Roadway Stormwater Management and Training Program Development
Monroe County Health Department for the Monroe County Stormwater Coalition
Basin Program Funds:
The Rochester Embayment of Lake Ontario has been identified by the International Joint Commission as one of 42 areas of concern around the Great Lakes that require further actions to protect and improve the quality of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Twelve use impairments exist in the Rochester Embayment, including degradation of aesthetics from sediment and algae, beach closings caused by turbidity, algae, and bacteria, and eutrophication caused by phosphorus. Stage I and Stage II remedial action plan (RAP) documents identify stormwater as the largest source of selected pollutants (including phosphorus and sediment) to the watershed of the Rochester Embayment of Lake Ontario.
A major source of polluted storm water runoff is from the 1,474 lane-miles of impervious roadway surface maintained by local governments in Monroe County, which collect pollutants from atmospheric deposition, winter roadway maintenance activities, vehicle leaks, and summer drainage system maintenance and vegetation control activities. The Monroe County Department of Health is coordinating the effort to implement recommended actions from the Stage II RAP. One high-priority RAP recommendation is to involve state, county, and municipal departments of transportation and public works in water quality protection. Another RAP recommendation is to prepare watershed plans, several which have been prepared or completed, and which establish stormwater quality goals for several watersheds. Another monitoring recommendation of the RAP is to monitor road salt usage.
- Develop a roadway operation and maintenance program that, when implemented, reduces the pollutant loadings of sediment, phosphorus, and chlorides in storm water runoff generated by roadways to the Rochester Embayment of Lake Ontario (see problem statement for significance of Rochester Embayment.)
- Identify priority roadway operation and maintenance best management practices (BMPs) that protect water quality and facilitate adoption of these BMPs by municipalities.
- Train existing staff of municipalities to use roadway system operation and maintenance BMPs that protect water quality.
- Assist municipalities to meet the requirements of the Phase II regulations.
A brief overview of the Roadway Stormwater Management and Training Program Development grant was presented to the Monroe County Highway Superintendent's Association in December 2003. This presentation served to inform the municipal superintendents of the upcoming training opportunity for members of their crews, to emphasize the importance of training programs in meeting the requirements of the Federal Phase II Stormwater Regulations and to highlight the compliance activities sponsored by the Stormwater Coalition.
The training program was completed. It includes three powerpoint presentations, a hardcopy containing speaking points for the trainer, a pre-test and post-test, a key for these tests explaining the answers, and handouts that are referred to in the training presentations, i.e. the New York State Department of Transportation recommended seed mixes for roadside vegetation. In addition, the arrangements for the printing of the BMP posters were made. In October 2004, the "Train the Trainer" workshop was held for municipal representatives who will be responsible for training their crews.
The New York State County Highway Superintendent's Association, Cornell Local Roads, the Great Lakes Information Network list-serve, and the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District were contacted about publicizing the availability of the Roadway Stormwater Management and Training Program. Arrangements were made for submitting articles to the aforementioned organizations' newsletters, promoting the training program at upcoming workshops and conferences hosted by those organizations, and linking the organizationsí web sites to the Stormwater Coalition web site.
During the last portion of the grant, the draft menu of roadway operations and maintenance BMPs for winter activities was presented to the members of the Stormwater Coalition in order to receive input on the feasibility of implementing these practices. Based on the coalition members' feedback, this menu was edited. Additional research was conducted to address the Stormwater Coalition member's questions and comments.
As a result of a coalition member's suggestion, a form was developed to assist municipalities in recording the implementation of the BMPs. This BMP tracking form will also serve to make the preparation of the municipalities' Federal Phase II Stormwater annual reports more efficient by compiling this pollution prevention/good housekeeping information in one place.
Because we are working closely with Monroe County municipalities that will be implementing this training as part of their Phase II Stormwater pollution prevention plans, we will be able to track the methods being used by municipalities to implement the training program. For example, we will be able to track the following:
- how many municipalities are conducting training sessions
- how often training sessions are presented
- the methods being used to present the BMPs - one training session for all three menus or several training sessions for specific menus, and
any significant additional information included in the training presentations by Monroe County municipalities.
Contact: Ms. Margaret Peet, 585-274-8442