PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Opportunities in Urban Hydrology

In Reply Refer To:
WGS-Mail Stop 415                        June 29, 1990


SUBJECT:  PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Opportunities in Urban Hydrology

The long awaited stormwater permitting regulations by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are expected to become law
about the third week of July 1990.  The regulations will cause
cities with urban populations of 100,000 or more to apply for a
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater
permit.  Cities with populations over 250,000 will have about 2
years to comply while cities less than 250,000 but more than
100,000 will have about 1 year to prepare their permit.
Preparation of the NPDES stormwater permit may require various
kinds of hydrologic information and data collection, both for the
initial permit and as a part of compliance monitoring.  We believe
you should be aware of the implementation of new regulations and
of the possible opportunities for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
urban hydrology programs.

Discussions have taken place in various parts of the Nation
between USGS and municipalities or their consultants.  In fact,
private consultants frequently advise their clients to seek out
USGS for monitoring and analysis needs.  A program already exists
with the city of Nashville, for example.  For a copy of the
project proposal and other information, contact Marshall Jennings,
Office of Surface Water (OSW), at 512-832-5791.  Marshall is in
contact with EPA, has served on various EPA task groups, and can
give you guidance in formulating new programs with local cities.

In some Districts, cooperative funding might be used for urban
stormwater-quality projects; in other Districts, unmatched funding
may be a more appropriate mechanism.  Most studies will involve
measuring stormwater flow and sampling water quality on small
urban catch-ments or in receiving waters.  Because the regulations
will require interpretation, close association with OSW and EPA
Regional Office is advised when preparing a project proposal.
After implementation Marshall will have available a summary of the

As a matter of interest, Marshall has organized a National Urban
Hydrology and Drainage Issues Symposium as part of the American
Water Resources Association Meeting, November 4-9, 1990, in
Denver, Colorado.  The preliminary program will be available soon
and includes about 25 USGS authored papers and posters.  It may be
advisable to send one or more of your District staff to this meet-
ing to gain information and contacts about urban hydrology
stormwater-quality projects.  It is expected that representatives
from many of the 170 cities affected by the regulations will be in
attendance.  State, EPA, and local city officials, as well as
private consultants, will discuss aspects of the EPA municipal
stormwater permitting legislation.

                             Charles W. Boning
                             Chief, Office of Surface Water