Maine Stormwater Conference

Policy

Tuesday, November 17

Presentations from the 2015 Conference are available here.

8:30 – 10:00  Session IV – Emerging Issues

8:30 – 9:00
Permit Coverage Not Enough?
Caroline Hampton, VHB

DOTs and others have found that they continue to be pushed to develop innovative and robust water quality focused programs to satisfy the Clean Water Act, even when officially authorized to discharge under an EPA or state-delegated NPDES municipal stormwater permit.  EPA has performed audits of many state DOTs, including a few in New England.  While we have yet to see formal results from these audits, DOTs are being threatened with lawsuits by the EPA for non-compliance and are discussing Consent Decrees with significant remedial measures and monetary penalties to avoid these lawsuits. While operating with permit coverage under a NPDES MS4 permit, MassDOT was sued by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) et al. and the EPA served an enforcement order for non-compliance centered on potential impacts to impaired waters.  In the last five years, MassDOT has assessed more than 700 impaired waters and advertised retrofit construction projects for more than 250 BMPs, spending roughly $27.5M in construction and $11.5M in assessment and design of the BMPs.  Similarly, other DOTs have found that being covered by the NPDES permit is not enough and that either the EPA or outside legal actions have forced them to develop more robust stormwater programs. Learn about what the non-compliance events have been and understand where your city/ town/ DOT may be susceptible.

9:00 – 9:30
Healthy and Resilient Watersheds: What’s in the Way?  What’s Possible?
Trish Garrigan, Environmental Protection Agency

Becoming more “resilient” in the face of climate change, at the watershed level, as well as at the local and regional level, may mean different things to different people, but is now often a part of the conversation.  But what does becoming more “resilient” look like?  And what is in the way of it?   This presentation will use examples from the watershed, local, and regional levels to discuss the challenges, and opportunities we face in becoming more resilient. 

9:30 – 10:00
The Federal Government’s Approach to Climate Change
Bill DeLong, Department of Homeland Security

The Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified the critical lifeline infrastructure systems (energy, transportation, water/wastewater, and telecommunications) in the Casco Bay Region of Maine as the focus for one of 10 Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP) projects conducted nationwide in the Fiscal Year 2014. The Casco Bay Region Climate Change Adaptation Planning RRAP is the first RRAP in the history of the program to focus on climate change and provide information and methodologies to stakeholders to enable effective regional climate change adaptation planning.


10:30 – 12:00  Session V – Stormwater: The National & Regional Perspective

10:30 – 11:30

National Policy Update and Stormwater Touchpoints
Brenna Mannion, National Association of Clean Water Agencies

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies will provide attendees with an update on the Administration and U.S. EPA’s stormwater program priorities, focus on permitting, and potential impacts on the Phase II MS4 program. The session will also examine recent legal decisions that may set national precedent including the status of stormwater utilities and fee programs around the country.

The landscape of policies in the stormwater and watershed management sectors is changing rapidly. The recent effort by the U.S. EPA to update the federal stormwater program through rulemaking has been deferred and replaced by an effort to strengthen the existing NPDES MS4 program. Legal rulings impacting the sectors reflect the shifting nature of policies as well. Challenges have arisen on retention‐based permits, which is a reaction to updates from the EPA on the use of flow as a surrogate for other pollutants. Other legal challenges have arisen, such as the challenge of implementing stormwater utilities based upon the view that this fee‐based approach is actually a tax. Emerging areas of policy include Residual Designation Authority (RDA) and integrated management, which are so new that the implications of these approaches have yet to be fully understood. Considering that stormwater management impacts a variety of sectors, including transportation, residential and commercial land development and industrial activities and public works efforts, the increase in policy dynamism and anticipated strengthening of regulatory programs will have widespread impacts.

11:30 – 12:00
The Great Race: New England States Forge Ahead with Stormwater Program Implementation
Richard Claytor, Horsley Witten Group

This session will examine and report on the state of stormwater management programs in Maine as compared to her New England neighbors. All across New England local programs are advancing innovations in program funding, asset management, updated codes and ordinances and stormwater practice design variants. This session will highlight these recent advances so participants can see what their neighbors are doing and how this information might be used to advance their own programs and designs.


2:30 – 4:00  Session VI – Stormwater: The Main(e) Perspective

2:30 – 4:00
Panel Discussion

Maine DEP staff will provide an overview of the stormwater landscape in Maine, including the recent Chapter 500 rule-making and anticipated updates to the Maine Construction General Permit.


To view speaker bios click here.


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