Technical Specialist Spotlight: Cassandra LaRochelle, PE Aids Clients with Stormwater Management
As a Project Engineer at Tighe & Bond, Cassandra LaRochelle focuses on stormwater management and water distribution projects. Outside of designing and planning water systems and overseeing construction she specializes in assisting Massachusetts communities to remain compliant with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Small MS4 General Permit.
This permit is designed to develop stormwater pollution prevention programs to make sure pollutants are not entering state waters from stormwater systems. Cassandra is part of Tighe & Bond’s MS4 implementation team, which serves approximately 40 of the municipalities in Massachusetts that are subject to the Small MS4 Program (about 15% of regulated communities). As part of this team, she has assisted in stormwater management master planning, completed drainage inspections for asset management programs, evaluated the feasibility of adopting dedicated stormwater funding mechanisms, and developed planning and reporting documents consistent with General Permit requirements.
Cassandra is known among her fellow engineers for her organized and detail-oriented work style. Working with an array of cities and towns, she emphasizes the importance of being proactive with reminders about compliance milestones and preparing written deliverables that allow the general public to easily follow the progress of a project. In addition to these deliverables, Cassandra has utilized her skill set to facilitate meetings with municipal working groups and the public to better understand their goals for stormwater management. She often collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team across several Tighe & Bond offices to aid municipalities in meeting the extensive requirements of the Small MS4 General Permit.
As Cassandra uses her breadth of experience with MS4 compliance, she notes that a key component to success is to customize a client’s solution for stormwater management. She helps create a compliance plan based on municipal budget and staff capabilities and availability, while also addressing local drivers such as water quality, flooding, water supply protection, wastewater concerns, recreation and open space, and capital needs.
“I’ve developed a great working relationship with both Tighe & Bond’s internal stormwater group and a broad range of municipal clients. I am grateful to be able to learn and implement the ins and outs of stormwater management by working with a passionate stormwater team. Through my role in this position, I can make an impact where I work and live by helping protect local water quality and the environment.” – Cassandra LaRochelle, PE
Cassandra has also shared her knowledge about water systems among industry organizations, most recently presenting at the 2020 NEWWA Annual Conference about her work to extend the Southbridge, MA drinking water system into Charlton, MA to help address contaminants found in private wells.