Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

Great Lakes Stormwater Workshop

Final Report: Summary and Strategic Directions

Sponsored by:

Federal Highway Administration

Holiday Inn, Cleveland-Airport

Cleveland, Ohio

August 10, 2006


Contents:

History and Background

Participants

Summary/Meeting Notes

Program

State DOT Highlights

Future Directions

Meeting Handouts

Showcasing GIS Tools and Maps

New York Presentation Materials

Wisconsin Website Materials

FHWA Presentation Materials

Appendix (information provided by participants)

Ohio DOT Supplemental Specification 832

Assessment of Stormwater BMP Newsletter

Quantification Initiative Concept Paper

Design Guidelines for Stormwater Bioretention (not available online)

COE Stormwater Management Facilities (not available online)


History and Background

The Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth. Large amounts of land surrounding the lakes drain to streams and rivers, which ultimately empty into the Great Lakes. These large drainage areas can have significant impacts on this system, we need to come together and develop a strategy or regional plan to minimize our impacts and restore the health of the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration was initiated by Executive Order 13340, issued in May 2004. This order acknowledged the national significance of the Great Lakes and created a unique partnership of key members from Federal, state, and local governments, tribes and others for the purpose of developing a strategic plan to restore and protect the Great Lakes ecosystem. The executive order set up a Federal Interagency Task Force and a Regional Working Group. On December 12, 2005 the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force met to reinforce and demonstrate commitment and collaborative effort to promote further work and progress in the Great Lakes area. The task force identified existing Federal programs that will support Great Lakes ecosystem restoration and developed a list of action items to implement in support of the collaborations. From this meeting in December, the Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration committed to convene a gathering of Great Lakes State DOTs to collaborate on issues relating to storm water runoff in the Great Lakes region.

This one-day stormwater workshop held in Cleveland, Ohio on August 10, 2006 brought together representatives from eight Great Lakes Departments of Transportation, the FHWA Division Offices in those states and representatives from the EPA Region 5 Office. The attendees included transportation professionals who wanted to share successes, exchange information, build a regional network to help identify better ways and new opportunities to support both transportation needs and provide stormwater treatment in the Great Lakes area.

Participants/Contacts

Illinois
Rick Wojcik
Illinois DOT, District 1
201 West Center Court
Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: 847-705-4105
Email: rick.wojcik@illinois.gov
JD Stevenson
Planning, Environment, and Right-of-Way Team Leader
FHWA - Illinois Division
3250 Executive Park Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62703
Phone: 217-492-4638
Fax: 217-492-4238
Email: Jerry.Stevenson@dot.gov

Indiana
Ben Lawrence
INDOT, 100 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone #: 317-233-1164
Email: blawrence@indot.in.gov
Michelle Hilary
INDOT
Larry Heil
FHWA, 575 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Rm. 254, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone #: 317-226-7480
Email: larry.heil@dot.gov
Janice Osadczuk
FHWA, 575 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Rm. 254, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone #: 317-226-7486
Email: janice.osadczuk@dot.gov

Michigan
Bethany Matousek
Aquatic Resource Specialist, Environmental Section
Michigan Department of Transportation
425 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517-241-2311
Fax: 517-373-9255
Email: matousekb@michigan.gov
Cary Rouse
MDOT-Bay Region
55 E. Morley Drive
Saginaw, MI 48601
Phone: (989) 754-0878 x 244
Email: rousec@michigan.gov
Abdelmoez Abdalla
Environmental Program Manager
FHWA-Michigan Division
315 W. Allegan
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: 517-702-1820
Fax: 517-377-1804
Email: abdelmoez.abdalla@dot.gov

Minnesota
Nick Tiedeken
Minnesota Department of Transportation
395 John Ireland Blvd (MS 620)
St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone #: 651-284-3789
Email: Nick.Tiedeken@state.mn.us
Todd Campbell
Minnesota Department of Transportation
District 1
1123 Mesaba Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
Phone #: 651-582-1258
Email: Todd.Campbell@state.mn.us
Phil Forst
Federal Highway Administration
380 Jackson Street, Ste. 500
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Phone #: 651-291-6110
Email: phil.forst@dot.gov

New York
David Graves
NYDOT
50 Wolf Road
4th Floor, POD #41
Albany, NY 12232
Phone: 518-457-9608
Email: dgraves@gw.dot.state.ny.us
Mike Jurkowski
NYDOT
Region 5
125 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone #: 716-847-3421
Email: mjurkowski@dot.state.ny.us
Chris Woods
FHWA
Leo W. O'Brien Federal Building
Room 719
Albany, NY 12207
Phone #: (518)-431-4125 Ext. 255
Email: chris.woods@dot.gov

Ohio
David Riley
Structural Engineering
1980 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43223
Phone #: (614) 466-2599
Email: David.Riley@dot.state.oh.us
Dave Snyder
Federal Highway Administration
Ohio Division
200 North High Street, Rm 328
Columbus, OH 43215-2408
Phone #: (614)-280-6852
Email: David.Snyder@dot.gov

Pennsylvania
Don Hall
Pennsylvania DOT
255 Elm Street
Oil City, PA 16301
Phone #: 814-678-7130
Email: donhall@dot.state.pa.us
George Fleagle
FHWA
228 Walnut Street
Room 508
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone #: (717)-221-4518
Email: george.fleagle@dot.gov

Wisconsin
Wendy Braun
WisDOT Bureau of Equity and Environmental Services, Wisconsin DOT
4802 Sheboygan Ave 451
Madison, WI 53702
Phone #: (608) 261-0446
Email: wendy.braun@dot.state.wi.us
Reem Shana
WisDOT South East Region, Stormwater Specialist,
Wisconsin DOT
141 NW Barstow St
Waukesha, WI 53188
Phone #: (262) 548-6706
Email: reem.shana@dot.state.wi.us
Johnny Gerbitz
FHWA
567 D'Onofrio Drive
Suite 100
Madison, WI 53711
Phone #: (608)-829-7511
Email: johnny.gerbitz@dot.gov

FHWA Resource Center

Brian Smith
Biology/Water Quality Specialist
Environmental Team
FHWA-Resource Center
19900 Governors Drive
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
Phone: 708-283-3553
FAX: 708-283-3501
Email: brian.smith@dot.gov
Kimberly Majerus
Ecologist/Water Quality Specialist
Environmental Team
FHWA-Resource Center
19900 Governors Drive
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
Phone: 708-283-4346
FAX: 708-283-3501
Email: Kimberly.Majerus@dot.gov

FHWA Headquarters

Carol Adkins
FHWA/400 7th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20590
Phone #: 202-366-2054
Email: carol.adkins@dot.gov
Patricia Cazenas
FHWA/ 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20590
Phone #: 202-366-4085
Email: patricia.cazenas@dot.gov

EPA, Region 5

Bob Newport
U.S. EPA
Watersheds and Wetlands Branch (WW-16J)
77 West Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone #: (312) 886-1513
Email: newport.bob@epa.gov

Judy Beck
U.S. EPA
Phone: 312-353-3849
Fax: 312-886-2737
Email: beck.judy@epa.gov

Sherry Kamke
U.S. EPA Region 5
NEPA Implementation Section
Office of Science, Ecosystems and Communities
77 W. Jackson Blvd., Mailcode: B-19J,
Chicago, Illinois 60604-3590,
Phone: 312-353-5794

GKY and Associates, Inc. (Meeting Facilitator)
Stuart Stein
5411 - ;E Backlick Road
Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-642-5080
Fax: 703-642-5367
Email: sstein@gky.com
Seth Brown
5411-E Backlick Road
Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-642-5080
Fax: 703-642-5367
Email: sbrown@gky.com

Summary

The goal of this workshop was to share information and success stories, develop and build a network of contacts in the Great Lakes region of people who work specifically in the area of stormwater. This workshop highlighted and discussed the various issues surrounding stormwater and transportation, including technical, scientific and policy related issues that impact the Great Lakes region. We look towards building new partnerships, projects and opportunities along with a continued information exchange on issues dealing with transportation and stormwater that impact this region.

The Program
The overall program was designed to facilitate a discussion among the transportation practitioners and what steps they are taking to integrate stormwater into the planning, design, construction and maintenance of highway projects.

Schedule and Topics of Discussion
Introduction by Carol Adkins (Federal Highway Administration)
  • Provided background on purpose of meeting order.
Workshop Introduction by Stu Stein (GKY & Associates)
  • Objectives stated
  • Agenda/schedule presented
  • Ground rules presented
  • Participant introductions

PowerPoint Presentation by Bob Newport (Environmental Protection Agency)
Covered topics on:

  • Water quality (WQ) impairments
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) background and links to erosion and sediment control and water quality topics
  • The Great Lakes Program
  • Low Impact Development with case examples from Minnesota and Wisconsin

State DOT Highlights - ;States were given the opportunity to present any concerns or information they had on stormwater concerns in their state.

Illinois Presentation done by Rick Wojcik
Areas of focus included:

  • Water quality is considered in the planning stages in Illinois, but credit is not often given
  • Most areas in Illinois flow away from Great Lakes
  • A seminar has been developed in Illinois that focuses on post-construction water quality
  • Some existing projects have problems with sediment leaving site during construction and potentially impacting downstream waterbodies.
  • Pump stations are monitored during large storm events, as the CSO's flow into Lake Michigan during these events
  • Water quality protection should not come as a detriment to the conveyance system and yield high maintenance requirements - ; Water quality should be cost-effective and practical.
  • Local flooding is a big problem, and when dealing with these emergency issues, water quality is often overlooked.

Indiana Presentations by Michelle Hilary, Ben Lawrence, and Larry Heil
Areas of focus included:

  • Education for engineers on water quality is an emphasis right now in Indiana
  • Indiana has one sole-source aquifer in northeast Indiana that has an MOU established with EPA
  • Combined sewer overflows are a major problem in Indiana
  • Phase II implementation has been delayed; working towards compliance
  • Monitoring has been done, often near bridge crossings over high-quality streams
  • E&S manual for the State has been updated
  • Focus is on project delivery, water quality is but one variable in the process
  • E&S problems exist, so pre-qualification is being looked at as a requirement
  • E&S was a focus in the mid-90's, but has since become less of a focus

Michigan Presentations by Cary Rouse
Areas of focus included:

  • Handouts were provided which are part of the education program in Michigan on WQ
  • Lots of problems with WQ for highways come from outside of right-of-way (ROW)
  • The illicit discharge program is overwhelming in MI, so consultants had to be hired, but it is still a daunting task. Is it worth the money being spent on it?
  • CSO's are a big problem for small communities. MIDOT removes them when possible, but ultimately it is up to the community to deal with it.

Questions/Answers:

  • Q: What role do the "Drain Commissions" play? (Judy Beck)
  • A: They pre-date many other agencies and follow laws unto themselves only.
  • Q: How were illicit discharges investigated? (Bob Newport)
  • A: Tetra Tech was hired to find Phase I waterbodies with/near illicit discharges

Minnesota Presentations by Nick Tiedeken and Todd Campbell
Areas of focus included:

  • Funding for water quality and erosion and sediment control is a big issue.
  • Erosion and sediment control started at 3% of project costs, then moved up to 5% and now there are additional costs due to State, Local, Federal requirements
  • It is estimated that $200 million is needed just for retrofits of existing water quality systems
  • Infiltration/volume control is the focus of water quality management at this time
  • They are required to infiltrate 1 inch even in Class D soils. If unable to meet this requirement, a fee must be paid.
  • There are unrealistic expectations by some regulators and environmental groups
  • An example is the Lake Peppin TMDL, which requires that the Lake be restored to conditions as they were before development ever occurred in the area (i.e., hundreds of years ago), which is an impossible task, or an unrealistic expectation.
  • Environmental groups often sue
  • Drainage from other sources into the right-of-way is a problem that the DOTs have to handle.
  • Bioaccumulation (Mercury) is a concern
  • Snow/ice removal and storage is a big problem. Large amounts of snow/ice are to be stored so that is released in a more controlled manner in the spring. Storage for all of the snow/ice is cost/space prohibitive.
  • Highway 61, located near Duluth, MN, runs parallel to the Lake Superior shoreline. Any sediment plume in the Lake near this area is blamed on MNDOT. Trying to educate locals on E&S issues.
  • Scientists don't have a complete understanding of construction practices and issues. MNDOT is trying to get more buy-in from stakeholders on E&S problems and practicality, on implementing effective measures.
  • A stormwater pamphlet was handed out on education of the public on E&S and WQ

New York State Presentations by David Graves
Areas of focus included:

  • An overview of the NYSDOT stormwater management program was presented and handouts provided.
  • Currently NYS is not monitoring BMPs.
  • 15 or 16 cities in NYS are mapping outfalls (estimated 30,000-40,000 total)
  • There have been no Phase II projects in Native American lands
  • Since 2003, there has been about 250 Phase II projects
  • Draft of SWM Planning Guidance on tracking projects is completed. QA/QC takes into account construction site visits for practicality.
  • Future issues of concern:
    • Stormwater crediting/banking
    • Watershed characterization in projects
    • Revisit WQ models
    • Performance measurement of manufactured systems is needed
    • New product evaluation committees
    • Training for contractor/consultant inspectors for E&S

Ohio Presentation by David Riley
Areas of focus included:

  • Alternative BMPs for rural vs. urban situations
  • Small projects now require more right-of-way for BMPs
  • Same BMPs are used for small and large projects
  • Requirements to mitigate to pre-developed flows
  • Permits don't account for linear construction
  • Standardization of testing for manufactured devices
  • Regulators limit which BMPs can and cannot be used.
  • E&S has been an issue, so the onus has been placed more on the contractor for E&S liability.

Pennsylvania Presentation by Don Hall
Areas of focus included:

  • Only a small portion of Pennsylvania is in the Great Lakes watershed.
  • E&S plans are approved by counties.
  • State regulatory agency has placed a greater emphasis on infiltration volume, but will not be specific on design.
  • Retention versus pass-through is a big problem.
  • PennDOT is putting together a new E&S manual.
  • Right-of-way is tough for linear development.
  • In some cases, there is a requirement of "no discharge retention" for BMPs.
  • E&S plans are often changed in the field, which leads to increased costs on projects.
  • Prescott Island in Lake Eries has been shut down due to E.Coli levels.

Wisconsin Presentations by Reem Shana and Wendy Braun
Areas of focus included:

  • It is tough to implement some BMPs measures when they are outweighed by safety and highway design considerations in the planning process.
  • Treatment trains have been used to provide pollutant removal.
  • A decision-making matrix is badly needed for young designers.
  • Establishment of maintenance agreements with municipalities is needed.
  • Costs for BMP implementation is a big issue.
  • It is often difficult to answer questions on maintenance of BMPs.
  • Wisconsin does not perform monitoring, but it does research on new BMPs instead. Results for research are available at DOT website.
  • The DOT has formed a series of cooperative agreements with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on issues such as E&S and technical issue related to stormwater management. These cooperative agreements are valuable in reaching solutions and in providing expedited plan reviews.

Showcasing GIS Tools and Maps Presentation by Kim Majerus
Presentation focused on using GIS as a tool for decision-making and infrastructure management for stormwater systems. Examples from Ohio, Illinois and New York State were presented to illustrate practical uses. Sources of information for GIS databases were also presented.

Facilitated Discussion - ;
How and when is water quality involved in the planning process? Discussion included:

  • Several States, but not all, stated that WQ is addressed in the scoping phase.
  • Some States (Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania) stated that they commonly use a checklist ("green sheet") to track stormwater issues throughout the planning process. Some are more detailed than others.
  • Indiana is starting to incorporate WQ earlier in the design process to avoid problems.
  • Illinois brought up the point that ROW is critical in the planning process if proper BMPs are to be used.
  • Indiana uses project goals to allow for flexibility in addressing WQ.
  • Minnesota is not allowed flexibility. SWPPPs are very clearly defined and provide a list of proposed BMPs on the project.
  • Minnesota has a process for the identification of problem areas in E&S and provide latitude on quick stabilization needs for these areas.
  • Indiana uses well-developed E&S plans, but many costly changes take place in the field. Contractors should be given more freedom, but also more responsibility for E&S.

What are the major constituents of concern? Discussion included:

  • Indiana: TSS and Chlorides are the focus
  • Minnesota: Phosphorus, TSS, air volatile constituents, and others that affect biotic integrity such as thermal impacts and physical changes to fish habitat and crossings.
  • Michigan: TSS
  • Illinois: TSS, Chloride, and E.Coli (region-dependent)
  • FHWA: anything that adds to local 303(d) impairments
  • EPA: TSS, heavy metals, PCP, Mercury, E. Coli and Phosphorus are Great Lakes-specific concerns.
  • New York State: TSS, Total Phosphorus, Chlorides and PAH's
  • Ohio: TSS
  • Pennsylvania: TSS
  • Other issues include EPA funding programs like allowing diesel trucks to plug into a power source instead of idling at rest areas to reduce air pollution.

Are there any problems with regulatory barriers/issues? Discussion included:

  • Regulations are often constricting when finding the best solution to a problem. Sometimes the best solutions are not "in the box", but "outside the box" solutions.
  • Oftentimes regulations aren't targeted for highway projects and other linear projects and are more geared towards land development.
  • Regulators aren't realistic when requesting excessive right-of-way areas for a proposed BMP, such as a wet pond.
  • Indiana has regulatory staffing problems, which cause many delays in regulatory reviews of plans and projects.

How about fines? Discussion included:

  • Indiana has experienced this. A recent project required near-pristine water during construction (an E&S issue), which is an unrealistic demand. The regulators reviewed daily and since there was non-pristine conditions in the water, Indiana DOT was fined.
  • Illinois also discussed an E&S project where an adjacent landowner contacted regulators about the impacts of construction on a nearby lake. The problem was addressed, but there are still problems evident.
  • Minnesota has experienced similar circumstances where one of their construction sites is blamed for all sediment plumes that occur without being able to trace the problem directly to them. The regulators say that they are in compliance with their E&S measures, but not in compliance with water quality codes, which seems like a contradiction.
  • Wisconsin has concerns about contractors not being fined when they don't comply with plans for E&S.
  • Ohio places the burden of responsibility on the contractors, so Ohio DOT withholds payment from the contractors for the fines they get assessed by the regulators. The Ohio DOT has worked with EPA and the contracting industry to have contractors for E&S plans listed as co-permittee on the Construction Effluent Guidelines Permit. A copy of this permit along with the application is found in the appendix.
  • Ohio uses contractors that have a CPES certification (Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment) on site. This person can work on more than one project at a time.
  • Ohio and the contractor industry worked together on pre-determining pay amounts for E&S fines by regulators. Through this involvement the contracting industry agreed to be the responsible party for their E&S work. The contractor has 5 days to make changes once notified of problems on site.

How about post-construction issues? Permits are coming up for renewal; do you expect changes on this? Discussion included:

  • Ohio expects more stringent regulations.
  • A discussion on the increased push for infiltration was initiated by EPA. It is difficult to get proper infiltration in urban areas, so trading mechanisms have been developed, but not very widely used.
  • Minnesota discussed infiltration trading being done as part of a recent project to improve fish habitat in Lake Vermillion. Their experience is that the NRCS infiltration rates are often very conservative.
  • New York State does pre-project infiltration rate testing, though many regions in the State are in denial about maintaining these structures, as they focus on construction, not post-construction.
  • In Minnesota, the use of BMPs has been adjusted to accommodate sensitive waterbodies downstream. For instance, dry ponds are used instead of wet ponds upstream of sensitive fish habitats to minimize thermal impacts.
  • Also, in Minnesota, the results of a chloride TMDL indicated the need for a 75% drop in salt usage in the watershed, but they would not allow for alternative de-icers due to potential biological impacts. To accommodate this, it was proposed by State environmental regulator that ice and snow be stored in large holding areas that are well-contained and melted ice/snow is allowed to release in the spring at a lower rate than would otherwise have happened if the ice/snow was not stored. The hope is that controlling this release will reduce the loading of de-icing agents to downstream waterbodies.
  • New York State stated that it is difficult to standardize BMP performance due to regional differences in climate, hydrology, pollutant loading, etc.

Discussion on various BMPs used by States
Does everyone use wet ponds? What are the concerns with wet ponds?

  • Illinois stated that they are used in some cloverleafs.
  • Wisconsin mentioned having problems with aquatic vegetation in wet ponds

What about West Nile Virus?

  • Wet ponds are not allowed in sections of Michigan due to West Nile. Also, competing interests have conflicting needs with wet ponds. DEP wants them used for their high pollutant removal efficiency while DNR will not allow them due to thermal impacts.
  • Wisconsin's DNR wants them to be used, but they are not allowed near airports due to safety concerns. Carol Adkins mentioned that there is an MOA between FAA and USFWS about not using BMPs that could attract wildlifenear airports. (for more information: http://wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa.gov/public_html/index.html)
  • New York State has concerns about safety with wet ponds and also said that they have an agreement with the USACE that they will not consider them jurisdictional wetlands if they transition into wetland-like conditions. They can provide that agreement upon request. (See appendix)
  • Minnesota has had problems with carp (fish) flourishing in ponds and causing problems.

Does everyone use dry ponds? What are the concerns with dry ponds?

  • Wisconsin DOT recognizes WQ benefits for dry swales, but not dry ponds, though it's been explained that they provide as much, if not more, WQ benefits as swales.
  • New York can't use them for WQ purposes, but many were used in Phase I areas.
  • Pennsylvania uses dry ponds frequently, though there has been talk of these facilities becoming "no-discharge" ponds (i.e., infiltration basins).

Does everyone use constructed wetlands? What are the concerns with constructed wetlands?

  • Michigan does not use them as they cannot gain mitigation credits for using them.
  • New York has built a few of these, but they have become maintenance problems.
  • They have not been used in Illinois as a BMP, but they have attempted constructing some for mitigation purposes. The attempts at mitigation have not worked well, so they rely on banking instead.
  • EPA pointed out that many areas in the Great Lakes Watershed were wetland areas but have been since drained due to land use changes, so the soils for these areas are good for wetland conditions.

Does everyone use grassed swales? What are the concerns with grassed swales?

  • Wisconsin requires less than 2% slope for 200 linear feet and less than 1.5 feet per second at design discharge to get WQ credit for grassed swales.
  • Indiana also has similar slope requirements for WQ benefits. Testing has been done on this BMP and it performs well.
  • New York uses this BMP; however, it has to have an underdrain system to get WQ benefits. There is a requirement for 2 feet of clearance from the water table.
  • Wisconsin requires 5 feet of clearance from water table.

Does everyone use sand filters? What are the concerns with sand filters?

  • Indiana has used these with peat and rock as a filter medium in rural areas and it has worked well.

Does everyone use infiltration trenches? What are the concerns with infiltration trenches?

  • Ohio uses these often.
  • Pennsylvania's DEP has told DOT to use these, but there are legal concerns regarding contaminant spills on highway systems.
  • Michigan has the same concerns, but their design accounts for these spills.
  • Illinois uses these, but has found that flooding is a problem when they get blocked.

Does everyone use bioretention facilities? What are the concerns with bioretention facilities?

  • Wisconsin uses these and they do a good job reducing downstream thermal impacts. Normally the DOT is contacted by a locality to provide technical assistance with this type of measure.
  • Minnesota does not use these, but it does use similar measures.

Discussion took place on the proper use/context of these measures.

  • Illinois stated that these are most often used in parking lots, but rarely used in linear projects.
  • Wisconsin stated that they have used one to treat runoff from a bridge deck.
  • New York stated that they have designed bioretention for a linear construction situation, but it has not yet been built.

Has anyone used an ecology embankment design?

  • Minnesota stated that they try to keep water off of and outside of their embankments to reduce impacts to the roadway and sub-base.

Does everyone use oil and grit separators? What are the concerns with oil and grit separators?

  • Pennsylvania uses these only when required due to the excessive amount of maintenance associated with this BMP.
  • Illinois stated that they can be cost-prohibitive and very often not well maintained - ; out of site, out of mind.
  • New York stated that they are cleaned out the same way as a regular catch basin, so they do not pose more maintenance work for them.

Does everyone use manufactured systems? What are the concerns with manufactured systems?

  • Indiana uses these to satisfy NPDES requirements.
  • Wisconsin has experienced troubles with this BMP. In some cases, these BMPs are under-sized or they are sited near high groundwater areas, which reduce their effectiveness. Also, their in-house research shows only a 15% pollutant removal rate versus the advertised 80% removal stated by manufacturers.

Does everyone use catch basin inserts? What are the concerns with catch basin inserts?

  • New York is currently performing a study on this BMP.
  • Illinois uses these at maintenance facilities.
  • Wisconsin has had problems with the boom structures growing vegetation.

Does everyone use underground storage? What are the concerns with underground storage?

  • Indiana is employing these in urban areas to reduce the occurrence of CSO events.

Does everyone use porous pavement? What are the concerns with porous pavement?

  • Wisconsin designers will not allow the use of porous pavement due to concerns with freeze/thaw damage and load capacity.
  • EPA stated that tests have shown that porous pavement performs better under freeze/thaw conditions because it is self-adjusting and more flexible with hydrostatic pressure.
  • Other insights from FHWA included: less standing water on road surface reduces under-carriage pollutant dislodging; studies have shown that up to 90% of oils are contained within the pores in porous pavement; cleaning of porous pavement can be performed with a vacuuming system.

Any others BMPs that have not been mentioned?

  • Michigan asked if the use of native vegetation instead of grass is a BMP.

Review of Research - ; presentation by Patricia Cazenas

  • Note that there are a number of research studies provided in the workshop materials.
  • The STEP program was presented. This program being used by FHWA to determine the needs of its stakeholders in terms of research .
  • Overview of the International Stormwater BMP database being funded by EPA, FHWA, ASCE, and WERF. A webcast will occur this fall on updating this database and improving what is listed. A goal is that this database be useful to the non-stormwater savvy.
  • FHWA has a pollutant loading model that is being updated with the help of the USGS. The FHWA has a link to the current model.
  • An NCHRP report on BMPs for highway runoff will be finished in the near future.
  • Four webcasts will be provided by the Isaak Walton League and FHWA in fall of 2006 focusing on BMPs for highway runoff. Check the CTE or Isaak Walton League websites.

Ohio DOT Research:

  • Research is currently being performed on their new exfiltration trench design.

US EPA Research:

The University of Minnesota is working on research to help standardize BMP testing and come up with four criteria; however, the research is not yet complete.

Future Directions: Where do we go from here? What are the next steps?

From the discussions and the opportunity each of the eight Departments of Transportation had to present on issues and information related to stormwater, several main topics surfaced during the discussions at the workshop. These main topics included:

  • Erosion and Sediment Control is still an ongoing problem
  • With local flooding issues, water quality is overlooked
  • Combined sewer overflows is a major problem
  • Illicit discharge program is becoming a major expense
  • Maintenance issues for BMPs
  • Right of way is critical for BMP design with linear projects
  • Greater emphasis is being placed on infiltration or "no discharge"
  • Performance measures are needed for manufactured devices
  • Snow and deicing materials are contributing to water quality issues
  • Water quality measures should be cost effective and practical
  • Main constituents of concern: TSS, chlorides and phosphorus

An open ended question on how to proceed now that the workshop is finished was presented to the participants. Everyone had a chance to provide input.
Discussion included:

  • Set up a clearinghouse for Great Lakes States for data sharing.
  • Focus on Great Lakes-specific issues.
  • Look to Canadian Provinces for future involvement in these types of workshops.
  • Focus on linear construction BMPs and what DOT's are directly contributing to stormwater pollutant loading, especially in terms of Great Lakes-sensitive constituents.
  • Other stakeholder, other than just State DOT's, should be invited. Include regulatory agencies and those tied to regulations.
  • EPA mentioned that the Green Highways conference is in Milwaukee in November of 2006 and that this same group could re-convene at this conference.
  • Perhaps evaluate BMP maintenance requirements and how maintenance (or lack thereof) affects BMP performance.

The workshop demonstrated that the Departments of Transportation were very much interested in what other DOTs and agencies were doing in the area of stormwater. The workshop was important to hear what other professionals were dealing with in the field and the methods they used to resolve any conflicts. The information was empowering in terms of education and what practical data on costs and effectiveness was available. A benefit of improving outreach, education and better data all plays into the importance of identifying and coordinating issues early in the planning and project development process. The challenge is always moving forward and expanding upon these efforts to improve water quality planning and implementation. Many discussions focused on problems and conflicts with resource agencies, additional requirements and costs associated with addressing the toolbox of BMPs. The current listing of BMPs have many unknowns in terms of effectiveness and costs and along with these issues, the inflexibility of resource agencies to try new methods and assume some of the risk and possibly some of the credit for their success.

This regional workshop brought together transportation agencies with a focus on stormwater issues in the Great Lakes area. It was an important regional workshop that brought together experts with information to reinforce the practical benefits of providing an efficient transportation system that strives to minimize its impacts on the environment and general public. Cooperation and comparison between the experiences in different states was useful.

Ohio Department of Transportation has developed a contract method to ensure erosion and sediment control is designed, implemented and enforced on all highway projects. Federal Highway Administration is committed to ensuring that all highway construction projects are located, designed, and constructed and maintained according to standards that will minimize impacts to erosion and sediment. As a minimum, erosion and sediment control plans should identify erosion and sediment sensitive areas and provide a mechanism for minimizing any adverse effects. In the past on construction projects, permanent erosion and sediment control measures are installed and remain in place and in services after completion of the project. But temporary erosion and sediment control features have usually been left to the contractor's discretion and with this, many fines have been placed against the DOTs. The primary issue is that with the nature of the low bid contracting mechanism, the contractor may sometimes trim incidental expenses. Bid items are usually bid as lump sum items, as such temporary erosion and sediment control measures are easily skipped. There has been a firmer emphasis on education, training and in many States a certification process to ensure the adequate implementation of erosion and sediment control measures. But the Ohio's Department of Transportation has rewritten the rulebook on erosion and sediment control plans (stormwater pollution prevention plans - ;SWPPP) and placed the burden of implementation and performance of the SWPPP on the contractor who designs, bids, installs, and maintains erosion and sediment control. It is part of their contract that the Contractor will be co-permittee and it is their full responsibility to design, maintain and implement the SWPPP. The DOT withholds payment for fines or other infractions that are in violation of the permit. Ohio DOT also required the contractor to go through training and a certification process. A copy of Ohio's supplemental specification #832 is available in the appendix.

New York Department of Transportation developed an agreement with the Amy Corps of Engineers and obtained written documentation on developing a record-keeping system so that stormwater management facilities do not become jurisdictional waters. A copy of that letter is contained in the appendix.

These are but a few examples of some of the information and ideas that were exchanges at the workshop. Improving water quality will require coordinated and innovative measures that involve Federal, state, and local officials and private industry and individual stakeholders. Research will continue to focus on new technologies and techniques that promote watershed planning and best management practices to improve water quality and research to gather and develop information management to have a database as a tool in determining effective BMPs and strategies to achieve water quality goals.

This workshop is a starting point to focus on improved collaboration at the Great Lakes regional level. The importance of working together and exchanging information was stressed throughout this workshop. Partnerships are critical in bring together information, expertise and educational opportunities not only for the practitioners but also for the general public. Cooperation and comparison of experiences between each of the States has been beneficial. With this in mind, the FHWA will endeavor to maintain communication among the participants and others involved in transportation stormwater issues in the Great Lakes area. The success of this workshop was built on the support of all the Federal and State Great Lakes States Transportation offices who participated, presented and shared their stormwater experiences with the region.

In cont inuing our focus on better collaboration and information sharing, an upcoming conference sponsored by EPA on The State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC) conference is being held on November 1-3, 2006 in Milwaukee, in which FHWA will be making a presentation in the session, Exploring the Green Highway Toolbox. You can find out more information about the conference at: http://www.solecregistration.ca/en/Default.asp

Back to top

Questions and feedback should be directed to Susan Jones (Susan.Jones@dot.gov, 202-493-2139) and Marcel Tchaou (Marcel.Tchaou@dot.gov, 202-366-4196).

spacer
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000