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[…]

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[…]

Is the Maximum Extent Practicable?

First of all, what exactly is MEP? Getting things done to the Maximum Extent Practicable has been in our regulatory vocabulary so long I can almost say the word practicable without much stutter (this is a fairly new development for me). Eliminating pollutants to the Maximum Extent Practicable; reducing impairments to the Maximum Extent Practicable; and my personal favorite;[…]

Regulatory Compliance is Bad For The Environment

…and it could also be bad for business. Even though it’s promoted and sought as if it were a prize in itself, regulatory compliance distracts us.  It will get us by and it may even make us feel good about the work we do.  But mere compliance doesn’t always reflect a commitment to water quality.[…]

How do You Define Stormwater?

The story of the Tower of Babel has always been a bit confusing to me.  I understand the need to humble a people that had become a bit too big for their britches.  What I am unclear about is the part where God decided to confuse their language because, “nothing they plan to do will[…]

Regulator Magnets – SEDIMENT TRACK OUT

Comedian Ron White tells a story of being thrown out of a bar and getting arrested for being “drunk in public.”  He unsuccessfully tried to make the case that the bouncers were the ones who should be arrested.  He argued that he was actually (and legally) drunk in the bar until he was thrown into the public by[…]

The Clean Water Act is Turning 40

October 18, 2012 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.  What we call The Clean Water Act is actually a collection of amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948.  The first use of the widely accepted name began with the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972.   Subsequent major amendments came in 1977 and[…]

Regulator Magnets – INLETS

          Inlets represent the location of our last line of defense.  Many times they serve as a gateway or direct conduit to receiving waters. They are essentially your discharge point.   The quality of runoff entering inlets can often be directly tied to regulatory compliance.  Therefore, regulators love ’em. 1) Sediment control alone[…]

Moving The Compliance Point

Leadership author Dr. John Maxwell says that two of the most difficult things to teach employees are; to think, and to do things in odrer of importance.  There is not much more important to our work than the quality of our discharge at the outfall.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could choose the topography of[…]