Technical Resources

This Week in Washington



September 1, 2011                                                Vol. 1, No. 6 

The Stormwater Report is a monthly e-newsletter that highlights advanced practices, cutting-edge research, policy updates, and current events pertaining to stormwater.  Look for The Stormwater Report on the first Thursday of every month.


Stormwater Programming Flows at WEFTEC 2011 

This year, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) will feature comprehensive, continuous stormwater programming throughout WEF’s Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC®) 2011. Taking place October 15-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the 84th annual show includes a green infrastructure workshop, a facility tour, and 42 presentations.

WEF continues to expand its coverage of stormwater topics, with WEFTEC being a prime example. The exhibition also will include approximately 1000 vendors with the latest technology, many offering stormwater-related products and services. The exhibition offers attendees a chance to interact with manufacturer’s representatives, handle that latest filter or inspect a permeable paver, and learn what might work for their project.

Additionally, WEFTEC offers opportunities to meet fellow stormwater professionals and WEF volunteers serving on technical committees. These volunteers contribute to many of WEF’s technical products, and committee meetings provide a behind-the-scenes look at how they devise an integrated menu of stormwater information, from webcasts to conference sessions. The Stormwater Coordinating Council (SWCC), whose inaugural meeting was held at WEFTEC 2010, is charged with coordinating stormwater activities among WEF’s many committees (check here for a list of committee meeting times). 

The SWCC meeting at WEFTEC 2011 will include a discussion of both past and upcoming events as well as projects that committees anticipate for 2011-2012.  This meeting, which is open to the public, also will include a presentation by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff on the proposed stormwater rule. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions about this major rulemaking effort. 

Workshop 209, “Green Infrastructure: Beyond the Hype to Real Results,” kicks off the stormwater programing on Sunday, Oct. 16. Speakers will describe real-life experiences with implementing green infrastructure solutions in different towns and cities around the nation, giving participants an appreciation of how to plan and implement green infrastructure projects and an opportunity to interact with the nation’s leading green infrastructure practitioners.  

On Oct. 17, conference attendees may consider sitting in on Technical Session (TS) 18, “Quantifying the Benefits of Green Infrastructure.” This session will describe how some of the largest municipal green infrastructure programs are evaluating options, utilizing performance data, and analyzing economics as they turn the cityscape green.

Oct. 18 is a triple-header for stormwater. In the morning, at TS42, “Stormwater Management Challenges and Solutions in the Urban Watershed,” speakers discuss implementation of stormwater management solutions. After lunch, TS65, “Solving Stormwater Issues Through Monitoring and Modeling,” will delve into optimization of stormwater control designs using the appropriate modeling tools. TS66, “Emerging Solutions to Stormwater Problems Through Applied Research and Development,” takes place immediately after and provides insight into the approaches and technologies of tomorrow.

On Oct. 19, TS90, “Sustainable Solutions to Stormwater Issues Through Green Infrastructure,” demonstrates that green approaches can be win-win-win on the triple bottom line, while TS109, “Green LA Stormwater Infrastructure,” explores how green approaches have improved WEFTEC’s host city, Los Angeles. TS109 is complemented by Tour 7, “Stormwater Management Tour,” which includes two Los Angeles stormwater projects—a wetland park and green streets project.

Thanks to contributing author Tad Slawecki of the Stormwater Coordinating Council  



Stormwater Symposium 2012 Call for Abstracts is Now Open
Submit your abstract by Oct. 26 for the Stormwater Symposium, July 19–20, 2012, in Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor.  The 2-day event, hosted in cooperation with the Chesapeake Water Environment Association, will bring together practitioners, regulators, academics, manufactures, and visionaries to network and exchange information on challenges, successes, and opportunities related to stormwater.  A detailed call for abstracts and submittal tool can be found online.

EPA Postponed Stormwater Rulemaking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will seek a 2-month extension for the proposed national post-construction stormwater rule. The original Sept. 30 deadline will be extended until Dec. 2; however, the final rule is still planned for release in late November 2012. As such, once the proposed rule is released, the public comment period will be only 60 days, with comments likely to be due in early February 2012.  The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) will be developing comments. Those interested in participating should contact Seth Brown at



WEF Events 

WEFTEC® 2011
Oct. 15–19
Los Angeles Convention Center
Check here for stormwater-specific programming

Member Association Events 

New York Water Environment Association
2011 Watershed Science and Technical Conference
Sept. 15–16
Hotel Thayer
West Point, N.Y.

Water Environment Association of Ontario
Collection and Conveyance Systems
Sept. 15
Conference centre
Milton, Ontario
To cover infiltration/inflow and stormwater utilities

Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association
Annual Conference & Exhibition
Vancouver, Wash.
Sept. 18–21
Stormwater sessions on Sept. 19, 10:30 a.m–5:15 p.m.

North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina Associations
Confluence Conference
September 22-23
Greenville, S.C.
With a Workshop on low impact development

Virginia Water Environment Association
WaterJAM 2011
Virginia Beach, Va.
Sept. 26–29
Wet Weather/Stormwater on Sept. 27, 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Chesapeake Water Environment Federation
Wet Weather Issues, Piped & Un-Piped
Nov. 15
Linthicum, Md.

Other Events 

Stormwater Industry Association of New South Wales
2011 Stormwater New South Wales Conference
Sept. 6-9
Cypress Lakes Resort
Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Southern Regional Water Program
WQ Nutrient Standards: Coming to a watershed near you?
Sept. 15
Georgia Center
Athens, Ga.

Water Environment Research Foundation
Greening Our Cities
Sept. 21
2 to 3:15 p.m.

Philadelphia Low Impact Development Symposium
Sept. 25-28
Loews Philadelphia Hotel
Philadelphia, Pa.

WEF To Host Industrial Stormwater Session at WEFTEC 2011
On Oct. 17, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) will host a 2-part session on Industrial Stormwater at WEFTEC® 2011 in Los Angeles. Part I will feature presentations from California stormwater regulators, and Heal the Bay’s president will discuss grassroots impacts on stormwater regulations and implementation. In addition, Boeing will provide insight on dealing with industrial stormwater rules.  Part II will include a panel discussion featuring session presenters and representatives from the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association. While not listed with WEFTEC’s stormwater-specific programming, attendees interested in stormwater should note this invited session. 

Inhofe Calls for Hearing on Proposed Stormwater Rule
On Aug. 17, U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), called on Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to hold oversight hearings on the proposed stormwater rule. Inhofe cites concern about the impact of the proposed rule on the development community, stating that “the rule has the potential to be one of the most costly regulations EPA has ever promulgated.”  More information is available at the EPW Minority website, and information regarding specific concerns is available in a letter signed by several within the EPW minority.

L.A. County May Appeal Stormwater Ruling to the Supreme Court

Los Angeles County is likely to appeal to the Supreme Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a rehearing of Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al. on July 13. The landmark appellate ruling, made in March, stated that cities with municipal separate storm sewer (MS4) permits are strictly liable for all stormwater runoff pollution at their monitoring stations, regardless of whether the pollutant originated outside the MS4 system. Even if the municipality is working to address known violations—an iterative process—penalties may be incurred.

The lawsuit was brought against the county because the county’s flood control district exceeded the pollutant limits of its MS4 permit. However, the county claims that upstream neighbors are responsible for some of the pollutant loads. There are concerns that this ruling could lead to litigation between municipalities regarding who is responsible for stormwater pollutants.

WERF Requests Chesapeake Bay BMP Monitoring Data

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) is seeking stormwater BMP monitoring studies with event-based data from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for inclusion in the International Stormwater BMP Database.  A special data collection and analysis effort focused on the Chesapeake Bay is underway and will be publically available this fall via a dedicated portion of the International BMP Database website.

Published studies, relevant local data sets, or any suggested data sources can be emailed directly to Jane Clary at for potential inclusion in the effort.  Those providing studies will be acknowledged on the project website, with web links back to the original program website. 

EPA Withdraws Numeric Turbidity Limit for Construction Runoff
On Aug. 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a proposed rule that would have enacted the first federal numeric turbidity limit for runoff from construction sites. In 2010, EPA dropped the limit of 280 nephlometric turbidity units (NTUs) from the construction and development industry's effluent guidelines, published in the December 2009 Federal Register. That limit was set to become effective this August.

EPA began conducting a separate rulemaking effort to devise a new numeric limit, which would have affected both the EPA's Construction General Permit and reissued state permits. However, last month, EPA withdrew the rule from review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. The agency's goal is to gather more data on treatment performance from construction and development sites. As such, they will publish a solicitation for data in an upcoming Federal Register. See the Aug. 19 issue of This Week in Washington for more information.

Cincinnati MSD Proposes Landmark Green Infrastructure Project
The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) is planning a river restoration project to alleviate combined sewer overflows (CSO) in the Lower Mill Creek watershed, which contributes 50% of Hamilton County’s annual CSOs of 53 billion L. MSD will demolish dilapidated buildings to restore Lick Run channel to an open, flowing stream — a landmark experiment in the benefits of green infrastructure. The restoration is part of Project Groundwork, a $3.2-billion initiative enacted to address a 2006 consent decree mandating that MSD capture, treat, or reduce their CSOs by 85% and eliminate all sanitary sewer overflows — about 378 million L annually.

A traditional solution presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection agency was an underground storage tunnel measuring 9-m in diameter and stretching 1.9 km. The river restoration should achieve the same results — a 7.6-billion L reduction in CSOs — at a greatly reduced cost. This project also is expected to revitalize the neighborhood of South Fairmount and give EPA an opportunity to collect data on green infrastructure.

EPA Releases Draft Guidance on CSOs and Small Communities Tool
On Aug. 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a Draft Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Post Construction Compliance Monitoring Guidance document. The document addresses monitoring requirements within the 1994 CSO Control Policy.  EPA is especially interested in how the guidance could help small communities. Therefore, along with the guidance, the agency released the LTCP E-Z Template for Small Communities, intended to help implement green approaches into CSO abatement plans.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) plans to submit comments on the guidance document; comments are due Sept. 30.  Outside comments should be sent to Mohammed Billah at See the Aug. 12 issue of This Week in Washington for more information.

Check It Out!
Canadian Park Turns Stormwater into Art

Sherbourne Common — part of Waterfront Toronto — is the first Canadian park to incorporate a neighborhood-wide stormwater treatment facility. The facility is integrated with an artistic display: a fountain that releases treated stormwater from 9-m towers. At night, the motion-activated lights illuminate the falling water. A mesh-veil behind the water will allow ice patterns to form in the winter. The treated stormwater flows through a 240-m-long channel to Lake Ontario. Check here for pictures and more information.

Did we miss something? Feel free to suggest content by e-mailing Kristina Twigg at or WEF’s stormwater team lead, Seth Brown at