Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Revision to Rhode Island Stormwater Requirements

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is proposing to adoption of the Rhode Island Stormwater Design and Installation Standards Manual (Stormwater Manual), amendments to the rules and regulations relating to the state Fresh Water Wetlands Act , and amendments to state water quality regulations.

The primary purpose of the proposed Stormwater Manual is to implement the "Smart Development for a Cleaner Bay Act of 2007". This Act requires that DEM and the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) amend the 1993 version of the Stormwater Manual. The Act states, "The changes shall include, but not be limited to, incorporation into existing regulatory programs that already include the review of stormwater impacts the following requirements:
a. Maintain pre-development groundwater recharge and infiltration on site to the maximum extent practicable;
b. Demonstrate that post-construction stormwater runoff is controlled, and that post-development peak discharge rates do not exceed pre-development peak discharge rates; and
c. Use low impact-design techniques as the primary method of stormwater control to the maximum extent practicable.

To avoid, minimize and manage the impacts of stormwater on stream channels, water quality, groundwater, wetland habitat, and flooding, DEM and CRMC are proposing extensive updates to the 1993 Stormwater Manual. The changes reflect the state of the art in science and engineering practice concerning stormwater management. The proposed Stormwater Manual specifies standards and design requirements for stormwater management on new development, redevelopment, and infill projects and requires Low Impact Development (LID) as the "industry standard" for handling and treating stormwater.

The proposed amendments to the Fresh Water Wetlands Regulations and the Water Quality Regulations are necessary in order to reference and incorporate the new Stormwater Manual provisions into the regulatory requirements of these regulations, as well as to stipulate appropriate timetables to begin requiring use of the new Stormwater Manual.

DEM is proposing to begin requiring compliance with the new Stormwater Manual on most applications beginning on January 1, 2011. In addition, amendments are proposed to the Fresh Water Wetlands Regulations and the Water Quality Regulations to address the 2010 revisions to the RIGL §42-17.1-2.5 regarding tolling of expiration periods of development permits.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address Stormwater Permitting & Regulatory Support, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), Stormwater Monitoring and Stormwater Training.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at or Caltha LLP Website

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