Many National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (NPDES MS4) stormwater permits require state departments of transportation (DOTs) to monitor stormwater discharges to characterize runoff from DOT facilities, assess the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs), show compliance with total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and in some cases assess ambient water quality in receiving water bodies. Stormwater monitoring programs require considerable time and resources to develop and implement. The objectives of state DOT stormwater monitoring programs are often poorly defined in the permits, leading to results that provide little useful, actionable information for the state DOTs. Furthermore, variations in monitoring programs mean that results are not particularly useful to other DOTs. Finally, monitoring permit requirements are often set without an understanding of the logistics and constraints of establishing monitoring stations on state DOT roadways and at other facilities.
Research is needed to identify and select achievable and worthwhile goals for highway stormwater monitoring, and on the appropriate study design and monitoring techniques that would lead to the implementation of effective monitoring programs that produce information useful to state DOTs and their stormwater management programs.
The objectives of the research are to (1) identify problems or questions that relate to the design, implementation and improvement of DOT stormwater monitoring programs, and (2) identify effective stormwater monitoring practices. Important information and data gaps will be identified, and a review of when, how and if state DOTs participate in the monitoring of receiving waters will be conducted.
Status: Final report is in development. Anticipated January 2018.