Now viewing articles in the category Stormwater.

  • 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.

    3. Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) will be required at all municipal maintenance garages, public works yards, transfer stations, and other waste handling facilities, previously only required for construction sites and certain industrial facilities regulated by different permit programs.

    4. Municipalities will be required to identify five municipal-owned properties that could potentially be modified or retrofitted with structural best management practices (BMPs) and maintain a minimum of five sites in their inventory for future improvements.

    5. Street sweeping is required once per year throughout the regulated area, and twice per year in areas that discharge to nutrient impaired water bodies. Previously street sweeping was considered a best management practice but was not required.

    6. Catch basins must be cleaned when they are less than 50% full, which suggest that they will need to be inspected prior to that.

    7. Mapping of the entire regulated MS4 system must be performed, including outfalls with contributing catchment areas, interconnections, and open channel conveyances by Year 2, and pipes, manholes, catch basins, and treatment structures by Year 10. Previously, only outfalls had to be mapped.

    8. Catchment investigations must be performed and include dry weather screening of all key junction manholes/structures regardless of whether dry weather flow is observed at the outlet. Any dry weather flows observed must be sampled and analyzed for certain parameters. Previously, dry weather investigations were only required at the outfalls, and analysis of samples was recommended but not required.

    9. Wet weather sampling must be conducted at outfalls in catchment areas with certain characteristics or system vulnerability factors (SVFs). No wet weather sampling was previously required.

    10. Based on the impaired waters within the municipality, some communities may be required to prepare phosphorus control programs (PCPs), or nitrogen identification programs or bacterial strategies. These were not required in the prior permit.

    The effective date of the permit is July 1, 2017 and you will have 90 days after that to file a notice of intent (NOI). If you have questions about any of these differences, or would like assistance from CEI, we can help you to minimize the cost of compliance and identify funding sources as well as resources for assistance. Contact me at (508)-261-5160 ext. 301 or epannetier@ceiengineers.com. If you want to talk to the real experts, call Rebecca Balke (rbalke@ceiengineers.com)  or Nick Cristofori (ncristofori@ceiengineers.com) at extensions 308 and 303 respectively. We’re here to help!

    Note that these are just the major changes and that there are many other more minor issues to address. Copyright 2016 Comprehensive Environmental Inc. all rights reserved

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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


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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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