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Oregon Department of Transportation Stormwater Management Initiative: Meeting New Challenges. Presented by: William Fletcher, ODOT March 4, 2008. Water Quality Storm Cloud. Overview of Water Quality Issues. Regulation of stormwater is a state-wide and national issue

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oregon department of transportation stormwater management initiative meeting new challenges

Oregon Department of Transportation Stormwater Management Initiative:Meeting New Challenges

Presented by:

William Fletcher, ODOT

March 4, 2008

overview of water quality issues
Overview of Water Quality Issues
  • Regulation of stormwater is a state-wide and national issue
  • Development is causing more degradation of in-stream habitat
  • Copper at very low concentrations harms salmon
  • The Endangered Species Act has become the most stringent regulatory driver
problem statement
Problem Statement

Stormwater has become a major impediment to efficient ESA consultation process due to:

  • Changing criteria for effect determinations in ESA Section 7 consultations
  • Extension of the “action area” from the point of discharge to the sea
effect determinations
Effect Determinations
  • ODOT has based effect determinations on the change between pre-project and post project conditions
effect determinations1
Effect Determinations
  • NMFS is basing Effect Determinations on the quality of the stormwater at the point of discharge
action area
Action Area

Current ODOT Action Area Definition

  • 2-miles downstream from point of discharge
  • Rationale: Pollutant load and concentration reduced by sedimentation and dilution
action area1
Action Area

NMFS Proposed Action Area Definition

  • From point of discharge to the ocean
  • Rationale: Dissolved pollutants stay in water column for length of fluvial system
impact to odot s program
Impact to ODOT’s Program
  • The expansion of the Action Area would require consultation for projects in large areas of Regions 4 and 5 that have never had to consult with NMFS before
impact to odot s program1
Impact to ODOT’s Program
  • Increased project development costs and timelines to deal with additional consultations
  • Overwhelming of NMFS’ ability to process consultations
  • Potential for project deadlock if adversarial relationship develops between ODOT and NMFS
impact to odot s program2
Impact to ODOT’s Program

Nightmare Scenario

  • Required numeric standards
  • Monitoring to demonstrate compliance
  • Potential remediation requirements
  • Consultation gridlock
odot s goals
ODOT’s Goals

Develop a streamlined stormwater treatment program to:

  • Provide ODOT and FHWA with certainty regarding scope, schedule, and budget
  • Meet all regulatory needs
  • Streamline the permitting process
  • Result in an overall environmental benefit and promote species recovery
solution strategy
Solution Strategy

All solutions must be

Permitable

Constructible

Maintainable

solution strategy1
Solution Strategy

Collaborative approach that includes all of the interested parties

  • ODOT - USFWS
  • NMFS - ODFW
  • FHWA - EPA
  • DEQ
solution strategy2
Solution Strategy

Internal ODOT Participation

  • ODOT Environmental and Hydraulics Technical staff,
  • ODOT Office of Maintenance
  • ODOT Environmental Leadership Team, Technical Leadership Team, and Area Managers Team
solution strategy3
Solution Strategy

Twin tracks:

  • Technical: Develop the process and tools for effectively managing stormwater quality
  • Regulatory: Streamline the ESA consultation process
strategy for solutions technical
Strategy for Solutions: Technical
  • Clarify ODOT’s process for addressing stormwater management
  • Develop tools to select the most effective treatment for individual projects
  • Select design storms based on science
strategy for solutions regulatory
Strategy for Solutions: Regulatory
  • Articulation and clarification of Effect Determination criteria and thresholds
  • Develop tools for streamlined permitting:
    • Pilot projects to use the technical products in consultation
    • Programmatic approaches to consultation on stormwater issues
slide19

Strategy for Solutions: Regulatory

Effects Determinations

  • Agree that copper causes sublethal effects to listed salmonids
  • NMFS develops guidelines for Effects Determinations based on project elements and stormwater management
strategy for solutions regulatory1
Strategy for Solutions: Regulatory

Permitting Streamlining

  • Agree that if “effective” BMPs are used then stormwater has been treated to maximum extent feasible
  • Include Design Storms and Preferred BMPs in SLOPES IV
  • Explore ESA Programmatic with FHWA as Action Agency
status technical
Status: Technical
  • Project Development Process
    • Planning for stormwater management early in project development
    • Incorporate Low Impact Development techniques whenever feasible
status technical1
Status: Technical
  • BMP Summary Reports Completed
  • BMP Selection Tool in development
    • Draft rating of BMP effectiveness
    • Preferred BMPs identified
  • BMP Selection Tool Users’ Guide to be developed
status technical bmp selection
Status: TechnicalBMP Selection

Priority BMPs for Treating Dissolved Metals

  • Treatment Mechanisms
    • Hydrologic Attenuation (infiltration) – preferred
    • Sorption, uptake, microbial transformation
  • “Preferred” BMPs
    • Infiltration trench
    • Bioretention
    • Bioslope (“Ecology Embankment”)
    • Amended Swale and Filter Strip
status technical bmp selection1
Status: TechnicalBMP Selection
  • Key selection criteria (metrics)
    • Treatment capability
    • Physical site suitability
    • Maintenance
    • Cost
    • Resources, risk and public perception
status technical2
Status: Technical
  • Water Quality Design Storm and the Flow Control range of storms have been accepted.
status technical flow control water quantity design storm
Status: TechnicalFlow Control (Water Quantity)Design Storm

Lower Discharge Endpoint

  • Western OR - 42 percent of the 2-year, 24 hour event
  • Southeast, Northeast, North Central Regions: 48 percent of the 2-year, 24 hour event
  • Eastern Cascades Region: 56 percent of the 2-year, 24 hour event

Upper Discharge Endpoint

  • Minimally incised streams -Channel bank overtopping event
  • Incised Streams -10-year/24-hour storm event
status technical flow control water quantity design storm1
Status: TechnicalFlow Control (Water Quantity)Design Storm

Proposed threshold of concern :

  • Flow control does not need to be addressed if the project increases the 10 year 24 hour storm discharge by less than 0.5 cfs
status regulatory
Status: Regulatory
  • Agreement that if “effective” BMPs are used, then stormwater has been treated to maximum extent feasible
  • We will not be held to numerical standards for ESA purposes
status regulatory1
Status: Regulatory
  • NMFS has provided written guidance for effect determinations
  • NMFS has presented a draft guidance on stormwater effects action area
  • Pilot projects selected, with active work on one in Region 1
  • Proposal for a Stormwater Programmatic rejected
status regulatory2
Status: Regulatory
  • SLOPES IV, incorporating the use of Preferred BMPs, and the Design Storms, has been reviewed by ODOT
  • Determined that for non-SLOPES projects, stormwater analysis and conditions can be inserted into consultations via “incorporation by reference”
next steps
Next Steps
  • Investigate desirability of developing a “SLOPES” with FHWA as the Action Agency
  • Reassess usefulness of a stormwater programmatic
  • Develop alternative “action area” definition
next steps1
Next Steps

Watershed Approach

  • Trading or banking of credits for small projects or projects that cannot meet water quality treatment goals
  • Mitigation for residual adverse effects from permitted projects
definition of success
Definition of Success
  • When guidance is approved by regulatory partners
  • When tools and guidance are in use by project teams
  • When stormwater is no longer a contentious issue
definition of success1
Definition of Success

Anticipated Benefits for ODOT

  • Stormwater solutions appropriate for the project
  • Certainty in project development and construction
  • Reduction in project delays
  • Support ODOT’s sustainability goals
definition of success2
Definition of Success

Anticipated Benefits for

Regulatory Agencies

  • Meet regulatory requirements
  • Well-defined terms and conditions that allow for flexibility in application
  • Protect ESA-listed fish
  • Protect Oregon’s water quality and wetland resources
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