Ordinance, Regulation & Guidance Material Awareness

Overview
Planning a construction project or development requires engineers to use the most current ordinances, regulations and guidance material available related to long-term water quality impacts.  Having the most up to date information possible early in the planning process not only aids in making decisions that can reduce or eliminate water pollution during and after development, but can also save time and money that can be associated with re-accomplishing plans to meet the most current requirements.

Storm Water Ordinance
The City’s Storm Water Ordinance was revised in 2012 to meet requirements of the Tennessee National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  It not only contains design information but also requirements for post-development storm water management.  Additionally, it establishes items that must be completed in the planning and coordination process before construction can begin.

Subdivision Regulation
The City’s Subdivision Regulation provides information designers will need to meet the City’s requirements for storm water control.

Tennessee General NPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Construction Activities
Better known as the Tennessee Construction General Permit, this permit is required for construction activities that result in the disturbance of one or more acres of total land area or less than one acre if the construction activity is part of a larger common plan of development or sale.  Requirements of the permit need to be considered when planning the construction phase of a development or other construction activity one acre or more in size.  It also requires specific certification for some planners as well as construction activities such as storm water inspections.  The permit is issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Guidance Material
Guidance material is constantly being updated as new technologies are developed.  Some of the guidance material available to engineers and developers include the TDEC Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Handbook, the Shelby County Watershed Management Practices Manual, the City of Memphis/Shelby County Storm Water Management Manual, and the City of Bartlett Standard Specifications and Drawings. Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has published the Tennessee Permanent Stormwater Management and Design Guidance Manual describing BMPs that will help to achieve runoff reduction requirements.

Low Impact Development (LID) Sources
The Tennessee Stormwater Association is currently working to provide low impact development best management practices that can be included into project designs.  The EPA’s Low Impact Development website is also available.  The National Low Impact Development Atlas is an interactive webmap highlighting examples of innovative stormwater projects around the U.S. It contains 850 points that highlight vegetated swales, rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavement, and other low-impact/green infrastructure practices. The map can be sorted by type of practice, state, and land-use type.