HBA has been working with Clean Water Services over the last 6 months as they update their storm water design and construction standards. Part of Phase 1 will be implemented on April 22, 2017 and at a recent hearing, CWS acknowledged HBA’s concerns and emphasized that HBA staff and members will be involved as phase 2 of public outreach for the update approaches.
Six months ago, Clean Water Services began the 3 year long process of updating its storm water design and construction standards in order to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The HBA has been engaged with CWS to provide critical feedback on the changes throughout the process on all aspects of the guidelines in order to minimize the impact to housing where possible.
On March 28, the Clean Water Services (CWS) Board of Directors voted to pass the first phase of these updates. HBA submitted testimony to Chair Andy Duyck and the Clean Water Services’ Board and attended the Washington County Commission hearing where phase 1 of the proposed updates to the storm water design and construction standards were reviewed and approved.
The key changes in Phase 1 of the update process are the requirement for storm water treatment for projects (new and redevelopment) creating new or a combination of disturbing/creating +1,000 SQ FT of impervious surface (building or hardscape), elimination of the redevelopment/treatment requirement table and going with a straight 3 to 1 ratio and the codification of prioritization of Low Impact Development Approaches (LIDA).
While certain aspects of the new regulations could not be avoided in order to comply with the NPDES permit, changes to regulations were reached through the HBAs advocacy efforts:
- A Fee in lieu option in place where onsite treatment is not reasonable. The fee per lot will be about $2,500 per 2,640 SQ FT of required treatment.
- For redevelopment, CWS struck the original chart determining required treatment area which resulted in disproportionate treatment on large sites with small disturbance areas.
- A Water Quality Treatment Calculator (Figure 4-1) has been developed to help demonstrate how the proposed treatment requirements would apply to projects more accurately.
- General text changes to help ease compliance while providing clarity to standards. For example dropping the term “green infrastructure” from the guidelines in favor of LIDA to prevent confusion.
Phase 2 of the update process will focus on meeting the new permit requirement to have hydromodification standards in place by April 22, 2019. This portion of the update process will undoubtedly be the more rigorous of the two and have a much more dramatic impact to the design and construction standards. As CWS begins outreach for phase 2 during summer 2017, the HBA will ratchet up the engagement with CWS. This will include coordinating meetings with CWS staff exclusively for HBA members throughout the process to collaborate on the best practices for implementation of the next set of standards.