Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - MSD

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - MSD

Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013Key Terms• BMP – Best ManagementPractice• EPA – EnvironmentalProtection Agency• GMP – GreenManagement Practices(aka Green Infrastructure)• KPDES - KentuckyPollution DischargeElimination PermitThis FAQ is organized into the following categories:Page• GENERAL 2• APPLICABILITY 5• DESIGN 7• OPERATION & MAINTENANCE AGGREEMENTS 11• FINANCIAL 13• ENFORCEMENT 14* Indicates items that speak to stormwater related comments receivedthrough the July 2013 special public comment period. Other comments notrelated to stormwater quality such as sanitary sewers or specific privatedevelopment construction projects are not included.• KDOW – KentuckyDivision of Water• LDC – Land DevelopmentCode• MS4 – Municipal SeparateStorm Sewer System• QPCI – Qualified Post-Construction Inspector• WDR – Wastewater/Stormwater DischargeRegulationsLouisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 1 of 15


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013GENERALWhat are the new regulations?MSD updated their Wastewater/Stormwater Discharge Regulations (WDRs) to includeClean Water Act (CWA) requirements for long-term stormwater quality for newdevelopment, effective August 1, 2013. Like many similar communities across thecountry, Louisville is mandated to apply the stormwater quality requirements. InKentucky, the Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) administers the program for theEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA). The core requirements are mandated byEPA and KDOW through the MS4 stormwater quality permit. New developmentmust:Rain Garden• use on-site green infrastructure / Green Management Practices (GMPs) totreat stormwater runoff at new construction projects disturbing one ormore acres• participate in a long-term operation and maintenance agreementWhen do the new rules go into effect?The requirements apply to projects submitted to MSD on or after August 1, 2013.Grandfathering: Projects that are approved by MSD prior to August 1, 2013 will bepermitted to proceed as approved. Phases of neighborhood projects that receivedpreliminary plan approval prior to August 1, 2013 must be substantially underconstruction prior to August 1, 2015. Otherwise, the new requirements must beapplied to the projects.What are the goals of the new requirements?The revised long-term stormwater quality requirements benefit the communitywhile maintaining compliance with the EPA / KDOW stormwater quality permit. Useof green infrastructure on new construction projects benefits the stormwaterquality of our area waterways and reduces flood risks in our community. MSD usesthe WDRs to identify the overriding requirements and communicate the technicaldetails via Design Manual.* What is the “MS4 stormwater quality permit” and where can the publicaccess the permit?The MS4 permit is a federal mandate from the EPA, administered by the state, toaddress non-point source pollution associated with stormwater runoff. The MS4program history and current permit can be found at:www.msdlouky.org/insidemsd/wwwq/ms4/index.htm.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 2


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013* How do these changes relate to the Land Development Code?Metro Government administers the Land Development Code (LDC). MSDrepresentatives participated in the LDC Improvement Committee. Thiscoordination is required by the EPA/KDOW MS4 stormwater quality permit with theintention of promoting the implementation of green infrastructure requirements.MSD proposed several “first round” edits which establish a basic framework thatdefines and enables green infrastructure, while not regulating/requiring it throughthe LDC (instead through the MSD regulations). More information on the LDCImprovement Committee is available at:awww.louisvilleky.gov/PlanningDesign/Land+Development+Code+Improvement+Committee.htmPermeable PaversWhere can I see examples of Green Infrastructure?There are numerous examples around Louisville and the surrounding communities.A few examples of public property sites include: MSD’s main office, State Office ofEmployment, University of Louisville’s Belknap campus and several street scapeexamples in the Butchertown area. There are numerous private sites highlighted inMSD’s Design Manual Chapter 18. http://www.msdlouky.org/insidemsd/standarddrawings.htm* Why doesn’t MSD use the updated WDR change to require alternatives tolawn chemicals?While using chemical-free approaches in lawn maintenance is a positive alternative,MSD has not been required to mandate such controls. Furthermore, suchapproaches would warrant greater consideration for inclusion in regulation, publicoutreach and enforcement.* How do the new requirements impact urban sprawl?These requirements were not intended to encourage nor discourage sprawl. Otherregulations, namely the Metro Land Development Code, direct issues related toland use and sprawl which MSD does not have the authority to regulate. However,it should be noted that the suite of green infrastructure practices encouragedthrough the MSD Design Manual provide flexibility. The manual offers a range ofoptions that meet the needs of a highly constrained urban site, while providingoptions for suburban sites that utilize more area. Furthermore, MSD providesfinancial incentives for green infrastructure with a greater emphasis on funding thecombined/urban area.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 3


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013* Will the required green infrastructure lead to more mosquitos?No, the design standards have been selected and established to prevent openstanding water for period of time that would enable mosquitoes to multiply.* Why did MSD spend time with development community during thedevelopment of the updated regulations and design manual?The EPA/KDOW stormwater quality permit requires MSD to regularly participate inmeetings with the Developers Advisory Group (DAG) and Homebuilders Association(MS4 permit items 2.1.11 and 2.1.12) regarding changes in procedures, checklists,regulations, etc. This requirement recognizes that the developers, architects,planners and engineers are directly impacted by changes to standards andadministrative procedures.Meetings and review are required so that developers understand and canimplement the requirements. MSD spends a lot of time with the developmentcommunity conveying how to implement the many technical aspects of greeninfrastructure.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 4


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013APPLICABILITYWho has to participate?All new development that disturbs one or more acres of land must participate.One acre is the threshold that the EPA/KDOW has determined must be applied.It is important to note that for existing / developed sites that wish to expand orrenovate that the 1-acre threshold applies to the new disturbance area and not theremainder of the site.Pervious Concrete* Are retrofits required / desired?While MSD has a financial incentive program to encourage new greeninfrastructure on already developed properties, the updated regulationsonly require green infrastructure on new development. Existingproperties are encouraged to use green infrastructure but only requiredto if they qualify as new development.* What if the project site already has green infrastructure.If the disturbed area is an acre or more, a land disturbance permit isrequired. Existing green infrastructure that conforms to currentstandards may be considered to satisfy requirements.* Do properties already constructed have to participate?No, participation is triggered by the need for a site disturbance permit.* Will regulations impact residential property owners (under 1 acre)?While individual homeowners will not likely be impacted, neighborhood developerswill be involved.For subdivided properties, the size of the “greater common development” is usedto determine if participation is required. For example, if a10-acre site is dividedinto 20 half-acre sites, the developer must participate.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 5


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013* How do these requirements relate to industrial facilities that arealready permitted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky for stormwaterdischarges?The Commonwealth of Kentucky administers a stormwater quality permit programfor qualifying industrial properties through the Kentucky Division of Water’s(KDOW) Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permit program.Adherence with MSD’s requirements does not mean that the facility is exempt orautomatically meets the requirements to participate in the KDOW’s KPDES permitprogram. MSD does not have the authority to exempt facilities from participationin KDOW’s KPDES permits.* What if I don’t want to implement green infrastructure at mydevelopment?MSD is not permitted by the EPA/KDOW to exempt properties solely on the desirenot to participate. However, it may implement a fee-in-lieu program for sites thatcannot reasonably/feasibly implement green infrastructure. Receipts fromproperties property owners participating in such a program would then be requiredto be used for green infrastructure project elsewhere in the related watershed.The WDRs enable the creation of a Fee-in-Lieu program. As it is a financial /fiduciary action, this program must be defined through MSD Board Policy. Thisprogram is currently under consideration by MSD.Is a construction plan submission required if disturbing more than oneacre, but will have less than an acre of resulting impervious area?The project must go through plan review because it disturbs an acre or more. GMPsizing is based on the amount of resulting impervious area. If the project results inno impervious area, then no GMPs are required. Alternatively, if the same siteresults in a small amount of impervious area (ie. 2,000 square feet) the GMPs aresized according to that impervious area.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 6


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013DESIGN* Is there guidance on how to implement the new requirements?MSD’s Design Manual Chapters 13 and 18 provides extensive guidance on GreenInfrastructure planning, selection, design, installation, construction, operation,inspection and maintenance. A wide variety of green infrastructure options areprovided.http://www.msdlouky.org/insidemsd/standard-drawings.htmDo I have to design my site to a specific standard?Yes, each site must be able to manage the runoff from the first 0.6-inches ofrainfall, known as the first flush. This standard equates to the 80% rainfall eventcapture as required by the EPA/KDOW for Louisville.Rain Water HarvestingProperty owners who choose to treat more than the 0.6-inches minimum standardmay be eligible for MSD’s green infrastructure financial incentives program. Moreinformation about this program is provided in the financial section of this FAQ.What are “best-management practices” / “green management practices?”BMPs and GMPs are terms used to describe green infrastructure. They can includestructural and non-structural controls designed to infiltrate rain-water before itruns into our storm drains and waterways. More information can be found in theMSD Design Manual Chapter 18.Is there guidance for homeowners or developers?Guidance for homeowners is available through MSD’s Rain Garden handbook.http://www.msdlouky.org/aboutmsd/pdfs/MSD_RainGardenGuide3rdEd.pdfGuidance for professionals is available in MSD’s Design Manual Chapters 13 and 18(http://www.msdlouky.org/insidemsd/standard-drawings.htm).* Do I have to design my site for a specific pollutant removal such as roadsalt, biocides (turf chemicals) or phosphorus?No, per the requirements imposed by the EPA/KDOW, the 0.6-inch rainfall eventtreatment standard has been selected to address the wide range of targetpollutants. The design process detail in MSD’s Design Manual Section 18.3, asapproved by KDOW, uses a presumptive approach (extensively used by communitiesacross the country) to define the amount and extent of green infrastructurerequired. Selecting green infrastructure more focused on treating special sitespecificpollutant concerns is available and supported by MSD’s Design Manual.Design Manual Table 18.3-A includes detailed information on GMP pollutant relativeremoval potential.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 7


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013Does this mean the design has to look like everybody else’s design?There are numerous options to fit the wide range of design appeal/preferences.The designs can implement options that use a lot of vegetation or other approachesthat resemble hard-scape environments.MSD’s Green Infrastructure Plant Guide (Chapter 13) provides an extensive list ofrecommended native and cultivar varieties to fit a range of aesthetic preferences,including recommendations for plants suitable for each green managementpractice. Although native plants are preferred, designs incorporating some cultivarsare permitted. The Plant Guide includes example planting plans, plant counts andconcept renderings to aide in the plant selection process.Green RoofWill easements or other access be required?Yes, MSD will require access for inspection and/or maintenance. In some cases,this will require easements.Can green infrastructure result in a smaller flood control basin?Yes, by using green infrastructure, the volume detained and/or captured and runoffreduced may be accounted for and in some cases result in a smaller flood controlbasin.* Will more trees be required?While the Metro- LDC directs the use of trees, MSD’ green infrastructurerequirements include a treatment standard that may, but does not have to, beachieved using trees. Trees are included in several types of green infrastructurepresented in the MSD Design Manual Chapters 13 and 18 as one of many options tobe considered and selected. It is MSD’s desire that where possible larger canopytrees be utilized, to take advantage of the greater capacity to absorb stormwaterrunoff. MSD does not prefer areas of desirable existing trees be removed for theinstallation of new green infrastructure, but instead the green infrastructure wouldbe placed in other areas.Can I still use curb and gutter drainage methods?Yes. However, these methods must be supplemented by green infrastructure tomeet the minimum water quality management standards.How can I change the design to make it less expensive?The best way to make the cost of green infrastructure reasonable is to consider itat the beginning of site planning. While a detailed design is not necessary, a basicconsideration of drainage flow patterns and integration of GMPs into other designfeatures (such as parking islands, sidewalks, buffers, etc.) will greatly reduce theresulting construction cost.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 8


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013* Will this make my construction project more expensive?The cost of the construction is dependent upon the design. There is a higherprobability of keeping costs low if green infrastructure is considered at the siteplanning stage.With proper planning, studies have shown that green infrastructure can cost lessthan traditional stormwater management through gray infrastructure, while alsoproviding green amenities in the development project. Developers have theopportunity to use green infrastructure to down-size traditional gray infrastructuresuch as pipes, curbs and gutters and detention ponds and thereby reduce costs.Tree BoxesDoes using green infrastructure exempt flood control requirements?No. While green infrastructure can be used to reduce the size of flood controlbasins, the full range of flood control evaluations must be performed.See MSD’s Design Manual Chapter 10 for these requirements.* Do the changes eliminate the use of raised berms for buffers betweenproperties?No. Raised berms for buffers are directed by the LDC and are not impacted by theWDR changes.Is green infrastructure required for linear features such as sidewalks?Yes. The impervious area of sidewalks, like any other impervious areas (such asparking lots, rooftops, roadways, etc.), must be accounted for as part of thegreater common development design. It should be noted that sidewalk retrofitprojects (where the only construction is that of the sidewalk in an existingdevelopment) may use GMPs such as vegetated buffers and swales to treat theresulting impervious area.* Do I have to use plants in my design?No. While plants are critical to several types of green infrastructure (such as raingardens and bioswales), they are not in other types (such as infiltration drains,permeable pavers and proprietary water quality units).MSD’s Chapter 13 Green Infrastructure Plant Guide is a resource to support theselection and identification of plants for use in green infrastructure projects.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 9


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013Do green infrastructure design calculations have to be provided?Yes. The MSD Design Manual Chapter 18 provides a calculation sheet for each typeof GMP, which the designer must submit for each BMP used in the design.Do green infrastructure designs and calculations have to be stamped?Yes. Design calculations and construction plans must be stamped by a ProfessionalEngineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in order to be reviewed forapproval.Catch Basin InsertsLouisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 10


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013OPERATION & MAINTENANCEAGGREEMENTS* Why does MSD require an Agreement?The EPA/KDOW mandates that the green infrastructure be functional for the life ofthe site. MSD chose an agreement based approach very similar to agreement forflood control basins. The standard agreement identifies the type of inspection,operation and maintenance activities that will be expected.Constructed WetlandThe Agreement documents the responsibility of the property owner and enablesMSD to use enforcement measures, if needed, to maintain the integrity of greeninfrastructure.* Why will the Agreement be recorded with the County Clerk?Agreements will be recorded with the County Clerk to aid in transparency andnotice during property transfer to subsequent property owners.The agreement must be filed so that the successive property owners accept andcontinue their responsibilities after a property transfer. New property owners arerequired to operate and maintain the green infrastructure on the property and asregulated through an agreement with MSD. This process is consistent with otherreal estate transactions, that will be recorded at the court house as part of aproperty transfer.* Is an Agreement required for properties with KPDES stormwater permits(such as industrial properties)?Yes. While Kentucky Pollution Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permits,administered by KDOW, expire and change over time, the agreement must stand inplace until the site is changed.An Agreement is needed to document the property owner’s commitment to MSD tooperate and maintain green infrastructure. Property owners who have KPDESstormwater permits are separately bound/accountable by their permitrequirements to KDOW.Does the Standard Agreement require inspections?Yes, annual inspections by a Qualified Post-Construction Inspector (QPCI) arerequired. A standard inspection form using visual observations is provided in theMSD Design Manual Chapter 18. More information on QPCI is provided in theEnforcement section of this FAQ.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 11


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013* Who is responsible for maintenance in residential neighborhoods?Property owners are responsible for green infrastructure on their properties. Thisincludes green infrastructure in residential neighborhoods, which is theresponsibility of the neighborhood association.MSD will maintain structural components of green infrastructure (such as inlets,outlets, pipes, headwalls, etc.) and clean them (such as remove sediment, debrisetc.). Homeowners or neighborhood associations will be responsible for generalmaintenance (such as mowing and debris/trash removal) and other maintenancerequired of aesthetic features. Homeowners associations are also responsible forcontacting MSD about potential maintenance concerns.When are agreements to be signed and notarized?Agreements must be signed by the property owner and notarized before MSD willexecute the agreement and issue construction plan approval.Are new agreements required when property is sold or transferred?No. The standard agreement includes a “successors and assigns” provision thatbinds the current property owner and their successors, grantees, and assigns to theterms of the agreement. To aid in this process, agreements will be filed at theCounty Courthouse.Are construction inspections supposed to be documented?Yes. The MSD Design Manual Section 18.6 provides GMP-specific inspection forms.The forms identify specific observation-based items that must be performed atvarious stages of construction and submitted to MSD.Are long-term operation and maintenance inspections supposed to bedocumented?Yes. The MSD Design Manual Section 18.6 provides GMP specific inspection forms.The forms identify specific observation-based items that must be performedannually and submitted to MSD.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 12


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013FINANCIALAre there financial incentives for property owners following newregulations?MSD has offered a Financial Incentives Program to promote green infrastructure.There are a short-term (stipend) and long-term (credit) incentives available forsites that go above and beyond the minimum of treatment standards. Stipendincentives are approved by the MSD Board while credits are approved by MSD staffthrough procedures approved by the MSD Board.Vegetated Swale* Credits are reductions in the monthly drainage service charge. They available toall properties that pay more than the minimum billing charge. Most residentialproperties (single family and duplex residential) are charged the minimum rate;and therefore are not eligible for a credit at this time.* What is the Fee-in-Lieu Program?The EPA/KDOW endorses Fee-in-Lieu programs as an option for communitiesthrough its statewide MS4 stormwater quality permit program. A fee-in-lieuprogram is a system that enables properties, which cannot feasibly install greeninfrastructure, to pay MSD for installation of green infrastructure elsewhere in thesame watershed. This approach is to be established as a last option fordevelopment and not a way to pay-out of implementing requirements that are inwhole or in part feasible. The costs must be to levels that MSD could then buildand operate the resulting green infrastructure.The WDRs enable the creation of a Fee-in-Lieu program. As it is afinancial/fiduciary action, this program must be defined through MSD Board Policy.This program is currently under consideration by MSD and not yet available. Thiswill include additional opportunity for public input.Funds from property owners participating in the Fee-in-Lieu program will berequired to be used for green infrastructure projects elsewhere within thewatershed.In effect, properties participating in the program would have to pay MSD at ratesthat are generally more expensive than constructing green infrastructure on theirown. This increased cost accounts for the administrative burden, property andother costs that MSD would have to assume to construct, inspect, operate andmaintain the green infrastructure indefinitely.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 13


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013ENFORCEMENTWho inspects and enforces the new regulations?MSD and properties both have inspection responsibilities.The EPA/KDOW mandated that MSD regularly inspect green infrastructureconstructed on private property. MSD is required to enforce upon properties thatdo not maintain the green infrastructure properly.Property owners will be responsible for having inspections conducted by a qualifiedinspector. This is similar to the erosion control qualified inspector program. Moreinformation on the inspector classes is available at:http://www.lifelonglearning4u.com/msd/index.htmPlantersWhat is a Qualified Post-Construction Inspector?A Qualified Post-Construction Inspector (QPCI) is an inspector who has participatedin a training course approved by MSD and passed a test on proper greeninfrastructure inspection and maintenance practices. The intent is to have atrained inspector who is capable of performing an appropriate GMP evaluation andcan be held accountable for the accuracy of the information provided.* When are inspections required”?Annually, based on the release of the land disturbance permit. However, ifproperties with multiple expansions or other related concerns wish the inspectionto be performed at another time of the year, MSD will work to address thoseconcerns so long as the annual inspection requirement is satisfied.* Why does the enforcement in WDR Article 7say “may” instead of “shall”?Note: This section was not changed as a part of the 2013 revisions other thanrenumbering. THE EPA/KDOW requires that MSD enforce the WDRs. The WDRsprovide a wide range of enforcement mechanisms that are to be selected based onthe severity of the deficiency or violation(s). The enforcement provisions enableMSD staff to the most appropriate level (or escalating levels) of enforcement giventhe site-specific issues.* Will the new section 6 replace the section on enforcement?The enforcement provisions, previously numbered as Article 6 was renumbered toreflect placement in Article 7, but not otherwise modified.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 14


Frequently Asked QuestionsWastewater/ Stormwater Discharge RegulationsAmendmentsJuly 2013Will construction bonding be required?Yes. MSD will utilize the same construction bond procedures that are in place forerosion control, flood control basins and other infrastructure. The bond list isexpanded to account for the various types of green infrastructure.Is monitoring required?While observation based inspections are required, sampling is not required. Notehowever, that it is anticipated that some types of GMPs (such as cisterns orrainwater harvesting) will require pumping system data or related metrics.Are construction inspections supposed to be documented?Yes. The MSD Design Manual Section 18.6 provides GMP-specific inspection forms.The forms identify specific observation based items that must be performed atvarious stages of construction and submitted to MSD.Louisville & Jefferson County MSD700 West Liberty Street | Louisville, KY 40203msdlouky.orgPage 15

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