A common reaction to new regulations is to focus on the perceived cost of having to do something differently. The science behind a stormwater permit is challenged, the feasibility of compliance is questioned as communities consider piling more work on already stretched staff, and often, lawyers are hired. This almost always leads to more costs and divisive politics, but it doesn’t always lead to a solution or even an appreciably different outcome.
Instead, what if we focused on what was possible using the resources at hand? What if we could redefine the value of ongoing work so it could receive appropriate regulatory credit where it had not before? Those were the questions driving a New Hampshire–based effort to develop performance curves that could be used to assign regulatory credit for restored or constructed buffers as water quality best management practices (BMPs). Developed in response to community need, these curves have not only been accepted by regulatory agencies, the expert panel process that created them is being explored for other BMPs in New Hampshire and the region.
About this resource
This article, published in Stormwater Magazine in September 2020, describes how an expert panel process helped develop performance curves to assign regulatory credit for restored or constructed buffers as water quality best management practices.
Leonard, D., Houle, J., 2020. Credit for Going Green. Stormwater Online.