The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 54-02 [Active (Synthesis)]

Outsourcing Post-Construction Stormwater Best Management Practice Inspection and 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
Research Agency: Maple Consulting, LLC
Principal Investigator: Michael Perez
Fiscal Year: 2023

Final 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 stormwater control measures, also traditionally known as best management practices (BMPs). Some DOTs also have other federal and state stormwater laws and regulations to comply with in addition to the NPDES. Most state DOTs have hundreds or commonly thousands of stormwater BMPs located across the state that fall under inspection and maintenance 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 and monetary 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 inspection and maintenance 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 practices related to outsourcing stormwater BMP inspection and maintenance compliance activities.  The synthesis will encompass post-construction operations for all BMPs under the DOT’s jurisdiction.


Information to be gathered includes (but is no limited to):

  • Drivers of DOT stormwater programs (e.g., federal, state, or local regulations, internal asset management);
  • Identification of state DOTs that partially or fully outsource BMP inspection and/or maintenance activities and those that do not outsource these activities;
  • Drivers of the decision to outsource BMP inspection and/or maintenance activities (e.g., manpower/staffing, expertise, number of BMPs, BMP level of service, cost/benefit analysis);
  • Types of contracts (e.g., state- or district-wide contract, purchase order, let/bid, open-ended/on-call, turnkey);
  • Funding for BMP inspection and maintenance activities (e.g., statewide budget, district budget, incorporated into roadway project work);
  • Contractor pre-qualification process;
  • Whether contract qualification requirements are specified in contracts;
  • Established standards for oversight and assessment of the contractor’s performance; and
  • How contract costs are established (e.g. per BMP, time and materials, level of service, urgency).

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: September 26, 2022, 2:30 pm Eastern
Second Panel: May 16, 2023, Washington, DC

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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