The Ratcheting Environmental Pendulum

I have been warned by some that we are currently living a ramped-up and trumped-up environmental fad that is sure to ease up as soon as the current administration is packed up and shipped off (pick your favorite “administration” to apply the statement to). I hear that our efforts to improve water quality are breaking[…]

The Clean Water Rule

I am still somewhat fascinated by the political nature of filed lawsuits and general fury caused by the new rule defining waters of the United States. A final draft was added to the Federal Register on June 29, 2015. The rule will be effective on August 28, 2015 unless one of the suits changes that.[…]

“It’s cheaper to pay the fine.”

The short view: The cost of compliance exceeds the cost (and odds) of getting caught. It’s obvious that an effective environmental protection program can be expensive. So is an effective safety program, an effective quality assurance program, and an effective marketing and sales program. Effectiveness on its own requires resources. Valuable and scarce resources can be saved or[…]

’tis the season.

While in Atlanta recently, I was notified of the beginning of a strange season. The overhead message board said something about Smog Season beginning April 1st. I don’t think Hallmark is behind this particular shopping season because I didn’t feel compelled to buy candy or feel guilty about not sending a card to my mom. The timing of the marketing[…]


TS4 – a term sometimes used to describe a municipal separate storm sewer permit addressing urban discharges from transportation facilities. Its not a term used officially by EPA or supported by law, but it does get thrown around a lot. State DOTs are in a unique position. They have typically been seen as co-permittees with the[…]

Municipal or Urban

Some friends and I have been discussing the differences between the terms urban and municipal as they relate to stormwater (ok, its nerdy, but you knew that when you signed up). The term, municipal, has a nice familiar ring to it. And when connected to stormwater, there is an unmistakable relationship between land use associated[…]

Laudator Temporis Acti

The great philosopher Billy Joel once said, the good ole days weren’t always good, and tomorrow aint as bad as it seems. I am quite fond of the quote and have reached back to it for the last 25 years or so.(1) The Latin term for the anitithesis of one who subscribes to Billy Joel’s[…]


Responsibility: our ability to respond. The level of concern in the general public over the recently proposed rule attempting to clarify the definition of Waters of the United States really didn’t surprise me much. If the subject was even on their radar, it was because of clips and snippets of information provided to them from their[…]

Other People’s Problems

Speaking of Other People’s Problems here. OK, maybe other people’s dirty water. I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to mingle with stormwater professionals from all over the country (even with some outside of the country). It is a privilege that I try not to take for granted. Recently, AASHTO hosted a stormwater practitioners[…]