Saving the Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is a national resource that is critical to the vitality of the Mid-Atlantic region.
Given its location in proximity to the Baltimore and Washington urban areas as well as many other areas through the State, protection of the Bay is a monumental challenge. A large part of WM’s work over the past few decades has focused on measures to enhance the environment including stormwater management design, erosion and sediment control measures, as well as designing infrastructure projects to comply with MD State and Federal environmental permit regulations that are intended to protect natural resources such as wetland, streams and forests.
The pressing need for action in preserving the Bay is accented by EPA’s listing of the Bay as an impaired waterway. In conjunction with this listing, local jurisdictions such County governments as well as the MD State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) are charged with implementing aggressive and extensive programs to enhance the quality of stormwater runoff flows into the Bay by limiting to amount of certain pollutants that flows into the Bay. These limits on pollutants are referred to as “Total Maximum Daily Loads” or TMDL’s. To achieve the established limits on pollutants, the local jurisdictions are required to meet quantifiable goals such as construction of additional water quality enhancement facilities, as described below.
At Wallace Montgomery, we are doing our part! Measures to “Save the Bay” are intricately woven in our work in numerous fronts, such as:
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT (SWM)
Since the mid-1980’s the Maryland Department of the Environment has been administering programs that require SWM for development projects, including roadway and other infrastructure projects. These programs have become increasing robust as water quality in the Bay continued to decline.
Current Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) regulations require the implementation of “environmentally friendly” design practices known as Environmental Site Design (ESD). WM has been extremely active in developing designs and performing technical reviews throughout MDE including involvement in the implementation of these ESD regulations. In addition, our staff has presented workshops on ESD to professional organizations and in conjunction with initiatives to promote “green” ways of thinking. These efforts keep us on the forefront of this complex and important topic and allow us to identify and implement the most practical and effective facilities available to enhance the quality of our surface waters.
EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL (ESC)
MDE is in the process of implementing the 2011 Standards and Specifications for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control. This publication includes not only more stringent regulations and requirements for ESC, but also includes a more expansive “toolbox” of ESC practices for use on construction projects. WM’s involvement as designers and technical reviewers, as well as our extensive construction inspection experience, gives us a thorough perspective of how properly installed ESC devices and practices can reduce sediment in our streams and enhance water quality in the bay.
In recent years, WM has been involved in designing water quality facilities to meet TMDL goals for the SHA and the MDTA. Particular focus was on constructing water quality enhancement facilities to treat runoff from currently untreated roadway pavement, also known as “legacy” pavements. Other facets of achieving TMDL goals are retrofitting existing, substandard facilities such the pollutant removal performance is greatly enhanced, or, stabilizing eroding stream channels to reduce sediment in waterways. WM is facilitating the advancement of TMDL goals by applying knowledge gained over our years of SWM designs to achieve innovative means for water quality enhancement.
Protection of Wetland and Forests
WM has a history of being a strong advocate for the protection of natural resources such as wetlands, wetland buffers, waterways and forests. We design infrastructure improvements to fully comply with both the letter and intent of environmental laws which control and protect these resources. Our staff of engineers and environmental scientists understand the ecological importance and fragile nature of the resources as well as the means to preserve them. We take compliance with environmental permits seriously and make every effort to ensure the effectiveness of the environmental regulations in all aspects of our work.