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Combining Stormwater Engineering and GIS to Guide Communities through Stormwater Regulations

A look at the ArcGIS tool used by the NMSC.

Our stormwater experts worked with 12 communities in the Northern Middlesex Stormwater Collaborative (NMSC) to determine the necessary regulatory updates to meet the latest General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts. Tighe & Bond helped to develop a model stormwater bylaw and regulations to assist communities within the region to effectively manage stormwater pollution and comply with the most recent Small MS4 General Permit (MS4) and 2020 permit revisions.

Coordination played a key role during the process of improving local stormwater design standards and addressing watershed-based stormwater requirements. We conducted three workshops to work with the communities, presented and collected information, and provided guidance during the process. These workshops resulted in a guided local stormwater code self-assessment; model stormwater by-law/ordinance, regulations and guidance, and a final report.

Step-by-step instructions for the user to obtain all information on stormwater requirements in their location.

It was vital that municipal staff, landowners, and developers have access to these regulations and guidance in a way that is easy to follow and simple to use. Tighe & Bond developed a Master Permit Tracking Tool to facilitate construction period and long-term compliance.  Our stormwater experts worked with our in-house GIS team to create an interactive web-based tool to house the ESRI ArcGIS Online Mapping Tool for Watershed-Based Requirements.

The interactive GIS tools assist developers with locating their project site and identifying applicable watershed-specific development requirements and design criteria. The Mapping Tool allows users to click on the map of their city or town and either search by address or zoom in on their location to identify any water quality impairments such as phosphorous, metals/solids, and chlorides. Users can then access additional guidance with options to mitigate any identified water quality impairments through the Water Quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) section located on the same site.

Tighe & Bond prepared this guidance and online tool for the “Northern Middlesex Capacity Building for Local Oversight of Development and Redevelopment Projects” funded by the 2019-2020 MS4 Municipal Assistance Grant Program (ENV 20 MVP 01).  Our team presented our model stormwater bylaw and regulations, guidance recommendations, and the interactive GIS tool to the state-wide Stormwater Coalition, setting an example of success for various other stormwater collaboratives looking to communicate regulations and requirements across their communities.

Experience the Northern Middlesex Stormwater Collaborative interactive tool for yourself.

The NMSC Model bylaw and regulations are also available on the MassDEP Stormwater page under Stormwater Tools, Post-Construction Stormwater Management.