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  • Infrastructure Asset Management Systems – What are the best options?

    November 30th, 2018 by Emily DiFranco


     

    The new NPDES MS4 permit requires municipalities to map and manage their municipal infrastructure for tasks such as catch basin cleaning, outfall sampling, and street sweeping. Though many communities have been successfully completing these tasks for years, this requirement may be more easily managed through the use of technology.

    Many different asset management software options exist to streamline this process.  Modern asset management software typically includes:

     

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  • MS4 Countdown to Notice of Intent

    September 13th, 2018 by Nick Cristofori


     

    Only 2 weeks remains to complete the Notice of Intent as required under the NPDES MS4 Permit.  Although fairly brief, this document forms the basis of your program with EPA and in part requires identifying responsible departments for each proposed measure.

    If you haven’t started yet, there’s still time!  We can work with you to make sure you meet the deadline and maintain NPDES permit compliance.

     

     

     

     

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  • Massachusetts MS4 General Permit Now in Effect!

    July 5th, 2018 by Nick Cristofori


     

    The 2016 Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit is now in effect as of July 1, 2018 after a 1 year postponement.  Similarly, the 2017 New Hampshire Small MS4 General Permit is also in effect as of July 1.  Regulated communities and other non-traditional MS4s (Massachusetts, New Hampshire) now have 90 days

     

    Once completed, permittees will need to work towards preparing additional deliverables between now and June 30, 2019 such as a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) Plan and Illicit Discharge, Detection, and Elimination (IDDE) Plan. 

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  • CEI Presents - Stormwater BMPs

    June 6th, 2018 by Rob Cote


     

    As part of a Specialty Conference Series, the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) hosted a Stormwater Specialty Conference & Exhibit: "Enhancing Stormwater Resilience in the Built Environment". At this technical conference, CEI's own Nick Cristofori, P.E. gave an informative presentation on the Design and Construction of Resilient Stormwater BMPs to Address Climate Change and Improve Water Quality

     

     

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  • NPDES MS4 Notice of Intent

    May 29th, 2018 by Nick Cristofori


     

    With the NPDES MS4 Notice of Intent (NOI) filing due in only 4 months, EPA has compiled a training video to assist communities with completing the form.  The NOI forms the basis of your Phase II program and lists the Best Management Practices (BMPs) you will implement to meet permit requirements, identifies responsible parties for each proposed measure, along with other supporting tasks.  The video is approximately 30 minutes long and generally discusses how to do the following:

    • Complete each section of the NOI;
    • Meet endangered species and historic property requirements; and
    • File with EPA and state agency. 

     

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  • Are You Ready for MS4?

    May 16th, 2018 by Nick Cristofori


     

    Only a little over 7 weeks remain until the new NPDES MS4 permit becomes effective!  Are you ready?

     

    By now, hopefully you’re aware that the new permit goes into effect July 1, 2018 and “starts the clock” on completion of Year-1 requirements.  Even though the first action item, the Notice of Intent (NOI), isn’t due until September 29, 2018, we highly recommend that you begin its preparation during the next couple months.  

     

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  • The 5 Most Important Things to Know About Water Quality Monitoring

    January 26th, 2018 by Bob Hartzel


    Collecting reliable water quality data is one of the most important aspects of protecting and developing management plans for our rivers and lakes. Monitoring data can be used to understand the type and severity of water quality impairments and help in setting achievable targets for improvement. Water quality monitoring can also indicate long-term trends and identify critical thresholds that are approaching, such as increasing phosphorus levels that could result in frequent algae blooms if not addressed. Five key considerations for design of a water quality monitoring program are summarized below.

    1. Program Objectives

    What questions should the data answer?

    1. Practical Considerations

    Fit your data collection objectives to your budget, with careful consideration of the cost and value of each parameter. What are the statistical and data quality requirements?

    1. Monitoring Locations

    The number and location of high-priority monitoring locations will vary depending on the waterbody type, watershed size, and data goals. At a minimum, consider establishing river and tributary monitoring locations just upstream of the confluence points with your focus waterbody or river segment. For lakes and ponds, establish a “deep-spot” monitoring location for each major basin.

     

     

     

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  • 4 Things you should do now for MS4 compliance and some you shouldn't!

    January 19th, 2018 by Nick Cristofori


    As you’re probably aware, the 2016 NPDES MS4 stormwater permit goes into effect July 1, 2018 for both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Now that we’re into 2018, this date is barely 5 months away!  Between now and then, there are a few items that you should work on (and maybe a few you shouldn’t) to make the transition to the new permit easier.  See below for more info.


    Item 1.  Evaluate Your Program and Budget for Implementation

    Everyone knows that meeting the MS4 permit requirements will cost money, but how much?  The short answer is, “it depends”.  What have you done so far and where do you need to go?  If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you would benefit from evaluating your existing program as it relates to 2003 and 2016 permit requirements.  This will help you determine where your gaps are and recommendations for future work.  Once you know these answers, you can determine program costs for implementation, even on a yearly basis.  This is a good first step for virtually any community. 


    Item 2.  Make Sure you Meet the 2003 Permit Requirements

    Did you know? – There are 3 different bylaws or ordinances that were required under the 2003 permit:

    • Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
    • Construction/Erosion and Sediment Control
    • Post-Construction Stormwater Management

    These were required to be in place by May 1, 2008, nearly 10 years ago.  If these aren’t in place now, your community is in non-compliance.  In fact, EPA even asks about the status of each one on the first page of the upcoming Notice of Intent (NOI) Submittal, so they’ll be checking to see that these were met.  If these aren’t in place, your community should be working towards meeting these requirements, particularly the IDDE and erosion and sediment control ones, as requirements for these items are the same under the new permit as the old one. 

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  • Top 10 Differences Between the 2003 and 2016 Massachusetts MS4 Permit

    July 29th, 2016 by Eileen Pannetier


    As you may be aware, there are many differences between than 2003 and 2016 MS4 permit. CEI has been analyzing the changes, and to help simplify a complicated permit, we’ve boiled down the most significant changes to 10. Here they are:

    1. The 2016 permit has very specific public outreach and participation requirements, divided by audience and with definitive requirements for distribution. This may be something you will can do using materials created by your regional planning agency, MassDEP or EPA.

    2. The requirements for regulatory changes include incorporation of specific design requirements for new development and redevelopment largely tied to the Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook. Previously, regulations were required but did not specify design criteria and many communities did not implement any subdivision or site plan requirements.

     

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  • Is the record snowfall for 2015 a fluke? Or is it something we'll see more of in the future?

    March 9th, 2015 by Eileen Pannetier


    Guest Bloggers: Matthew Lundsted, P.E., CFM and Scott Salvucci, P.E.

    There are some actions you can take to reduce future flooding assuming we will continue to have heavy snow events as well as hurricanes and heavy rainfall periods in the future. One of the most critical assets in most communities are the culverts that protect our roadways from flooding. Undersized, deteriorated, or unstable culverts and bridges that have exceeded their designed lifetime are a hazard to more than just the roadway, but most communities have so many of them that it's difficult to fix them all. Prioritization is the key, and that starts with an up-to-date inventory that also highlights areas that will need extra attention after major snow or rainfall events.

    In a typical community, culverts may outnumber bridges by 4 to 1, but their failure can result in road washouts, flooding, significant property damage, and burdensome demands on municipal public works departments' staff during post-storm recovery efforts.

    Having a thorough understanding of the existing condition, capacity, and safety of your community's many culverts is key to ensuring your roadways are resilient to snow and storm events. Even better is a proactive plan to address known deficiencies and help form the foundation for a quick recovery following an extreme snow or storm event. Waiting until culverts fail is not a cost-effective approach since the damage may be much more expensive to repair, especially on an emergency or rush basis.

    A proactive culvert inventory and assessment could include the following:

    1. Develop or expand your GIS based infrastructure asset management program to include bridges and culverted stream crossings in the data array. CEI's engineers have developed a streamlined method for a GIS-based culvert and bridge infrastructure inventory and assessment for communities, to include identifying the appropriate data-fields and a supporting field program to establish an effective culvert condition baseline in your asset management database.
    2. Many communities have little, if any, updated information on culvert conditions. A simple, yet effective, in-the-field rapid assessment of the conditions of existing stream culverts including assessment of such conditions as settlement, cracking, corrosion, and spalling of the culvert material is needed. CEI has an efficient culvert evaluation protocol that can help. Completion of this protocol is the first step in compiling a list of structures with known structural deficiencies, and will greatly assist you with establishing priorities for repairs and replacements.
    3. If you have already identified culverts requiring replacement, we can also offer extensive experience in the design and permitting of these structures, including the necessary hydraulic analyses, stream assessments, applicable state and federal sizing and permitting requirements, and bidding and construction phases. Many communities have been helped by our staff of professional engineers and scientists and we’ll gladly provide a list of references.
    4. For culverts that appear undersized based on field assessment or that are known to have hydraulic capacity problems, we help you plan the most cost-effective and appropriate measures to upgrade these structures. Our experience with state-of-the-art hydraulic modeling tools and our knowledge of culvert hydraulics can be applied to help you set priorities for increasing culvert resilience to major snow and other storm events.
    5. If you are considering replacement of specific culvert structures, you will need to address current regulations at both the state and federal levels that address culvert installation practices in light of wildlife habitat and fish passage considerations. CEI staff are recognized as leading experts in the design of culverts for wildlife accommodation. We have direct working knowledge in the application of these regulations to culvert design and replacement, and can assist you through the regulatory requirements that apply to work on rivers and streams.
    6. Lastly, CEI can provide help in prioritizing the areas that will need the most work in a logical sequence using our Comprehensive Asset Planning (CAP) tool that allows adaptation to the factors most important to your community. For example, we can assist in prioritizing for snow cleanup, culvert maintenance and staff training, as well as developing flexible budgeting to address these priorities. CEI is ready to assist you with your inventory, structural assessment, prioritization, and culvert maintenance and upgrade program.

    For more information about CEI’s Flood Management and Culvert Assessment/Engineering services please contact Matt Lundsted, P.E., CFM at 800.725.2550 x305 mlundsted@ceiengineers.com or Scott Salvucci, P.E., at 508-281-5160 x380 or ssalvucci@ceiengineers.com.

    Visit us at www.ceiengineers.com

     

  • Is Your SPCC Plan In Place for an Emergency?

    August 12th, 2014 by Eileen Pannetier


    Do you have a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan? If so, is it up to date with the best available information? If not, you could be subject to penalties and fines. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) recently fined several facilities in New England anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for failing to have an adequate SPCC Plan in place. In some cases, these fines can exceed the cost to prepare the SPCC Plan itself, not to mention the headaches, legal fees and negative publicity.

    You are required to have an SPCC Plan if your facility stores either more than 1,320 gallons of oil in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 gallons in underground tanks and could potentially discharge oil into waters of the United States. Municipal facilities that are typically subject to these requirements include highway garages, transfer stations and recycling centers, where fueling, maintenance and/or waste oil collection are commonly performed. Plans generally outline where oil is stored, spill prevention practices, and response measures to implement in the event of a release. 

    A successful plan should be written so that information is easy to locate when needed the most - during an emergency. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and important emergency information often gets buried with the administrative requirements of the plan.

    CEI specializes in creating plans that are comprehensive but functional. Components may include a stand-alone “Action Plan”, focusing on facility inspections and spill response for use by workers in the facility and development of “Emergency Response Cards” or posters designed to hang on the wall near each oil storage location. Cards provide the most pertinent information for each storage area, including what is stored there, emergency response procedures and contacts, inspection and maintenance requirements, and a detailed map of the area showing the locations of oil containers and spill response equipment. These provide an invaluable quick reference in the event of an emergency, avoiding the need to locate and read through a lengthy written plan.

    For more information or examples of any of the materials referenced above, please contact Nick Cristofori, P.E. at 800.725.2550 x303, ncristofori@ceiengineers.com, or Rebecca Balke, P.E. at x308, rbalke@ceiengineers.com or visit www.ceiengineers.com for information on other services we offer.

  • Staying Ahead of Stormwater Phase II

    April 16th, 2014 by Eileen Pannetier


    Like the rest of us, you are probably wondering when the new NPDES Phase II stormwater permit will be released.  Draft permits have been in the works, and reworked, since as early as 2008, with the latest draft issued in NH in 2013.  EPA has indicated that the new Massachusetts draft will be released soon, followed by the final permit for NH later this year.  However, based on history, this could be anywhere from a month to several years.  Only time will tell.

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  • Happy Spring!

    March 21st, 2014 by Eileen Pannetier


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  • Keep Your Trees – They’re BMPs!

    March 17th, 2014 by Eileen Pannetier


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  • National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

    March 7th, 2014 by Eileen Pannetier


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