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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 54-02 [New]

Outsourcing Stormwater Best Management Practice Inspection & Maintenance Activities
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/29/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Fiscal Year: 2023

Preliminary Scope

All state departments of transportation (DOTs) are required under the federal Clean Water Act to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements to routinely inspect and maintain (I&M) stormwater control measures, also traditionally known as best management practices (BMPs). Most state DOTs have hundreds or commonly thousands of stormwater BMPs located across the state that fall under I&M permit requirements. Each DOT approaches these stormwater asset management requirements differently, due in part to the absence of uniform nationwide NPDES permit requirements.
 
State DOT maintenance forces are often spread thin and typically focus manpower on the maintenance of pavement, bridges, and safety-related infrastructure along roadways, often leaving few human resources available to maintain stormwater conveyance and treatment infrastructure. Pollutant specific permit requirements have over time given rise to more sophisticated and highly engineered BMPs which necessitates more advanced training for state maintenance forces, thereby adding additional in-house resource burdens. As such, some DOTs are exploring the use of third-party contractors to perform BMP I&M activities required by NPDES stormwater permits, similar in concept to how many DOTs outsource roadside mowing and vegetation management activities.
 
The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT current practices related to outsourcing stormwater BMP I&M compliance activities. The synthesis will focus on post-construction operations.
 
Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):
·       Identification of state DOTs that partially or fully outsource BMP I&M activities and those that do not outsource these activities;
·       Contractor prequalification process;
·       Whether contract prequalification requirements are specified in contracts;
·       Established standards for assessing the contractor’s performance;
·       Established remedy process for when BMPs are not maintained to the agency’s standards;
·       Established standards for assessing the contractor’s performance;
·       Level of DOT oversight during contract administration;
·       Whether DOTs have performed a cost/benefit analysis for the outsourcing program; and
·       How costs are established.
 
Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.
 
Information Sources (Partial):
NPDES program databases maintained by the TRB AKD50 Standing Committee on Hydrology, Hydraulics, and Stormwater, the AASHTO Stormwater Community of Practice, and FHWA.
 
 

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826
Email: jagause@nas.edu
 
Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 15, 2022, Virtual
Teleconference with Consultant: TBD
Second Panel: TBD

Topic Panel
C. Scott Crafton, Virginia Department of Transportation
Sara Esposito, Delaware Department of Transportation
Hans Hallanger, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Tracey Janus, Texas Department of Transportation
Andrew McDaniel, North Carolina Department of Transportation
Ryan Lizewski, Federal Highway Administration
Brian Roberts, Transportation Research Board

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