EPA Announces Several New Resources for Stormwater Professionals
No environmental program affects construction more broadly than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stormwater regulations. Noncompliance with stormwater rules is one of EPA’s top concerns with the construction industry. Following is a look at some new EPA resources for professionals responsible for managing stormwater runoff.
Urban BMP Performance Tool — EPA has created a new Web-based tool to link stormwater professionals to approximately 220 studies that evaluate the performance of more than 275 stormwater best management practices (BMPs). The studies cover a variety of traditional and low impact BMPs, including retention and detention ponds, biofilters, grassed filter strips, porous pavement, wetlands, and others. EPA’s Urban BMP Performance Tool also showcases a series of essays on the basics of BMP performance and the importance of volume reduction/infiltration in these assessments. EPA plans to add more studies to this tool in 2008 that focus on low impact development or green infrastructure BMPs. The Urban BMP Performance Tool is online at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/urbanbmptool.
Stormwater Webcast Series — EPA’s stormwater “Webcast” series (designed for permit writers, stormwater dischargers, EPA officials, and other stakeholders) will resume on February 6, 2008. This year will feature five webcasts on a variety of topics, including BMP Performance, Stormwater Retrofits, Finding and Fixing Illicit Discharges, and MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system) Program Performance. EPA also plans to offer a Stormwater 101 Course this summer. To see the new schedule (and to access recordings of EPA’s past Webcasts), visit EPA’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/training.
Report on the Costs, Benefits of Using Low Impact Development — EPA recently released a new report focused on using “low impact development” (LID) strategies and practices to reduce runoff and pollutant discharges from construction sites. The report contains 17 case studies from across the country to illustrate the economic viability of LID practices. According to EPA, implementing well-chosen LID practices on construction sites can lower project costs and improve environmental results - when compared to traditional stormwater management approaches. The report highlights examples that, in most cases, reduce project costs while improving environmental performance. Total capital savings ranged from 15 to 80 percent, with a few exceptions. To access this new report, visit EPA’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/lid/costs07.
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