The Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) have developed and adopted the newly revised “Rhode Island Stormwater Design and Installations Standards Manual” dated December 2010. The new manual and regulations adopted by both state agencies implement the requirements of the “Smart Development for a Cleaner Bay Act “of 2007. The law states that “stormwater, when not properly controlled and treated, causes pollution of the waters of the state…” and “development often results in increased storm water runoff by increasing the size and number of paved and other impervious surfaces…” The law mandated that CRMC and DEM amend the 1993 stormwater manual to require groundwater recharge or infiltration of a portion of stormwater into the ground and use of low impact development (LID) techniques as the primary method of stormwater control to reduce runoff volume and improve water quality.
Stormwater requirements for projects within CRMC jurisdiction
The CRMC stormwater requirements are implemented through Section 300.6 of the Coastal Resources Management Program.
CRMC guidance for individual single-family residential projects
All new single-family dwelling construction and accessory structures, including the demolition and rebuilding and any additions, greater than 600 square feet in area will require stormwater treatment. All new impervious driveways and parking areas also require stormwater treatment.The CRMC stormwater requirements in CRMP Section 300.6 provide homeowners the option to design their stormwater projects in accordance with the RI stormwater manual or the simplified single-family residential guidance.
Rhode Island Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook
Most all construction projects involve land disturbance activities such as grading, filling, excavating, and stockpiling of soils. Installing and maintaining proper erosion and sediment controls is a requirement of Standard 10 in the new RI stormwater manual. Click on the following link to download a copy of the RI Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/water/pdf/riesc-handbook16.pdf
Construction activities that disturb one (1) or more acres of land
Construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land are subject to a General Permit for Stormwater Discharge under the DEM RIPDES program. Applicants are encouraged to contact the DEM RIPDES Program for more information and requirements at the following link: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/permits/ripdes/stwater/index.htm
The DEM has recently developed two compliance assistance tools for construction site owners and operators that disturb ≥ 1 acre of land. The first compliance assistance tool is the RI Model Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (RI Model SWPPP). This tool will be useful to construction site owners who are applying for permit coverage or who have not yet developed a site specific SWPPP for their construction project as required by the RIPDES Construction General Permit. The following link will take you to the RI Model SWPPP Fact Sheet which explains the many benefits of the RI Model SWPPP and where additional information can be found if you choose to take advantage of this valuable resource: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/permits/swcoord/pdf/swpppfs.pdf
The second compliance assistance tool that is now available for construction site owners and operators is the Construction Site Stormwater Compliance Program. Participation in this program will better prepare construction site owners and operators to readily determine when compliance issues exist at their construction site, and will give owners the opportunity to take corrective action before environmental impacts and/or violations occur. More information on this program can be found by going to the following webpage: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/assist/ms4/index.htm
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) checklist
Those projects subject to a DEM RIPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharge must prepare and file a SWPPP in accordance with the RIPDES requirements. A revised Appendix A checklist for such projects is now available on the DEM web site here: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/permits/swcoord/pdf/cheklist.pdf
The revised checklist is a compilation of the RI stormwater manual Appendix A checklist and the supplemental items found in section A.1.6 necessary to develop a SWPPP to satisfy the RIPDES General Permit conditions.
Landscape and Planting Needs
Interactive RI Coastal Plan Guide: http://www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc/coastalPlants/CoastalPlantGuide.htm
New England conservation seed mixes to cover bare earth: http://www.newp.com/catalogue-seeds.html
Stormwater Research on Low Impact Development (LID) Practices in New England
The University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center maintains a website with substantial information on research results, data, and publications for stormwater management issues.
Other Helpful Websites
Paver block systems for driveways, walkways and parking areas, including technical specifications and detail sheets for residential and commercial applications: http://www.icpi.org/
State of Rhode Island Web Site