October 11, 2013

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Geosyntec Stormwater Practitioners Publish New Methodology for BMP Placement

A group of Geosyntec's stormwater practitioners are among the co-authors of a feature appearing in the September 2013 edition of Stormwater: The Journal for Surface Water Quality Professionals.

Their paper, "A New Statistical Methodology: Using Subcatchment Monitoring Data to Prioritize Placement of Stormwater Treatment Controls," presents a flexible, robust, and defensible methodology for siting source controls and structural best management practices (BMPs) throughout a watershed based on water-quality monitoring data. This innovative statistical methodology can be used for many applications, including stormwater retrofit planning for municipal areas or large federal facilities.

Contributors to the feature include Brandon Steets (Santa Barbara), Megan Otto (Los Angeles), Rita Kampalath (Los Angeles), Paul Hobson (Portland), and Dan Bourdeau (Portsmouth), among others. Their methodology was developed and tested on two watersheds at Boeing's 2,800-acre Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) in Ventura County, California.

The site — a former rocket engine testing and energy research facility for the U.S. government, currently owned by Boeing — has stringent National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) numeric effluent limits for stormwater runoff. It is undergoing site closure procedures under the oversight of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and will ultimately be dedicated as parkland and open space.

In 2007, Boeing contracted Geosyntec to provide the design, permitting, and construction support for natural treatment stormwater BMPs and channel restoration measures at the field lab. A watershed-based stormwater management approach is currently being implemented that includes the use of structural and non-structural treatment controls that replicate natural processes.

As part of the project, Geosyntec assembled the SSFL Stormwater Expert Panel to review historical monitoring data and NPDES permit requirements and to identify the stormwater constituents of concern at the site. Members of the panel also contributed to the Stormwater feature, including Jon Jones (Wright Water Engineers Inc.); Robert Pitt, Ph.D. (University of Alabama); Bob Gearheart, Ph.D. (Humboldt State University); Michael Josselyn, Ph.D. (WRA Environmental Consultants); and Michael Stenstrom, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles).