When it rains, stormwater can become polluted as it flows over impervious surfaces such as buildings and parking lots. Permits are often required for stormwater discharges in developed areas because of their potential to cause downstream flooding and adversely impact waterways. For example, in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, many federal agencies have properties covered by stormwater permits—typically municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits, which may also include other pollution reduction requirements that require long-term planning and financial commitments. Federal agencies often need help managing their onsite stormwater runoff and meeting the requirements of their stormwater discharge permits.
ERG helps federal agencies comply with their site-specific stormwater discharge permits. For MS4-permitted properties, ERG establishes stormwater programs, creates tracking mechanisms, develops standard operating procedures, assesses potential pollutant sources, creates maps, performs inspections, authors annual reports, and develops outreach and training products. For properties with industrial stormwater discharge permits, ERG supports reporting and permit application activities. We work with each client to assess potential hurdles and prioritize activities in an often-challenging financial climate with many competing site management priorities. For example, ERG performs GIS-based analysis of green infrastructure opportunities to assess the most cost-effective strategies to meet required pollutant reductions. ERG also provides support for other agency stormwater compliance-related program, outreach, and construction efforts. For example, ERG developed a land-disturbing activity user guide to help a federal agency increase its construction project compliance with local permitting processes and erosion and sediment control requirements. We have created and presented numerous training courses that help federal staff better understand the stormwater regulations and policies applicable to their properties and agency. ERG also regularly helps agencies comply with their construction stormwater requirements by reviewing construction documents and performing erosion and sediment control inspections.