VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Dr. W. Andy Martin, chief of the Environmental Engineering Branch and acting deputy director of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory, took active part in the multidisciplinary state, private sector and federal partner Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council Stormwater Best Management Practices Performance Verification Team from 2016 to 2018. The BMP team recently published a website, an interactive stormwater BMP screening tool and a stormwater BMP guidance document to establish a national framework for implementing stormwater BMP strategies.
The team defined stormwater BMP as a product or practice used to capture, retain, treat or otherwise manage stormwater runoff and the pollutants commonly associated with runoff.
Martin has a vast array of experience working on stormwater and surfacewater solutions. ‟I joined this particular ITRC team in the beginning because I had just taken part in an Environmental Security Technology Certification Program-funded project that developed stormwater treatment solutions at Ft. Leavenworth,” he said. “In that effort, we used range socks to prevent metal from migrating into surface water.”
‟The opportunity to join this ITRC team presented itself, and I thought it was a good fit — I could join the team and contribute to the effort,” Martin said.
The ITRC is a 501(c)(3) organization comprised of members from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and there is an annual call to participate in teams that address a variety of topics. “It’s a coalition led at the state level; the mission of the organization is to develop policy that enables the development of new environmental technologies and processes for air, water, waste and remediation,” he said.
According to the website, ITRC produces documents and training that broaden and deepen technical knowledge and expedite quality regulatory decision making while protecting human health and the environment.
‟The teams are comprised of experts from the environmental field; the experts represent a variety of organizations ranging from state regulation to academia, from private industry to federal government,” Martin said.
“Currently, there is no testing and verification program at the national level for stormwater BMPs; our intent was to fill that void,” he said. “The material we developed is targeted at state and local regulators, but there are others who will benefit as well, such as manufacturers and public stakeholders.”
“Team meetings were conducted via conference calls with environmental professionals from all over the U.S.,” said Martin. “We wrote stormwater treatment BMP factsheets, and the team also created a web-based video, which was an interesting process. To produce the video, we first developed storyboards and a video script.”
“We also developed the BMP Screening Tool, an excel file that can be utilized during the design phase of a project,” he said. The tool screens by contaminant and location, using data from BMP performance verification and certification programs that are publicly accessible.
“The tool helps users determine which BMPs would be suitable for a particular site,” he said.
“The ITRC team wrote a 200-300-page guidance document, divided into 40-page chapters, to describe what is important in stormwater treatment; one of my roles was to review the entire document once it was completed,” Martin said.
“The guidance document describes what the typical challenges are, on a national scale, during a project’s lifecycle with regard to evaluating stormwater BMPs,” he said. “The document developed by the team provides users with information about BMP lifecycle processes, including contracting; factors that may influence costs; installation considerations, including construction challenges; inspection checklists; and quality control.”
Martin said the Corps supports researcher participation in policy-making organizations to ensure the latest R&D is being considered — leading to sound decision-making. “These are great opportunities to learn from experts in other facets of the industry and to share what we’ve learned through our research experience as well,” he said.