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Pollutant Load Reductions for Total Maximum Daily Loads for Highways (2013)

Chapter: Chapter Two - Study Approach

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Two - Study Approach ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Pollutant Load Reductions for Total Maximum Daily Loads for Highways. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22571.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Two - Study Approach ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Pollutant Load Reductions for Total Maximum Daily Loads for Highways. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22571.
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5 The approach to this study includes two major components: (1) a review of the literature on highway BMP performance, BMP costs, and TMDL implementation plans; and (2) inter- views with various state DOTs to gather current information on their TMDL programs. The literature review is designed to establish background information on highway BMPs, espe- cially those used by DOTs, and TMDL implementation strate- gies. The interviews are intended to gather information on the DOT’s “state of knowledge” as it relates to stormwater management activities for achieving TMDL requirements. By combining these two approaches, a broader and more com- prehensive picture of DOT stormwater practices and TMDL program elements is presented. LITERATURE REVIEW APPROACH The literature on BMPs as tools for stormwater management is considerable; however, the number of studies that relate to highway BMP performance and cost for TMDL implementa- tion is relatively small. The synthesis process initially identi- fied approximately 30 sources encompassing state and fed- eral agencies, research organizations, nonprofits, universities, and peer-reviewed articles. However, through an adaptive approach, additional sources were added to present a broader view of DOT practices and TMDL strategies. The large list of sources was filtered through our criteria of highways, TMDLs, BMP performance, and BMP cost to identify those studies that are most consistent with the goals of this synthesis. These criteria helped narrow the sources to primarily DOT publications, which we found most useful for this study. In addition, through the interview process, the state DOTs provided additional documents related to their TMDL programs, including website links with further information and studies. STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION INTERVIEW APPROACH Phone interviews were conducted with stormwater manag- ers at 12 selected state DOTs in April and May 2012. These DOTs were California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington State. These particular DOTs were selected based on the following criteria: (1) they repre- sented a broad geographic area to identify issues related to different climates, ecosystems, and regulatory environments across the United States (see Figure 1); (2) they represented a range of maturity in their TMDL programs; and (3) they were named as an existing or potential stakeholder in one or more TMDL(s) as identified by AASHTO (2010). Final selection of DOTs was determined in consultation with the NCHRP topic panel. The interview questions were developed to establish a dialogue with the individual DOTs to identify TMDL imple- mentation strategies (or in some cases the state of development of implementation strategies) that build on the recommenda- tions of McGowen et al. (2009) and AASHTO (2010). These strategies include, for example, how DOTs are managing the TMDL process internally (i.e., organizational procedures and responsibilities) and the extent of DOT collaboration with state agencies and other stakeholders, and early participation in the TMDL development process. Questions were also directed toward the selection of BMPs and the efforts being made to identify the most cost-effective structural and nonstructural practices through performance monitoring and tracking of capital, operations & maintenance (O&M), and life-cycle costs. Finally, questions were also targeted to determine if DOTs are implementing watershed scale strategies with part- ners or other TMDL stakeholders. Each interview was conducted using interview guides previously developed as part of the Stage 1 deliverables. The questionnaire covered a range of topics related to the DOT’s TMDL program including but not limited to the following: TMDL Compliance Strategies: • Is your DOT named or expected to be named a stake- holder in a TMDL? • What organizational units are responsible for compli- ance on this TMDL? • Did the DOT participate in the development of any TMDL? • Has the DOT implemented a policy of participating in the development process of current or future TMDLs? • Did the DOT provide data to support the LA or WLA? • Do you estimate pollutant loads from DOT ROWs for purposes of predicting, tracking, and reporting reductions? chapter two STUDY APPROACH

6 • Have you developed a long-term policy for TMDL participation and compliance? Effective and targeted structural and nonstructural BMPs: • What types of structural and nonstructural BMPs have you most utilized for stormwater treatment and pollutant reduction? • What are the costs associated with BMP implementation? What kinds of costs do you track; for example, capital, O&M, land acquisition, life-cycle? • Does your state use field measurements and/or sam- pling to gauge BMP effectiveness? • Have you conducted any systematic observations of any BMPs located within the ROW to help predict the projected service life (maintenance interval)? • Do you participate in or provide any funding for research on highway-specific stormwater BMP performance? Watershed Partnerships: • Do you have a standard policy for initiating collabora- tion with other parties, such as a local government, adja- cent property owners, watershed groups, etc., to address stormwater requirements? • Do you have formal agreements with partners to imple- ment the strategies? • What are the barriers to developing partnerships? The questions were provided well in advance of the inter- views to allow DOT contacts to coordinate with various departments within their organization. The full questionnaire is provided in Appendix A. FIGURE 1 Location of the 12 state DOTs interviewed in April and May 2012 (unshaded).

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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 444, Pollutant Load Reductions for Total Maximum Daily Loads for Highways presents information on the types of structural and non-structural best management practices currently being used by state departments of transportation, including performance and cost data.

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