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Water Quality/Wetlands

Recent Developments

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Listed below are recent developments pertinent to water quality/wetlands from the past six months.  If you would like to suggest a recent development on this topic, please submit a short description to AASHTO (including any pertinent links) on the Share Info with AASHTO form.

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May 2 Webinar to Highlight Stormwater Best Management Practices

A May 2 webinar on innovative best management practices (BMPs) for state DOT stormwater programs will be sponsored by the AASHTO Stormwater Community of Practice. The webinar will cover innovative linear BMPs that fit well in transportation corridors, the importance of infiltration and current research to support use of roadway embankments as a BMP, winter storm management BMPs and technologies, measuring winter storm BMP performance, and addressing total maximum daily load and regulatory issues. The webinar also will address open graded friction course (OGFC) as a BMP and performance and uses of OGFC. For more information and registration, link here. (4-17-18)

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Study Finds Recycled Materials Make Good Stormwater Filters

Peat excavated from construction activities, taconite tailings from mining operations, and other filter media were evaluated for how well they clean stormwater in bioswales and bioslopes, according to the new issue of the Catalyst newsletter from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies. The research, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, reviewed materials recycled from construction and industrial processes for how well they absorb water, retain pollutants, and sustain plant growth. The research found that peat and taconite tailings compared favorably with current MnDOT practices. For more information, link to Catalyst. (4-10-18)

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Use of Biochar to Reduce Stormwater Runoff Highlighted by NCHRP

The National Cooperative Highway Research Program has issued a report concerning the use of a type of biochar in soils on highway greenways to reduce stormwater runoff (NCHRP IDEA Project 182). Biochar is a porous charcoal-like material formed by combusting organic matter in an oxygen-limited environment. The report indicates that biochar can increase available water content in soil and is expected to enhance retention of stormwater. The report also illustrates that the material is a cost-effective option and can be used in the existing transportation right-of-way. The study assessed biochar in the laboratory, in a pilot project, and in the field. The report also includes an engineering and construction cost analysis. The NCHRP plans to publish its results and continue field studies. For more information, link to the report. (10-26-17)

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Compendium of Stormwater Resources Available from AASHTO CoP

A list of resources related to stormwater management for state DOTs has been posted on the AASHTO Stormwater Community of Practice web page. The compendium includes practitioner field guides, a practitioner's handbook, state of the practice reports, and AASHTO's stormwater research road map. It also lists relevant low-cost, short term research projects under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (under project 25-25), as well as full NCHRP reports related to stormwater management issues. To access the report, link here. (10-19-17)

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FHWA Newsletter Addresses Bridge Permitting Process

The coordination between the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) for bridge permitting is addressed in the FHWA’s new Successes in Stewardship newsletter. The newsletter highlights the need to involve the USCG in the bridge permitting process and that a lack of awareness by state departments of transportation can lead to project delays. The newsletter provides an overview of the bridge permitting process. To determine jurisdiction and make critical decisions in the permitting process, the FHWA notifies the USCG of any bridge projects prior to National Environmental Policy Act scoping. The USCG and FHWA also have developed training for state DOTs to specify the roles and responsibilities of each agency and provide best practices for coordination. The USCG revised its Bridge Permit Application Guide to incorporate procedures from the 2014 Memorandum of Agreement with the FHWA and other modal agencies. For more information, link to the newsletter. (July 2017)

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Webinar Series Describes SELDM Model for Highway Stormwater Projects

Use of the Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM) for highway stormwater projects was described in a series of three webinars sponsored by the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation. The webinars included: International Stormwater BMP Database: What’s In It for DOTs?; Overview of Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model (SELDM) and Linkage with Stormwater BMP Database; and Application of SELDM in Transportation and Highway Stormwater Projects. SELDM was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, to help analyze the potential effects of runoff on receiving waters. It facilitates the environmental decision making process by providing results of data mining and analysis efforts for precipitation, receiving-water stormflows, and receiving-water quality by ecoregion. For more information and links to the three webinar recordings and presentations, link here. (6-23-17)

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AASHTO CEE Requests Proposals for Consultant Support for its Stormwater Community of Practice

The Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO is requesting proposals for consultant support for its Stormwater Community of Practice. The awardee will support tasks such as development of a white paper/State-of-the-Practice report based on a relevant issue as determined by the Community of Practice, and a peer exchange and knowledge transfer to be organized and hosted in partnership with FHWA. Proposals are due on June 1, 2017, by 4 P.M. EDT. For more information, link to the RFP. (5-19-17)

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Featured Case Study

  • Case Study Photo

    New Hampshire DOT uses innovative methods to pump and divert construction stormwater for treatment on I-93 project.

    Read Case Study >Photo: New Hampshire DOT

View All Case Studies for this Topic >

New - items posted in the last 7 days

AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
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