Carolyn Howard

Carolyn Howard is a civil engineer with 19 years of experience, including sustainable site development, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, and stormwater management. Her technical expertise, combined with her exceptional project management and communication skills, have resulted in the successful performance of numerous client assignments for state, local and private clients. In addition to her work at Draper Aden Associates, Carolyn is a member of the Stormwater Task Force in the Town of Blacksburg and is a frequent presenter on the subject of stormwater utility fees throughout Virginia. Carolyn’s site design experience includes numerous sustainable design projects that have obtained various levels of LEED certification in Virginia and Illinois.

EFC Manual Provides Needed Stormwater Information

ImageThe University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center’s Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual provides an alternative approach for local government staff seeking financing for stormwater management projects.   The  Environmental Finance Center’s approach is providing government officials a “…process model for being effective leaders in their jurisdictions to create policies and programs…and encourage and empower leadership efforts.”

Access here:


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Cost Sharing Is An Option

BayWatershedMap_mjs4The cost for compliance with Chesapeake Bay TMDL over the next 15 years is starting to be tallied – and it’s astronomical!    MS4 localities are actively seeking innovative ways to save money – both in implementation and administrative costs.  Fairfax County and the Towns of Vienna and Herndon have found a way to do just that by implementing a regional approach to stormwater management.   Read more about their cost sharing agreement here:

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“One-Stop Shop” Stormwater Management for Campbell County


Even though it’s likely that non-MS4 localities will be able to ‘opt out’ of being the administrator of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program, communities like Campbell County are ‘opting in’ – understanding the benefits to its development community by having the program run locally – a “one-stop shop” for permitting.   Read more about Campbell County’s efforts here:

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Upcoming Webinar Looks at Green Infrastructure in Stormwater Management

edCharlottesville Stormdrain

Road surfaces play a huge role in stormwater runoff and green infrastructure is one way to meet stormwater management head on that is both affordable and resilient. To that end the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wastewater Management and the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Project Development and Environmental Review are teaming up to co-sponsor the webcast “Innovative Transportation Stormwater Management: Green Infrastructure in Road Projects.”

For more information and to register to this link:

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“One-Stop Shop” Wanted for Stormwater Plans

sm149076289It appears that legislation to reverse the requirement for all localities to administer the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) will pass in the General Assembly; however, many non-MS4 localities are planning to ‘opt-in’ to having a local VSMP, instead of having DEQ take it over. Why? One word – Control – control over plan review and inspection outcomes and timeframes. These ‘opt-in’ localities have enough development projects to justify the additional staff and resources to manage the VSMP. Additionally these localities see the advantage to providing a ‘one-stop shop’ for their owners and developers.

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Virginia Stormwater Management Programs for Non-MS4 Localities May Be Administered by DEQ Pending Legislative Approval

Roadside Stormwater DrainFor the past 2 years localities across the Commonwealth have been preparing to locally administer the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) and becoming increasingly concerned about the costs  of implementation.  However, with the Senate passing of SB423, it is likely that  non-MS4 localities will no longer be required to locally administer the VSMP – these localities will have the option to have the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administer and enforce the VSMP.   Additionally, this Bill provides:

  • Reciprocity with programs in other states for the certification of proprietary best management practices (BMPs)
  • An agreement-in-lieu-of a stormwater management plan, and
  • Updates the hearings and appeals processes

Information regarding Senate Bill 423 can be found here:

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Finding Ways to Save on Stormwater Utility Fees

Roanoke SFR Stormwater Utility Fee Credit ManualThe intent of new stormwater utility fees being implemented by the City of Roanoke  is twofold:

  1. New Revenue Source – Stormwater utility fees will provide revenue to fund stormwater improvement projects. These projects are geared to correct past deficiencies (undersized conveyance systems and/or flooding problems) and/or to implement stormwater quality improvement projects throughout the City. These improvements are necessitated by the City’s  new municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit and the Virginia Stormwater Management Program regulations.
  2. Encourage Conservation Projects and Low Impact Development – Homeowners and businesses alike can implement best management practice (BMP) facilities on their property to mitigate the impact that development on their property has on local drainage areas and the entire watershed..

In an interview with Roanoke City engineer Phil Schirmer, he shares some of the ways that property owners can implement strategies to reduce their stormwater footprint and reduce the fee that they will pay to the City under new stormwater utility fee programs.

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