Finding Stormwater BMP “Gold” at 2018 Summer #MACoCon

From L to R: Olivia Devereux, Senator James Mathias, Shannon Moore, Ben Alexandro, and Natalia Sanchez

Attendees to the 2018 MACo Summer Conference learned about stormwater project resources and success stories during the “X Marks the Spot: A Treasure Trove of Stormwater Solutions” on August 16, 2018.

Devereux Environmental Consulting Environmental Scientist Olivia Devereux discussed how counties can use the Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool (CAST) to calculate stormwater reductions from projects and document best management practices (BMPs) for  Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load or Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit compliance. Devereux explained how CAST models the nutrient load reductions for different BMPs, allowing a county to be very targeted in its approach. CAST can also distinguish between permitted and voluntary BMPs. Devereux also illustrated how CAST can create reports and graphs of nutrient reductions for documentation or education purposes.

Municipal Online Stormwater Training (MOST) Center Program Coordinator Natalia Sanchez discussed the free resources MOST can offer to counties. The MOST Center is under the University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center and offers free information, training videos, and courses about financing stormwater projects, innovative BMPs, stormwater project success stories, and public engagement.

Maryland League of Conservation Voters Water Policy Advocate Ben Alexandro discussed the “Pollution Solutions” portion of the MOST website that was developed in conjunction with the League. Pollution Solutions is an interactive toolkit that allows practitioners to share knowledge and communicate their success stories. The tool offers easy-to-digest case stories throughout Maryland. A county can search for case studies using a variety of terms. Each case study also has a printable one-pager that summarizes the project and outcome. The one-pager includes the type of project, size, cost, funding sources used and a local government contact if you want to follow up.

Finally, Frederick County Sustainability and Environmental Resources Manager Shannon Moore talked about “finding BMP gold.” Moore talked about the BMPs that are working best in the County, including wet pond retrofits, stream restorations, large format delivery tree planting. Moore noted that septic pump outs are of the most cost effective BMP for the county at this point. Reviewing other county financial assurance plans can also be a good source of ideas. Moore also discussed the County’s creek relief program where the County works with private landowners to meet stormwater permit requirements.

Maryland Senator James Mathias moderated the panel.

Useful Links

CAST Website

MOST Center

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