Stormwater Management for Highway Projects Regulatory Environment And Tools. Overview of Water Quality Issues. Regulation of stormwater is a national issue Runoff from impervious surfaces recognized as a major contributor to degradation of stream quality
Stormwater Management for Highway Projects
Stormwater has become a major impediment to efficient ESA consultation process due to:
NMFS has provided written guidance for effect determinations
Most Recent NMFS Definition (or lack thereof)
Just because there are no listed fish in the immediate project area does not mean that a BA is not needed
ODOT has proposed determining the Action Area based on a “defining concentration” resulting from dilution of the highway runoff
FHWA is reviewing the proposal
“Beneficial Uses” is interpreted to give DEQ the responsibility to evaluate a projects impacts to more than simple water quality:
Focus on providing stormwater treatment
“To the Maximum Extent Practicable”
No real definition available: DEQ is being sued over its interpretation
ODOT and the Resource and Regulatory agencies have collaboratively developed a pragmatic approach to improve stormwater management and facilitate permitting:
Focus on effective treatment, not numerical standards
Lower Discharge Endpoint
Upper Discharge Endpoint
Proposed threshold of concern :
BMPs by Preference
DEQ now considers UICs to be an important tool in the stormwater management arsenal.
UICs must still be registered and permitted, but DEQ is encouraging system wide permits.
Stormwater must meet Drinking Water Standards before discharge from a UIC
For individual consultations under the ESA:
Regulatory Tools: DEQ
Developed for ODOT projects to assist designers and permit specialists to develop and review Stormwater Management Plans for Section 401 Clean Water Certification.