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A Path to Regional Stormwater Management Cooperation. NJAFM Conference October 2012. A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation. Presented by: Leo J. Coakley, PE, PP Principal Water Resources Hatch Mott MacDonald. A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation. Topic: Experience in Rahway River Watershed

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A path to regional stormwater management cooperation

A Path to Regional Stormwater Management Cooperation

NJAFM Conference October 2012


A path to regional swm cooperation
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Presented by:

    Leo J. Coakley, PE, PP

    Principal Water Resources

    Hatch Mott MacDonald


A path to regional swm cooperation1
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

Topic:

Experience in Rahway River Watershed

  • Organizational aspects

  • Not technical aspects


A path to regional swm cooperation2
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

Rahway River Watershed

82 Square Miles

3 Counties

24 Municipalities


Hurricane irene impacts losses
Hurricane Irene Impacts/Losses

Millburn - Union – Springfield - Cranford – Rahway

  • Power outage – up to 5 days for 6,000 customers

  • Flooded and closed the Garden State Parkway

  • Estimated over $70 million in public and private losses


Hurricane irene impacts losses1
Hurricane Irene Impacts/Losses

  • Severe damages to public buildings

    • Municipal buildings, schools

  • Severe damage to homes and businesses

    • Over 2,000 homes impacted

      • Many with first floor damage (300+)




CRANFORD MUNICIPAL BUILDING

Severe damage to lower floor

Cranford Municipal Building


A path to regional swm cooperation3
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Regional Cooperation

  • October 27, 2011 – formed …

    Mayors’ Council

    For

    Rahway River Watershed Flood Control


Mayors council
Mayors’ Council

  • Started with 2 Mayors inviting 3 more, etc.

  • Growing membership includes mayors from 11+ municipalities

  • Essex and Union County representatives also participate


Mayors council activities
Mayors’ Council Activities

  • Established several key target items

  • Held public meetings on key topics

  • Held 2 Stormwater Management Conferences (latest Sep. 20, 2012)

  • Contacted state and federal elected officials

  • Prepared Needs Statement – described damages and key issues


Mayors council key issues
Mayors’ Council Key Issues

  • Evaluate Flood Storage Alternatives

  • Evaluation of Rahway River Bridges

  • Stormwater Management in Entire Watershed

  • Acquisition of Repetitive Loss Properties

    • Continued ………


Mayors council key issues1
Mayors’ Council Key Issues

  • Improved Process for River Cleanup and Maintenance

  • Expanded Flood Mitigation Planning by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

  • Funding for Local Mitigation Projects, Regional Planning and Projects


Regional stormwater management cooperation

Regional Stormwater ManagementCooperation

Recognized as one component of a Flood Risk Reduction effort


Stormwater management conference september 20 2012

Stormwater Management ConferenceSeptember 20, 2012

Organized by Rahway River Association

With

Presentations by Rutgers University

Cooperative Extension


Swm conference topics
SWM Conference Topics

  • Stormwater Management Issues in NJ

  • Municipal Responsibilities Under NJ SW Regulations

  • Good Ways to Reduce Stormwater Runoff

    • Examples of implemented projects

      • Permeable pavement

      • Rain gardens


Mayors council1
Mayors’ Council

  • Recommended SWM Actions for Consideration

  • 10 Action Items

  • Existing flooding is caused by existing land use


Mayors council2
Mayors’ Council

  • Action Items

    • Reduce impervious cover on municipal lands

    • SWM education for land use board officials

    • Establish Rahway River Watershed SWM Advisory Board

    • Demonstration projects – e.g. rain gardens

    • Plant 10,000 trees – distribute rain 5,000 barrels

    • Develop a regional open space program


A path to regional swm cooperation4
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Organizational Approach to Regional SWM

    • Typical

    • Rahway Watershed


A path to regional swm cooperation5
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • In Typical Regional SWM Process

    • Technical work by lead agency (funding)

    • Follow NJDEP guidelines for a Regional SWM Plan

    • Plan development includes meetings with area representatives

    • Plan process participants may differ from plan adoption officials

    • May be a disconnect between plan formulation and acceptance by elected officials – may lack cooperation among municipalities


A path to regional swm cooperation6
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Rahway Watershed –

    • Top Down Approach


A path to regional swm cooperation7
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Keep in Mind The Human Factor:

    • Every successful project needs a champion

    • The higher the official level of interest, the better the chance for success

    • Action people more effectively communicate on peer level

    • Memory/interest fades over time – need reinforcement (every 3 months min.)

    • Change is more likely when people affected make the decisions (or at least are involved)


A path to regional swm cooperation8
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

Regional SWM -- A Work in Progress in the Rahway River Watershed


A path to regional swm cooperation9
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • A Common Problem – flooding

  • Issue awareness heightened by event – Hurricane Irene


A path to regional swm cooperation10
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Communications started at the top – Mayor to Mayor

  • Mayors’ Council formed – ad hoc

    • Did not bog down in organizational structure

    • Went directly to work on key issues


A path to regional swm cooperation11
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Communications with stakeholders and others:

    • Rahway River Association

    • Rutgers Cooperative Extension

    • Residents


A path to regional swm cooperation12
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Stormwater Management - Identified as an important component of a regional program for flood risk reduction

  • Mayors expressed cooperative involvement

    • Recognized they need to work for the common good of the watershed


A path to regional swm cooperation13
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Next step – Organize a Regional SWM Advisory Committee

    • Members appointed by (and may include) Mayors

    • Will report directly to Mayors’ Council


A path to regional swm cooperation14
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

Regional SWM Advisory Committee

  • Identify and recommend strategies for implementation by municipalities/counties

  • Seek funding – demonstration projects

  • For NJDEP funding – need Regional Plan per SWM guidelines


A path to regional swm cooperation15
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Summary – the Rahway Watershed Experience:

    • Recognized a common problem

    • Organized on the highest level of municipal authority – the Mayors

    • Mayors’ Council meetings attended by Mayors

    • Continued ……


A path to regional swm cooperation16
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

  • Summary – the Rahway Watershed Experience:

    • Stormwater Management recognized as a key component of a comprehensive flood risk reduction effort

      • Viewed as a means to an end

      • Not just to comply with regulations

    • Involved other stakeholders

    • Original organizer (former mayor) continues as champion


A path to regional swm cooperation17
A Path to Regional SWM Cooperation

Questions?

Thank You!

Leo Coakley, PE, PP

[email protected]


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