual programs slows down degradation of waters and allows more time for other necessary mechanisms to be put in place that are also needed
  • 26. . . . Life should be?
    • Prevention of stormwater pollution is a collaborative effort at the federal, state, and local levels
    • It will take time
    • It depends upon a combination of both regulatory and voluntary measures
  • 27.  
  • 28.  
  • 29. MassDEP Stormwater Info
    • MassDEP web site with Stormwater Information @
    • Scroll down to MassDEP Quick Links
    • Select “Stormwater” and hit “Go”
    • [email_address]