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Development of a Prioritization Scheme for BMPs to Insure Water Quality Treatment Goals are Met: as part of a report for an EPA 319 Grant application

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131596290,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Brett Schrey, Mary Searing
Keywords:   TMDL BMPs Watershed Assessment NPDES EPA 319 Grant Water Quality.

Abstract. Cecil County, Maryland requested assistance from Stantec, Inc to complete a Watershed assessment for the Northeast River Watershed and to put together a report for an application for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 319 Grant. The Northeast River Watershed in Cecil County is comprised of mostly agricultural and forested land; however a growing portion of the watershed is becoming urbanized due to its proximity to major metropolitan cities. As part of this project we looked at all contributors to Non-point source nutrient pollution. During the first phase of the project, a prioritization scheme related to urban retrofits for the Northeast River Watershed was developed. The goal of this phase of the project was to determine the highest priority Best Management Practices (BMPs) to either newly design or retrofit so that the BMPs selected provided the greatest amount of water quality treatment at the least cost. Stantec conducted field studies and compiled Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to develop base information on the watershed for 34 potential sites where either new BMPs could be designed to treat areas of runoff that were currently not treated, or where existing BMPs could be retrofitted to provide water quality treatment. Stantec then developed a prioritization strategy using the obtained data, water quality treatment computations and BMP cost data. As part of the overall watershed study, Stantec also conducted field studies and compiled GIS data on agricultural lands and streams within the watershed. Analysis of GIS data and meetings with local soil conservation districts were conducted to ensure that field studies covered a wide variety of land uses with both good and poor management practices within the watershed. This presentation will assist local and state governments who are trying to meet various regulations (e.g., National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)) or developing Watershed Implementation Plans. The methods described in our BMP analysis will insure the local municipalities get the most “bang for the buck” in terms of water quality for the treatment of runoff from impervious areas. The presentation will also help local and state governments have a better understanding of what the scope of a watershed assessment needs to be to submit for an EPA 319 grant.

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