Stormwater Library

resources for stormwater professionals

Archive for Regulatory Guidelines

Identifying the roadblocks to LID – 2008 Puget Sound Study

In 2008, a research study was sponsored by the State of Washington to survey the progress being made by 19 local governments in adopting LID controls into their building codes. A representative from each of the 19 municipalities was asked the same set of questions regarding the barriers seen to LID implementation. Some of the trends they found in the responses include the following:

  • Perception that LID is not a proven technology
  • General public and government officials lack understanding of LID
  • Perception that LID is more expensive when compared to traditional BMPs
  • Planning departments lack training to review and inspect LID controls
  • Developers lack knowledge of LID
  • LID difficult to use in urban settings, difficult to retrofit

One of the more interesting solutions to the obstacles focused on funding of “high traffic” demonstration projects to help provide a local proof of benefit.

The report can be read in its entirety here.



Local Stormwater Management Practices

A research study conducted by James Scholl of Malcom Pirnie and presented at the WEFTEC 2007 conference looked at the myriad of local stormwater management programs across the country – focusing on major differences in organizational structures, funding sources, and the impetus for their development. Some interesting conclusions from the report include:

  • Historically, flooding has been the impetus for creating a local or regional stormwater program.
  • Currently, compliance issues and water quality protection are the forces behind creating new programs or modifying existing ones.
  • Using an existing public works to house the program is the most common approach to organizational structure.
  • Funding for new infrastructure projects is the biggest challenge, even with an existing revenue structure from fees.
  • Recent trends point to municipalities coordinating with other local agencies and authorities to manage stormwater programs. A good example of this kind of model is discussed in a previous post.

A new regulatory approach

A recent study by the National Research Council suggests the framework for regulating stormwater discharge is inappropriately based on principles applied to sewage and industrial waste.  The focus over the years has been on the chemical pollutants rather than on discharge volume.  Urban and suburban planning has dramatically increased these volumes and taxed watersheds, bringing more water and pollutants into our surface waters.

The study discusses a new permitting approach that puts responsibility in the hands of the municipalities.  Recommendations are made regarding surfacing of roads and parking, as well as for systems to detain and treat stormwater. 

A copy of the study can be  purchased online here, where it can also be read for free.