Developing Green Infrastructure Solutions: Stormwater Management Workshop and Presentation
American Rivers hosted the workshop Solutions for Municipalities Managing Stormwater at Swarthmore College in January 2009. The workshop was conducted to present sound stormwater management to municipalities and their engineers, citizen-based watershed groups, and civic leadership.
The first track of the workshop reviewed problems associated with stormwater runoff, particularly in Pennsylvania, and green infrastructure solutions. Participants were given American Rivers’ report, Local Water Policy Innovation: A Road Map for Community Based Stormwater Solutions.
This introductory session highlighted local initiatives for:
- the large urban Philadelphia program
- a demonstration effort for the outlying municipality of Springfield
- an on-site application of green infrastructure at Radnor Middle School
The remainder of the track created enlightening discussion through a series of panel discussions:
Planning Consideration: Reaching Water Quality Goals, and Regulatory and Guidance Drivers
- Consultant Bruce Gilmore and Harry Campbell, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, linked green infrastructure solutions to specific clean water benefits when applied to urban stormwater planning
- Paula Estornell, EPA Water Protection Division, provided federal perspectives on stormwater regulation and highlighted expectations for a more robust urban stormwater permit and stronger compliance
- Barry Newman, PA-DEP Bureau of Watershed Management, provided state perspectives on stormwater regulatory programs
Management Considerations: Community Engagement, and Funding Stormwater Work Now and in the Future
- Barry Lewis, Green Treks Network, described outreach through internet applications
- Stuart Echols, Penn State Department of Landscape, emphasized the importance of visually appealing stormwater solutions
- Mindy Lemoine, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, described a Philadelphia community effort to make stormwater practices easy to accept within a community
- The Darby Creek Valley Association described a project utilizing community members for “hands-on” implementation of “backyard” stormwater practices
Applying Funding to Green Infrastructure Solutions
- Steve Allbee, EPA, discussed the need to “green” asset management
- Joanne Denworth, Office of the Governor, spoke about policy directions that include suggestions for innovative, green practices for water management
- Paul Marchetti, Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, described that state’s interest in green infrastructure and the expectation for stimulus funding applied to the State Revolving Fund to include “green” set asides
- Howard Neukrug discussed local programs by describing specific green infrastructure approaches within the City’s planning and the challenges to find adequate funding
The second track of the workshop presented design and implementation of municipal stormwater programs using green infrastructure.
Tom Shueler, Chesapeake Stormwater Network, took participants through the steps of developing a small urban stormwater program with a five-session presentation. The sessions provide practical advice to municipalities implementing on-the-ground solutions. Click on a session to view the presentation (PDF).
- Session 1– Developing Effective MS4 Stormwater Programs on a Shoestring. This session outlined why stormwater runoff is a key problem in small communities, reviewed the six minimum management measures that must be achieved, and presented practical tips on how to build a program on a shoestring budget within a few year permit cycle.
- Session 2– Stormwater Practices and Programs That Work. This session showed how different stormwater practices and programs work to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff. The session reviewed emerging practices such as bioretention, soil restoration, dry swales, rain harvesting, permeable pavement, and other low impact development practices, as well as how municipal operations like enhanced street sweeping, storm drain cleanouts, and stormwater education can make a real difference.
- Session 3—Building Better Post-Construction Stormwater, Maintenance and IDDE Programs. This session presented guidance to communities on how they can develop a simple but effective local stormwater ordinance and establish a stormwater review, inspection, and maintenance program. Additionally, the session described how to craft a customized illicit discharge detection and elimination program that is appropriately based on the size and pollution sources present in a community.
- Session 4— Building Better Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Education and Municipal Good Housekeeping Programs. The fourth session provided guidance on how to address the other minimum management measures required under stormwater permits such as stormwater education, public involvement, municipal housekeeping, and erosion and sediment control. The session focused on low cost and simple ways to develop stronger programs to meet these minimum management measures.
- Session 5– The Road Ahead: A Facilitated Dialogue on how Municipalities can meet Future Stormwater Challenges. The final session featured opportunities for local stormwater managers to look at the road ahead by providing small groups with tools to identify actions, collaborations, and next steps to pursue after the workshop.
Tom also provided workshop participants with additional resources (PDF):
- Chesapeake Stormwater Network Guide to the Best Stormwater Resources
- Benefits of Better Site Design for Commercial Development
- Benefits of Better Site Design for Residential Development
- Chesapeake Stormwater Network Technical Bulletin No. 3: The Impervious Cover Model