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Improving Water Quality: The Ultimate Outcome of Stormwater Programs Craig Hesterlee, EPA R4 Watershed Management Office South Carolina Watershed Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Water Quality: The Ultimate Outcome of Stormwater Programs Craig Hesterlee, EPA R4 Watershed Management Office South Carolina Watershed Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Water Quality: The Ultimate Outcome of Stormwater Programs Craig Hesterlee, EPA R4 Watershed Management Office South Carolina Watershed Coordinator USC Stormwater Forum 5/08/2007 Columbia, SC

2 earch/impervious/shapes.html

3 Regional Analysis Of Relationship Between Imperviousness and Impairment 42.2% of subwatersheds with impairment can be found in HUCs with >=5 percent total impervious area (TIA), even though those account for only 13.4% of the Region's subwatersheds TIA >= 5% are about 2X as likely to have a Pathogens- or Habitat Alteration-impaired waterbody, and with TIA >=10% are about 2X as likely to have a Sediment-impaired waterbody TIA >= 5% contain 49% of the Pathogens impairments, 38% of the Habitat Alteration impairments, and 32% of the Sediment impairments SC Imperviousness future projections suggest continued and more prevalent rate of degradation Population expected to increase by 1 million (2000 to 2025) 866 additional miles of stream projected to be “threatened” by development in 2025 Source: EPA/600/R-05/061 May2005

4 South Carolina Impervious Cover Projected to 2025 Source: EPA/600/R- 05/061 May2005

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7 Increasing Visibility For Water Quality Concerns

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10 Urban Stormwater Management Strategy: MS4 Outreach EPA Stream Assessment MS4 Phase 2 Urban waters Development Stormwater Management Plan Implementation Tracking Tool Implementation How are these measured? Solution Phase “Data Collection” Results Major restoration implementation mechanisms Major restoration implementation mechanisms Helping MS4s set measurable goals with water quality outcomes Helping MS4s set measurable goals with water quality outcomes Water quality outcomes increase local funding potential Water quality outcomes increase local funding potential Need low-cost technical and regulatory assistance! Need low-cost technical and regulatory assistance!

11 Goals for MS4 Reporting Less Information More Information Program Outcomes TARGET!

12 Implementing TMDLs Through SWMPs TMDLs are “living plans” that require measurable pollutant load reductions to be implemented TMDLs are “living plans” that require measurable pollutant load reductions to be implemented TMDLs must be maintained after the restoration goal is achieved TMDLs must be maintained after the restoration goal is achieved TMDLs should be periodically updated to reflect changing water quality conditions or growth scenarios TMDLs should be periodically updated to reflect changing water quality conditions or growth scenarios TMDL implementation requires MS4s to choose “rational” BMPs that will ultimately mitigate the impact of the MS4 load on ambient water quality TMDL implementation requires MS4s to choose “rational” BMPs that will ultimately mitigate the impact of the MS4 load on ambient water quality

13 MS4s are most likely measuring the implementation of program elements (outputs) rather than impacts (outcomes) “result” MS4s are most likely measuring the implementation of program elements (outputs) rather than impacts (outcomes) “result” Specific Guidance needed for measuring pollutant load reductions Specific Guidance needed for measuring pollutant load reductions Regulators should emphasize program outcomes, not outputs Regulators should emphasize program outcomes, not outputs MS4 communities vulnerable to citizen lawsuits over TMDL implementation MS4 communities vulnerable to citizen lawsuits over TMDL implementation Implementing TMDLs Through SWMPs

14 Evaluating Effectiveness of SWMP’s Current EPA OWM Guidance Current EPA OWM Guidance OWM provided an extensive list of potential reportable MS4 activities (outputs) that imply implementation of minimum control measuresOWM provided an extensive list of potential reportable MS4 activities (outputs) that imply implementation of minimum control measures OWM did not define Maximum Extent Practicable or indicate appropriate minimum levels of effortOWM did not define Maximum Extent Practicable or indicate appropriate minimum levels of effort SWMP’s are currently graded using best professional judgment (BPJ), in lieu of specific guidanceSWMP’s are currently graded using best professional judgment (BPJ), in lieu of specific guidance

15 Evaluating Effectiveness of SWMP’s Post Construction Storm Water Runoff Control in New Development/Redevelopment Post Construction Storm Water Runoff Control in New Development/Redevelopment ALTERNATIVE TURNAROUNDS The reduction in impervious cover. The number of turnarounds modified. Whether or not development codes were changed to allow alternative turnarounds. The reduction in runoff quantity. Changes in the physical characteristics of streams downstream from modified areas. ALTERNATIVE TURNAROUNDS The reduction in impervious cover. The number of turnarounds modified. Whether or not development codes were changed to allow alternative turnarounds. The reduction in runoff quantity. Changes in the physical characteristics of streams downstream from modified areas. ALTERNATIVE PAVERS Whether or not development codes were changed to allow for alternative pavers. The amount of new alternative paver installations added or replaced. The number of new development sites that use alternative pavers. The reduction in runoff quantity. Changes in the physical characteristics of streams downstream from areas with alternative paver installations. ALTERNATIVE PAVERS Whether or not development codes were changed to allow for alternative pavers. The amount of new alternative paver installations added or replaced. The number of new development sites that use alternative pavers. The reduction in runoff quantity. Changes in the physical characteristics of streams downstream from areas with alternative paver installations. ALUM INJECTION Whether or not an inventory of sites where alum injection was used was completed. Changes in water quality. Changes in biological populations. ALUM INJECTION Whether or not an inventory of sites where alum injection was used was completed. Changes in water quality. Changes in biological populations. BIORETENTION The reduction in impervious cover. The reduction in runoff quantity. Changes in runoff water quality (nutrients, sediments, metals, organics, etc.). The number of new bioretention cells installed (both commercial and residential). The number of acres that are drained by bioretention cells. BIORETENTION The reduction in impervious cover. The reduction in runoff quantity. Changes in runoff water quality (nutrients, sediments, metals, organics, etc.). The number of new bioretention cells installed (both commercial and residential). The number of acres that are drained by bioretention cells. BMP INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE The frequency of inspection and maintenance activities. The number of problems that were identified and remedied. The change in the proportion of BMPs that are well-maintained as a result of inspection and maintenance. Whether or not an inventory of BMPs requiring maintenance was completed and is regularly updated. Changes in water quality of effluent from BMPs. BMP INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE The frequency of inspection and maintenance activities. The number of problems that were identified and remedied. The change in the proportion of BMPs that are well-maintained as a result of inspection and maintenance. Whether or not an inventory of BMPs requiring maintenance was completed and is regularly updated. Changes in water quality of effluent from BMPs. BUFFER ZONES Whether or not development codes were changed to require buffer zones. The acreage of land conserved as buffers. The acreage of land converted to buffers. Changes in water quality of runoff leaving buffer areas. Changes in the physical characteristics of streams downstream from areas with buffer zones. The frequency of inspections and maintenance activities in buffer zones. The acreage that drains to buffer zones ……………………………………………………………………………………. BUFFER ZONES Whether or not development codes were changed to require buffer zones. The acreage of land conserved as buffers. The acreage of land converted to buffers. Changes in water quality of runoff leaving buffer areas. Changes in the physical characteristics of streams downstream from areas with buffer zones. The frequency of inspections and maintenance activities in buffer zones. The acreage that drains to buffer zones ……………………………………………………………………………………. Example EPA-OWM Guidance

16 Evaluating Effectiveness of SWMP’s Obstacles to Effective SWMPs Obstacles to Effective SWMPs Difficult for stormwater managers to articulate funding needs due to lack of specificity regarding appropriate levels of effortDifficult for stormwater managers to articulate funding needs due to lack of specificity regarding appropriate levels of effort Some TMDLs may require load reductions that are technically and/or economically unachievable?Some TMDLs may require load reductions that are technically and/or economically unachievable? A regulatory emphasis is required to increase the outcomes over outputs awarenessA regulatory emphasis is required to increase the outcomes over outputs awareness

17 Obstacles to Urban Stream Restoration TMDL implementation feasibility typically unknown TMDL implementation feasibility typically unknown Specific pollution sources uncharacterizedSpecific pollution sources uncharacterized Cheap, fast screening tools often inadequateCheap, fast screening tools often inadequate Public often uninformed, not involvedPublic often uninformed, not involved Land-use changing faster than assessment methodologies can detect and respondLand-use changing faster than assessment methodologies can detect and respond Environmental budgets depleted, public resources scarceEnvironmental budgets depleted, public resources scarce Costs of restoration versus protection often undefinedCosts of restoration versus protection often undefined Urban stormwater permit implementation – difficult to articulate true requirementsUrban stormwater permit implementation – difficult to articulate true requirements

18 Summary: An EPA Watershed Coordinator's Perspective On Restoration Research Priorities Low-cost technical and financing assistance for urban stormwater Low-cost technical and financing assistance for urban stormwater Models and tools to anticipate water quality degradation trends, both current and predictive Models and tools to anticipate water quality degradation trends, both current and predictive Models and tools to associate restoration costs to development patterns (SMART Growth now or retrofit later) Models and tools to associate restoration costs to development patterns (SMART Growth now or retrofit later) Research to guide sound water quality trading concepts Research to guide sound water quality trading concepts Find new mechanisms to collaborate with USDA Find new mechanisms to collaborate with USDA

19 Summary: An EPA Watershed Coordinator's Perspective On Restoration Research Priorities Improved outreach and coordination with land-use planners and decision-makers Improved outreach and coordination with land-use planners and decision-makers Economic incentives for LID and Smart GrowthEconomic incentives for LID and Smart Growth Green Sustainable InfrastructureGreen Sustainable Infrastructure Emphasis on educating citizenry with measurable behavior changes Emphasis on educating citizenry with measurable behavior changes Mechanisms to ensure that restoration projects are sustainable, maintainable Mechanisms to ensure that restoration projects are sustainable, maintainable Others? Of course there are. Help us prioritize! Others? Of course there are. Help us prioritize!

20 EPA/ SCDHEC/ SCASM Partnership SCASM at the table to help define appropriate levels of effort for implementing minimum control measures and implementing TMDLs! SCASM at the table to help define appropriate levels of effort for implementing minimum control measures and implementing TMDLs! Not meant to be prescriptive, but a good starting point Not meant to be prescriptive, but a good starting point

21 Emerging Tools and Approaches to Achieve MS4 TMDL Implementation and Urban Watershed Restoration

22 What is Automated Feature Extraction? Digital Image Classification & Analysis to Detect Features Based on – Pattern Recognition Spectral Content Spatial Context Texture Forest Biomass Urban Forestry Fire Risk Source:

23 Applications Using High-Resolution Urban Land Cover Mapping Stormwater City Forestry / CITYgreen Water Conservation City & Environmental Planning Water Quality / Erosion Control City Parks & Recreation Source:

24 Impervious SurfacesParcel Analysis Source:

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26 Tree CanopyParcel Analysis Source:

27 Emerging Technology: Calculating Benefits of Tree Cover Source:

28 Reports Acreage & Percentage of all Land Cover Types Urban Forest Assessment, Middleton, Wisconsin CITYgreen Initial Report – Land Cover Class by Acres

29 Source: American Forests Average Rainfall Event Curve Numbers Additional Runoff from Curve Number Change Construction Cost to Build Retention Facility Total Savings Provided by Trees Stormwater Quantity (Runoff) Model, Citywide Results

30 L-THIA (Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment) Water Quality Model, Citywide Results Source: American Forests Reports Percent Change in Contaminant Loading When Stormwater Increases

31 Thermography’s Promise! Huge potential savings for IDDE programs! Huge potential savings for IDDE programs! Must fly on clear, cold nights when tree canopy is minimized Must fly on clear, cold nights when tree canopy is minimized

32 Promoting Local Solutions Looked at cost savings to development community by reducing impervious paving requirements Looked at cost savings to development community by reducing impervious paving requirements Should be a NYT Best Seller! Should be a NYT Best Seller!

33 Source: saludareedy.org

34 Bass Creek Impaired Shellfish Beds Encroaching Development Monitoring Stations NOAA Employing AR Techniques to Characterize Pathogen Sources on Kiawah Island EPA Partnering with NOAA and SCDHEC to Develop and Implement Pathogen TMDL

35 New Homes Constructed Wetlands City Of North Augusta Influencing New Construction Projects Savannah River Potential 5-Star Grantee SENSA: Local Champion Abandoned Brick Ponds

36 "Not many people have done what we're going to do," said town engineer Jeff McNesby. "But then again, there aren't many bodies of water like the May River."

37 Linking Enforcement and Compliance Activities to Ambient Water Quality We need tools to link outputs such as illicit discharge detection reporting to outcomes such as ambient water quality improvement! We need tools to link outputs such as illicit discharge detection reporting to outcomes such as ambient water quality improvement! EPA R4’s Number One Priority for Water Program Enforcement is STORMWATER!!! EPA R4’s Number One Priority for Water Program Enforcement is STORMWATER!!!

38 SCDHEC Watershed Coordinators By Basin Watersheds and Planning Contact Information (Program Coordinators, Analysts, and Managers) Section ManagerMihir Mehta Mihir Mehta Watershed Manager - Santee and SalkehatchieAndy Miller SanteeSalkehatchieAndy Miller Watershed Manager - Catawba and Edisto Carol Copeland Catawba EdistoCarol Copeland Watershed Manager - Savannah and BroadRichelle Tolton SavannahBroadRichelle Tolton Watershed Manager - Pee Dee and Saluda Roger Hall Pee DeeSaludaRoger Hall

39 Resources and Citations SCASM!!! SCASM!!! Subwatershed Vulnerability Analysis Tool from Center for Watershed Protection Subwatershed Vulnerability Analysis Tool from Center for Watershed Protection Methods to develop restoration plans for small urban watersheds from CWP Methods to develop restoration plans for small urban watersheds from CWP Southeastern Stormwater Association Southeastern Stormwater Association American Forests CITYGreen Tool American Forests CITYGreen Tool EPA LID Pages EPA LID Pages Saluda-Reedy Watershed Consortium Audit of Pavement Standards Saluda-Reedy Watershed Consortium Audit of Pavement Standards

40 Thank You For Your Time! Craig Hesterlee, South Carolina Watershed Coordinator USEPA Region 4, Watershed Management Office


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