Glenn Custis

Glenn is a civil engineer with over 40 years of experience, including the fields of stormwater design, site engineering and environmental engineering. In addition, Glenn currently serves on the Virginia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Stormwater Committee. Glenn is an instructor for Virginia Tech’s Land Development Design Initiative (LDDI) CEE 4284 Advance Land Development Design course, in the area of erosion and sediment control design. Glenn’s site design experience includes numerous sustainable design projects that have obtained LEED certification.

Virginia Maintains that EPA’s Computer Model Still Has Flaws

The Commonwealth of Virginia is only one of many that contend that the computer model, or simulation, that the federal Environmental Protection Agency uses to guide the six-state bay cleanup has problems which make it difficult to accurately calculate exactly what individual localities need to do in order to meet the overall goal. Recently, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published a story which details some of the confusion citing the example of Charles City County who went from meeting 52% of sediment control requirements this summer to having a surplus capacity allowing an increase in sediment load of 406% in its latest update.

The article illustrates the uncertainties involved with the allocations established in the Bay TMDL, and the constraints due to the limited data.  Although measures are needed to improve water quality in the Bay, finding a fair way to allocate pollutant loads, among states, local governments, non-point source and point source dischargers is a difficult challenge with economic consequences for all involved

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/chesapeake-bay-news/2011/oct/31/2/tdmain01-pollution-model-for-bay-hit-ar-1422615/#fbcomments

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Enhanced Stormwater Management – Not Always an Easy Target

Very often (if not always) decisions related to what is and is not included in any development project involve cost. Economics is a key factor if for no other reason than, “that which cannot be paid for cannot be built.” How the public and private sectors address stormwater management are not always the same. There are regulations and requirements that are dictated by local, state and federal codes. Additionally, private developers and corporations have adopted their own policies towards “doing more” than simply meeting code requirements or making an environmental stewardship statement.

The United States Government enacted Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act to address Storm Water Runoff Requirements for Federal Development Projects which states;

“The sponsor of any development or redevelopment project involving a Federal facility with a footprint that exceeds 5,000 square feet shall use site planning, design, construction, and maintenance strategies for the property to maintain or restore, to the maximum extent technically feasible, the predevelopment hydrology of the property with regard to the temperature, rate, volume, and duration of flow.”

In Richmond, Virginia, The Defense Logistics Agency recently began the process of constructing several bioretention units at the Defense Supply Center-Richmond (DSC-R). The units will help the DSC-R meet Section 438 requirements by reducing runoff through improved infiltration (soil amendments, native plantings) and detention.

To learn more about the project click on the following links:
http://www.dla.mil/dla_media_center/Pages/newsarticle201108220959.aspx

http://www.midlothianexchange.com/index.php/news/article/helping-mother-nature-takes-its-course/26149/

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Virginia Stormwater Regulations Approved – Now What?

Prior to the Memorial Day holiday (May 24th to be exact), the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board unanimously adopted the revised stormwater regulations. The new regs have been seven years in the making, so the uncertainty and speculation that has surrounded this process is finally behind us. The new rules require increased levels of stormwater quality and quantity control to  “benefit water quality throughout the state,” said David Dowling, policy and planning director for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The new rules should not take effect until October. The regs represent a compromise between those changes being advocated by both the development community and environmentalists.

The complete Regulations are located on DCR’s web site at  http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/lr2d.shtml

Have you or your organization prepared for this moment? How will you change the way you look at and deal with stormwater as a result of these new regulations? Let us know your thoughts.

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The Time is Now to Comment on Proposed Stormwater Regulations

March 28th began the 30-day comment period for the proposed Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulations (Parts 1, 2 & 3.) This reflects the final opportunity to comment on the recommended changes that came out of the Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) convened by the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR.)   Prior to presentation of the revised final recommendations to the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board (VSWCB), DCR is soliciting public comment on the proposed revisions to the regulations.

Please follow this link to review the complete document as well as the history of previous RAP meetings and the proposed regulations that preceeded the formation of the RAP.

The comment period will end at 5 p.m. on April 27, 2011.

Anyone wishing to submit comments may do so by mail, facsimile or e-mail. Comments may be mailed to:

Regulatory Coordinator
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
203 Governor Street, Suite 302
Richmond, VA 23219

Comments may also be faxed to 804-786-6141 or e-mailed to regcord@dcr.virginia.gov.

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Virginia Stormwater Management Program Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) Update

A final draft of the proposed regulations is scheduled to be published in the Virginia Register on March 28, 2011, which will also begin a 30-day public comment period. At their March 9th meeting, the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Regulatory Advisory Panel met for what is expected to be the final time prior to March 28th to discuss Virginia’s Proposed Stormwater Management Regulations before the draft regulations are issued for public comment. During the RAP’s meeting, Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech noted, that while close, “we’re not at the finish line yet.”The RAP continues to deliberate over such issues as the proposed modifications to existing water quantity standards, and the extent that erosion and sediment control criteria should be incorporated into the stormwater regulations.
While minutes from the March 9th meeting have not yet been posted, earlier RAP meetings are recorded here: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/lr2d.shtml

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Draft of Revised Regulation Offered

On June 17, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the draft Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR). This new rule has several significant differences to the current Total Coliform Rule (TCR) which applies to all public water systems. The proposed changes are summarized below:

• The standard for a maximum contaminant level (MCL) will now be based on E.coli rather than Total Coliform. This is because E. coli is a more specific indicator and Total Coliform can represent microorganisms that have no effect on human health.
• The monitoring requirements on small systems and seasonal systems have increased to at least monthly in most instances.
• The systems that have consistently good results will have reduced monitoring requirements; however, higher risk system will have increased monitoring requirements, which means more labor and more lab costs
• If a positive routine sample is observed, the number of repeat samples required in the RTCR has been reduced to three, where four were required under the current TCR.
• A Level 1 assessment is required for systems with a certain number of positive total coliform samples or if the system fails to take the required number of repeat samples. This is a self-assessment of a system that indicates sanitary defects and a timetable for corrective actions.
• A Level 2 assessment is required for systems with E. coli violations or multiple Level 1 triggers within a 1 or 2 year period. This is a more comprehensive assessment that must be conducted by a party approved by the state, which could be the public water system if it has qualified staff.
• Failure to comply with the corrective actions identified in these assessments can result in a violation.

The public can provide comments on the proposed rule up until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. EPA will consider the public comments and/or any new, relevant, peer-reviewed data submitted as it develops a final Revised Total Coliform Rule.

You can access more information at www.epa.gov/safewater/disinfection/tcr/ regulation.html.

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