Well, That's Disturbing...

Amity Dewey, PE, Lead Engineer, WSP

Melissa Simpson, PE, PMP, ENV SP, Director, WSP

Whenever someone asks us what the stormwater management requirements will be on their upcoming project, our immediate response is “Where’s the project and what’s the total land disturbance?”. So, you might be thinking, “What exactly is so disturbing?”.  Well, while the amount of land that’s disturbed during a project is a critical component to control erosion and sediment during construction, is it really the most critical component of post-construction stormwater management?

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) are all responsible for enforcing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit compliance throughout their state. The stormwater requirements and calculation methods within all three of these states’ stormwater regulations use total land disturbance area as a basis of design, but each of them use it in a different way. All three states have also developed user friendly tools to ensure consistency in design development and help streamline a design engineer’s processes for achieving regulatory approval and compliance.

This presentation seeks to compare Virginia stormwater regulations to neighboring states and discuss some of the major similarities, differences, pros, cons, and murky waters in between. Is any program better than the rest?


Author Bio

Amity Dewey is a Lead Civil Engineer with experience in designing and managing federal, state, and local projects in Virginia and Maryland. She is a Technical Principal specializing in stormwater management compliance based out of WSP's Virginia Beach office.

Melissa Simpson is a Director of Civil Engineering with extensive experience in managing federal, state, and local projects in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. She is a Project Management Professional and Senior Technical Principal specializing in stormwater management compliance and NPDES permitting based out of WSP's Virginia Beach office.