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Water: Polluted Runoff

Polluted Runoff - Publications and Information Resources

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The following list highlights some of the best nonpoint source materials that EPA's Nonpoint Source Control Branch is aware of for both professionals and the public. We recognize that there are many other excellent resources available, and we intend to continuously update this listing as appropriate. The following major categories are highlighted as follows:


Agriculture

Agriculture Category Page

Learn more about controlling nonpoint sources impacts from agricultural lands.

Agriculture documents are broken down into the following categories:


General Resources

  • National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Agriculture (Final Version - July 2003)
    A technical guidance and reference document for use by state, local and tribal managers in the implementation of nonpoint source pollution management programs. It contains information on the best available, economically achievable means of reducing pollution of surface and ground water from agriculture.
  • How to Build Better Agricultural Conservation Programs to Protect Water Quality: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture- Conservation Effects Assessment Project Experience Exit EPA Disclaimer (2012) This book provides a synthesis of 13 projects designed to evaluate the effects of conservation practices on spatial and temporal trends in water quality at the watershed scale. The lessons learned from this synthesis strengthen the knowledge base for evaluating the impacts of conservation practices on water quality, improving management of agricultural landscapes for improved water resource outcomes, and informing conservation policy.
  • 50 Ways Farmers Can Protect Their Groundwater Exit EPA Disclaimer
    University of Illinois, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service (1993). The title says it all. While focusing on the management of fertilizers and pesticides, this 190-page book covers livestock waste, wells, hazardous chemicals and water testing. (Type “50 ways” into the Search Box to view the publication.)
  • 60 Ways Farmers Can Protect Surface Water Exit EPA Disclaimer
    University of Illinois, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service (1993). Topics include residue management, water flow control, nutrient management, livestock waste handling and pesticide management. (Type “60 ways” into the Search Box to view the publication.)
  • Core4 Conservation Core4 Conservation Practices: the common sense approach to natural resource conservation (PDF) (395 pp, 9.5MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (1999). This reference manual is intended to help USDA-NRCS personnel and other conservation and nonpoint source management professionals implement effective programs on the land using four core conservation practices: conservation tillage, nutrient management, pest management and conservation buffers. The Core4 concept was established by the Conservation Technology Information System and is supported by USDA, EPA and agribusiness. For more information or to receive a copy on CD-ROM contact Arnold King, Grazing Lands Technology Institute, NRCS, P.O. Box 6567, Fort Worth, TX 76115.
  • Farming for Clean Water in South Carolina: A handbook of conservation practices
    South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (1997). Compiled by Dennis DeFrancesco of USDA- NRCS for the South Carolina DNR, this 135-page manual covers all the farming basics: calibration, stripcropping, water diversions, composting, IPM, recordkeeping, pesticides, nutrients...and the list goes on. Based in large part on the Field Office Technical Guide and Clemson University publications, this document was produced using Section 319 funding. While not in-depth, the document has great pictures and an easy to follow, consistent format. Contact SCDNR for more information: (803) 737-0800.
  • Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water (1993). Developed for use by State Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Programs, Chapter 2 of this document covers erosion control, animal feeding operation management, grazing practices, and management of nutrients, pesticides, and irrigation water. This document has become a must-have for nonpoint source control professionals.
  • National Handbook of Conservation Practices
    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. This resource contains all conservation practice standards issued by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. All conservation topics are covered: nutrient management, conservation tillage, erosion control, irrigation, grazing, etc.
  • Techniques for Tracking, Evaluating, and Reporting the Implementation of Nonpoint Source Control Measures - Agriculture
    This guidance is intended to assist state, regional and local environmental professionals in tracking the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) used to control agricultural nonpoint source pollution. Information is provided on methods for selecting sites for evaluation, sample size estimation, sampling and results evaluation and presentation. (September 1997, EPA 841-B-97-010)

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Animal Facilities

  • Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook: USDA - NRCS National Engineering Handbook (NEH): Part 651
    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Animal Waste Management Field Handbook is an excellent resource for animal waste system designers or anyone with interest in how animal waste is typically handled and stored. The document covers all aspects of the design and management of animal facilities and has lots of very useful diagrams and figures.
  • Earthen and Manure Storage Design Considerations (NRAES-109) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, Cooperative Extension (1999). This publication covers environmental policy as well as manure storage and management. The text can be technical but also covers the basics of environmental issues and risk reduction. NRAES, Cooperative Extension, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853-5701, (607) 255-7654.
  • Liquid Manure Application Systems Design Manual (NRAES-89) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, Cooperative Extension (1998). This document focuses on the characteristics and land application of liquid manure. Evaluation of application sites for environmental risk, manure handling and safety are key issues. NRAES, Cooperative Extension, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853-5701, (607) 255-7654.
  • On-Farm Composting Handbook (NRAES-54) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, Cooperative Extension (1992). This document describes the composting process in detail and discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using composting in an operation. Raw materials, various composting methods, how to use compost, and how to market compost are all covered in this 186-page manual. For copies, contact NRAES, Cooperative Extension, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853-5707, (607) 255-7654.
  • Poultry Waste Management Handbook (NRAES-132) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, Cooperative Extension (1999). This handbook discusses storage, treatment and utilization of poultry litter and mortalities. Emphasis is placed on composting and nutrient management. For copies, contact NRAES, Cooperative Extension, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853-5701, (607) 255-7654.
  • The Producers' Compliance Guide for CAFOs
    This resource describes EPA's regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The Producers' Guide includes sections that describe EPA's CAFO regulations, who they affect, what they require and what assistance is available. Owners or operations of a CAFO can use this guide to determine what is needed to comply with the CAFO regulations.

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Erosion

(See list for General Resources, above)

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Grazing

  • National Range and Pasture Handbook
    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Grazing Lands Technology Institute (1997). Part of the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide, this manual covers inventorying, monitoring and managing grazing lands as well as livestock nutrition, behavior and husbandry. Special sections deal with the economics of grazing, wildlife management and hydrology.
  • Best Management Practices for Grazing
    Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (1999). This manual describes the BMPs developed as part of Montana's Prescribed Grazing Standard (NRCS Conservation Practice Standard). The manual covers grazing management plans, riparian areas, forestlands and winter feeding areas. For copies, contact the Conservation Districts Bureau, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, P.O. Box 201601, Helena, MT 59620-1601, or call (406) 444-6667.
  • Managing Change: livestock grazing on western riparian areas
    U.S. EPA Region VIII (1993). Written for "the men and women who move the livestock," this 31-page booklet encourages ranchers to look at the water quality and habitat impacts of their grazing practices. Excellent photographs illustrate how streambanks and water quality are degraded by improper grazing and how improved management can restore the health of the streams. Quick-fix structural components for stream training are cautioned against as an inadequate substitute for long-term responsible herd management. U.S. EPA Region VIII (999 18th Street, Suite 500, Denver CO 80202-2466) and Northwest Resource Information Center, Inc. (P.O. Box 427, Eagle, Idaho 83616).

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Irrigation

  • Irrigation Management Practices to Protect Ground Water and Surface Water Quality, State of Washington (PDF) (194 pp, 4.4MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Washington State Department of Ecology and Washington State University Cooperative Extension (1995). The handbook emphasizes a systems approach to irrigation management and water quality protection. Introductory material covers water quality issues and the basics of soil-water-plant relationships and irrigation processes. Contact State of Washington, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, Washington 98504-7600.

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Pesticides

  • Best Management Practices for Agrichemical Handling and Farm Equipment Maintenance (PDF) (51 pp, 693K) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (May 1998). This 51-page booklet covers pesticides, fertilizers, and solvents and degreasers. Emphasis is placed on storage, mixing, loading, spill management and disposal. Emergency reporting is also stressed.
  • Integrated Pest Management World Textbook Exit EPA Disclaimer
    The University of Minnesota's electronic textbook of Integrated Pest Management features chapters contributed by internationally recognized experts. This Web page provides an electronic alternative or complement to printed textbooks for communicating information on integrated pest management (IPM).
  • Regional USDA Integrated Pest Management Centers
    At this National Site you can access the complete Crop Profiles and Pest Management Strategic Plans databases, an IPM Expertise database, information on pesticide use, current pest management research, funding opportunities and links to many related sites.

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Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Guidance

Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Guidance Category Page

Learn more about the coastal nonpoint program

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Education & Outreach

Education & Outreach Category Page

Learn more about nonpoint source education and outreach resources.

The education and outreach documents are broken down into the following categories:


General Resources

  • "After the Storm"
    Half-Hour TV Special Co-produced by EPA and The Weather Channel, this made-for-TV show highlights three case studies (Santa Monica Bay, the Mississippi River Basin/Gulf of Mexico, and New York City) where polluted runoff threatens important water resources. The program highlights the land-water connection and presents tips on how we can prevent polluted runoff.
  • Getting In Step: A Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns
    Available as a 100-page book and a 35-minute companion video, this set is designed to strengthen watershed outreach campaigns:
    1. Getting in Step-A Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns (PDF) (136 pp, 3.3MB)
      (Publication # EPA 841-B-03-002), and
    2. Getting in Step-A Video Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns
      (Publication # EPA 841-V-03-001)
  • Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox
    A comprehensive set of Web-based resources, designed to assist communities across the U.S. to conduct locally effective watershed education and outreach activities. The Toolbox includes a searchable catalog of nearly 800 print, radio, and TV ads and outreach materials in the following categories: lawn and garden care, motor vehicle care, pet care, septic system care, household chemicals and waste, and general stormwater and storm drain awareness. The Toolbox also provides EPA's publication Getting in Step - A Guide to Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns, as well as a comprehensive collection of surveys and evaluations of outreach programs from around the country.
  • Stormwater Outreach
    An EPA Web page where you can quickly download all the latest brochures, fact sheets, or other outreach materials-some of which are quite novel. Instructions for bulk ordering these items are also included.
  • Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts This EPA Web page differs from the Stormwater Outreach page noted above in that it is more extensive; is more specifically geared toward addressing the needs of the NPDES Storm Water regulated communities; and serves as a useful primer on various categories of stormwater impacts.

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Citizens and Homeowners Guides

  • Baybook: A guide to Reducing Water Pollution at Home
    Chesapeake Bay, Inc. Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay et. al. (March 1993). A lay publication to create awareness and actions to reduce water pollution. Homeowners are the target audience for this document. Call: (410) 377- 6270.
  • Bayscapes: environmentally sound landscapes for the Chesapeake Bay
    Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (1994). A set of comprehensive fact sheets which contain detailed actions homeowners can take to implement environmentally friendly landscaping. Addresses pesticides, nutrients, erosion control, pesticides, and habitat diversity. Contains checklists for each fact sheet. Call: (804) 755-0951 or 1-800-662-CRIS.
  • Clean Water in Your Watershed: A Citizens Guide to Watershed Protection
    Terrene Institute (in cooperation with USEPA Region 6) (October 1993). An easy to understand and well illustrated guide to help citizens work with local, state, and federal government agencies to design and implement successful watershed protection and restoration projects. Step-by-step recommendations are provided. Call (703) 548-5473 or e-mail info@terrene.org.
  • HANDLE WITH CARE: Your Guide to Preventing Water Pollution
    Terrene Institute (1991). A simple but effective citizens guide to problems due to rainfall and runoff in urban areas and what citizens and homeowners can do to reduce the harmful effects of runoff on water quality. Call (703) 548-5473 or e-mail info@terrene.org.
  • Planning as Process: A Community Guide to Watershed Planning (Publication #99-01-WQ) Exit EPA Disclaimer This Guide is a useful reference for community involvement in the planning process. It is dedicated to providing the knowledge and support that citizens need to solve their own environmental problems.
  • Turning the Tide; A Citizen's Guide to Reducing Nonpoint Source Pollution
    Harborwatch, Inc., S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. A concise brochure that describes urban nonpoint pollution and what actions citizens can take to reduce pollution in urban areas. Includes checklists. Call: (803) 734-5300.

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Effective Outreach Approaches

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Flash Presentations

  • Interactive Urban NPS Presentation Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This Web-based interactive Flash presentation from the San Antonio Water System provides some basic information on a few aspects of urban NPS pollution in a colorful and innovative way.
  • RoboCow Exit EPA Disclaimer
    A truly one-of-a-kind presentation of an udderly amazing bovine superhero and her quest to save the world from the ravages of agricultural NPS pollution one farm at a time. This Web-based Flash presentation was first developed with middle and high school students in mind, and is offered on the web courtesy of the Canadian government's Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration.

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Materials from Nongovernmental Organizations

  • Earth 911 Stormwater Resources & Earth 911 Stormwater Public Service Announcements (PSAs) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    These are related pages from the Earth 911 Web site. The former Web page uses text and graphics to explain the problems and solutions associated with specific urban NPS pollutants in a professional way that is easy for the public to understand. The second page serves as an electronic library of celebrity-studded video PSAs to help get the word out about these same NPS problems and solutions.
  • EnviroCast Weather & Watershed Newsletter Exit EPA Disclaimer
    A well done and informative Web-based newsletter on Chesapeake Bay stormwater and NPS issues. The newsletter is produced by the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation and the Center for Watershed Protection in partnership with StormCenter Communications under a cooperative agreement with EPA.
  • Stormwater Manager's Resource Center Exit EPA Disclaimer
    A reference library of fact sheets and other useful resources on watershed protection and runoff control from the Center for Watershed Protection.

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Forestry

Forestry Category Page

For more information on nonpoint source pollution from forestry operations, visit the forestry category page.

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Funding

Funding Category Page

Learn more about funding opportunities for nonpoint source control.

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Hydromodification & Habitat Alteration

Hydromodification & Habitat Alteration Category Page

Learn more about controlling impacts from hydromodification and habitat alteration.

  • National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Hydromodification
    The primary goal of this guidance document is to provide technical assistance to states, territories, tribes, and the public for managing hydromodification activities and reducing associated NPS pollution of surface and ground water. The document describes examples of the implementation of practices that can be used to reduce NPS pollution from activities associated with channelization and channel modification, dams, and streambank and shoreline erosion.
  • Dam Removal: Science and Decision Making (2002) (PDF) (236 pp, 5.5MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This report is the result of 18 months of research and deliberation by a panel of experts with experience in government, industry, academia, and environmental organizations. Focusing on the nation's small dams, the report outlines the current state of research on and experience with dam removal. It is a primer for dam removal decision makers, recounting lessons learned from previous dam removals and providing a step-by-step design for informed and responsible decision making.
  • The Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    IHA is a software program that provides useful information for those trying to understand the hydrologic impacts of human activities or trying to develop environmental flow recommendations for water managers. This program was developed by scientists at the Nature Conservancy to facilitate hydrologic analysis in an ecologically-meaningful manner.
  • Urbanization and Streams: Studies of Hydrologic Impacts
    Hydrologic impacts may cause water quality problems such as sedimentation, increased temperatures, habitat changes, and the loss of fish populations.
  • Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices
    This document was produced by the collective experience, skills and technology of 15 U.S. federal agencies. Used by these agencies as well as many others, this benchmark publication assists those who are interested in restoring the functions and values of the nation's stream corridors.

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Marinas and Boating

Marinas and Boating Category Page

Learn more about controlling nonpoint source impacts from marinas and boating.

  • National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Marinas and Recreational Boating
    This is a technical guidance and reference document for use by State, local, and tribal managers in the implementation of nonpoint source pollution management programs. It contains information on the best available, economically achievable means of reducing pollution of surface water runoff from marinas and recreational boating. (Final Version)
  • Clean Marinas - Clear Value - Environmental and Business Success Stories
    Marinas and recreational boating are very popular uses of coastal water. The growth of recreational boating, along with the growth of coastal development in general, has led to a growing awareness of the need to protect the environmental quality of our waterways. This study focuses on the economic benefits realized by marina managers who have implemented management measures at their marinas.
  • The Maryland Clean Marina Guidebook Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This document provides an overview of actions that marine industry professionals can take to protect water and air quality. It is written for managers of full service marinas with boatyards. The recommendations contained within, however, are equally applicable to marinas with limited services, independent boatyards, and marine contractors.

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Monitoring

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Policies and Guidance Documents

  • Almanac of Enforceable State Laws to Control Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Published by the Environmental Law Institute, ELI Project #970301. This document is a state-by-state report identifying enforceable provisions that can apply to nonpoint source discharges in each state. It builds upon the study entitled Enforceable State Mechanisms for the Control of Nonpoint Source Water Pollution (link below). The views expressed herein should not be attributed to EPA nor should any official endorsement be inferred.
  • Enforceable State Mechanisms for the Control of Nonpoint Source Water Pollution
    Published by the Environmental Law Institute, ELI Project #970300. This project was supported in part by Environmental Protection Agency Assistance Agreement No. X-825472-01. The views expressed herein should not be attributed to EPA nor should any official endorsement be inferred.
  • Putting the Pieces Together: State Nonpoint Source Enforceable Mechanisms in Context Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Published by the Environmental Law Institute, ELI Project #970302. Unlike the two earlier ELI studies, Enforceable State Mechanisms for the Control of Nonpoint Source Water Pollution (October 1997) and Almanac of Enforceable state Laws to Control Nonpoint Source Water Pollution (1998), which surveyed the authorities existing in each state, this document from 2000 is a set of eight case studies designed to assess how enforceable mechanisms are used in practice.
  • The Practice of Watershed Protection Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Published in 2000, this is a large, bound volume of 150 wide-ranging articles spanning seven years of wisdom from the Center for Watershed Protection. A sample of these articles on urban watershed restoration from 1994 is available for free Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • Unified Federal Policy for a Watershed Approach to Federal Land and Resource Management <Not in Dabble>
    The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy and the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Army Corps of Engineer are adopting a unified Federal policy on watershed management. The following policy has two main goals: (1) Use a watershed approach to prevent and reduce pollution of surface and ground waters resulting from Federal land and resource management activities; and (2) Accomplish this in a unified and cost-effective manner. The policy was signed on October 18, 2000.

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Roads

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Stream Restoration

Stream Restoration Category Page

Learn more about stream restoration.

  • Izaak Walton League Save Our Streams Program (January, 1995) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Includes A Citizen's Streambank Restoration Handbook, a video, and personal assistance. A primer to help citizens, government planners, and decision makers understand channelization and streambank restoration techniques. Includes case studies, an annotated bibliography, and restoration contacts. Call: (800) BUG-IWLA.
  • Restoring Streams in Cities: A Guide for Planners, Policymakers, and Citizens
    Ann Riley (1998). "This books contains a logical sequence of land-use planning, site design and watershed restoration measures along with stream channel modifications and floodproofing strategies that can be used in place of destructive and expensive public works projects." Contact Island Press, 1718 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009, phone: 202-232-7933, fax: 202-234-1328, info@islandpress.org; or the distribution center at 58440 Main Street, P.O. Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428, phone: 1-800-828-1302, fax: 707-983-6414, email: ipwest@islandpress.org.
  • Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices
    (EPA 841-R-98-900) (October 1998) This document is a result of a cooperative effort among fifteen Federal agencies and partners to (produce a common reference on stream corridor restoration. It responds to a growing national and international public interest in restoring stream corridors. This document encapsulates the rapidly expanding body of knowledge related to stream corridors and their restoration. Such restoration affects water quality, recreation, fish and wildlife, and agriculture.
  • Urban Stream Restoration: A Video Tour of Ecological Restoration Techniques Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Includes information on six urban stream restoration sites with detailed instructions and graphic illustrations. Includes bioengineering stablilization techniques, recreating channel shapes and meanders, daylighting of buried creeks, and vegetated flood controls. Led by Ann Riely, Executive Director of the Waterways Restoration Institute in Berkeley, CA.

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Urban

Urban Category Page

Learn more about controlling nonpoint source pollution from urban areas.

Urban documents are broken down into the following categories:


General Resources: Publications

  • National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Urban Areas
    This guidance helps citizens and municipalities in urban areas protect bodies of water from polluted runoff that can result from everyday activities. These scientifically sound techniques are the best practices known today. The guidance will also help states to implement their nonpoint source control programs and municipalities to implement their Phase II Storm Water Permit Programs.
  • Economic Benefits of Runoff Controls
    This document contains a description of studies that document increases in property values and rental prices when properly designed runoff control facilities are used as visual amenities. Hard copies are available through National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), (800) 490-9198.
  • Fundamentals of Urban Runoff Management: Technical and Institutional Issues
    Horner, R.R., J.J. Skupien, E.H. Livingston, and H.E. Shaver (August 1994). Terrene Institute, Washington, DC (in cooperation with USEPA). Part I contains clear and concise runoff and pollutant impact assessment and technical information on structural runoff controls in a logical sequence. Nonstructural alternatives are cleverly imbedded in Part II, which addresses institutional structures and frameworks which will help ensure implementation and continuance of control programs. Call (703) 548-5473.
  • Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 840-B-92-002)(January 1993). Chapter 4 contains a description of water quality problems caused by urban nonpoint sources of pollution as well as management measures that represent performance expectations for urban controls to be implemented in states with approved coastal zone management programs. Management practices (referred to in other documents as "best management practices (BMPs)" are described that can be used to economically achieve the performance expectations. Contact National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), (800) 490-9198.
  • Stormwater Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Natural Resources Defense Council (May 1999).* This study highlights some of the most effective and efficient watershed and municipal examples of nonpoint source and storm water control programs and activities in the country. By example, communities can use these case studies in developing and implementing their own runoff control programs.
  • Techniques for Tracking, Evaluating, and Reporting the Implementation of Nonpoint Source Control Measures - Urban
  • Urbanization and Streams: Studies of Hydrologic Impacts
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA-R-97-009) (December 1997). This report includes references and case studies that document the impacts of urbanization on water quality, habitat and aquatic biota. Available through National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), (800) 490-9198.
  • A Watershed Approach to Urban Runoff: Handbook for Decisionmakers
    Terrene Institute (in cooperation with U.S. EPA Region 5) (March 1996). An informative primer for local decision makers and watershed organizations on assessing the water quality of watersheds, identifying contributing sources, and prioritizing watershed resources to implement effective nonstructural and structural BMPs. BMPs are summarized, and a list of resources to obtain additional information is provided. Call (703) 548-5473 or e-mail info@terrene.org.

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General Resources: Organizations

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Construction Controls

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Operations and Maintenance

  • Operation, Maintenance, and Management of Stormwater Management Systems
    Livingston, Shaver, Skupien, and Horner (August 1997). WMI (in cooperation with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
    Note: Includes Stormwater Management Inspection Forms as a Separate Supplement. The manual contains a comprehensive review of the technical, educational, and institutional elements needed to assure that storm water management systems are designed, built, maintained, and operated properly during and after construction. Fact sheets on 13 commonly used BMPs are included. Call: (850) 926-5310.

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Ordinances

  • Model Ordinances to Protect Local Resources
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (November 1999). EPA has developed a web site that contains printable and "create-your-own" ordinances as well as links to other web sites. Ordinances include aquatic buffers, erosion and sediment control, open space development, storm water control operation and maintenance, illicit discharges, post construction runoff, source water protection, and miscellaneous ordinances (golf courses, etc.).

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Site-Level Planning and Design

  • Better Site Design: A Handbook for Changing Development Rules in Your Community Exit EPA Disclaimer
    The Center for Watershed Protection (August 1998). This handbook was prepared for local planners, engineers, developers, and officials to help them understand development principles that can be used to create environmentally sensitive, economically viable, and locally appropriate development.
  • Caltrans Storm Water Quality Handbook Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This handbook is intended to provide background information on Caltran's program to control water pollution and to standardize the process for preparing and implementing the Water Pollution Control Program (WPCP) and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP). Caltrans requires contractors to prepare and implement a program to control water pollution during the construction of all projects.
  • Conservation Design for Stormwater Management (PDF) (228 pp, 9.7MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and The Environmental Management Center of the Brandywine Conservancy (September 1997). This document describes methodologies for configuring new developments to increase water quality protection and pervious surfaces by reducing lot sizes thereby increasing greenspace and common use areas. Call: (302) 739-4411.
  • Environmental Land Planning Series: Site Planning for Urban Stream Protection Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Schueler, T. (December 1995). (Prepared by the Center for Watershed Protection, Silver Spring, Maryland, for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC.) This series is for all audiences, presenting a clear and understandable description of the significance of imperviousness in a watershed. A description of planning strategies to protect urban streams by reducing imperviousness and increasing green space is also included.
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Planning and Design Manual. Field Manual and Inspector's Guide Exit EPA Disclaimer
    North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Land Resources. Addresses planning design, implementation, and inspection of erosion and sediment control BMPs. Call: (919) 733-3833.
  • Low-Impact Development Design Strategies: An Integrated Design Approach (PDF) (150 pp, 9MB)
    Prince Georges County, MD (EPA 841-B-00-003) (January 2000) This document was prepared by the Prince George's County Maryland Department of Environmental Resources Programs and Planning Division, with assistance from EPA. It was written for local planners, engineers, developers, and officials to describe how to develop and implement LID methods from an integrated design perspective.
  • Low-Impact Development Hydrologic Analysis (PDF) (45 pp, 2MB)
    Low-Impact Development Hydrologic Analysis. Prince Georges County, MD (EPA 841-B-00-002) (January 2000) This document was prepared by the Prince George's County Maryland Department of Environmental Resources Programs and Planning Division, with assistance from EPA. It is a companion technical document and it contains a methodology that can be used to estimate changes in site hydrology due to new development and also to design appropriate treatment systems to maintain the predevelopment hydrology of the site. The design charts from the appendices of this document are not available in PDF format at this point in time.
  • Maryland Storm Water Design Manual, Volumes I and II (2000) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Volume 1 contains information on BMP siting and design on new development sites to comply with the State's fourteen storm water performance standards. Storm water credits for innovative design are a significant addition. Volume 2 contains detailed technical information including step-by-step design examples. For copies, contact Maryland's Nonpoint Source Program at (410) 537-3000.
    A fact sheet on the manual is available here (PDF format) (2 pp, 1.4MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer
  • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program Evaluation Guidance
  • Stormwater BMP Design Guide
  • Stormwater BMP Design Supplement for Cold Climates Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Caraco and Claytor, Center for Watershed Protection (in cooperation with EPA) (December 1997). This manual addresses some of the unique challenges of design and maintenance of runoff BMPs in cold climates and recommends strategies to make BMPs in these regions more effective.
  • Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (PDF) (149 pp, 1.2MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This document outlines Washington state's approach to protecting the hydrological regime of streams.
  • Tennessee Online BMP manual Exit EPA Disclaimer
    City of Knoxville (Still under development). This draft online erosion and sediment control manual provides information on the design, inspection, and maintenance of structural and nonstructural BMPs that are used in the City of Knoxville, TN. The manual is similar to stormwater guidance prepared for the California Stormwater Quality Task Force and Caltrans.

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Watershed Planning

  • Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters
    This handbook is intended to help communities, watershed organizations, and state, local, tribal and federal environmental agencies develop and implement watershed plans to meet water quality standards and protect water resources.
  • A Framework for Analyzing the Hydrologic Condition of Watersheds (1998) (PDF) (47 pp, 456K) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This document provides a step-by-step protocol for understanding the factors that influence flow, quality, and timing of water in a particular watershed.
  • Rapid Watershed Planning Handbook
    The Center for Watershed Protection (October, 1998). This Handbook was written to assist watershed associations and local governments in developing effective and low cost watershed protection plans. Eight steps are described in detail including how to identify and classify subwatersheds, protect and restore water resources, and evaluate progress. The document emphasizes resource identification, evaluation, and planning.
  • Section 319 Nonpoint Sources Success Stories
    This Web site includes the most up-to-date examples of water bodies that have achieved documented water quality improvements that have received Section 319 funding.
  • Smart Watershed Benchmarking Tool (PDF) (104 pp, 1.4MB) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This report, prepared by the Center for Watershed Protection, presents a tool to help stormwater and watershed managers align their municipal restoration programs to meet local watershed goals and regulatory drivers.
  • Watershed Assessment of River Stability & Sediment Supply (WARSSS) (2006)
    WARSSS can be used to analyze known or suspected sediment problems, develop sediment remediation and management components of watershed plans, develop sediment TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads), and other uses. This web-based assessment tool was designed for scientists who need to assess sediment-impaired waters in planning for their restoration.
  • Watershed Protection Techniques Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Center for Watershed Protection, Silver Spring, MD. A periodic bulletin on urban watershed restoration and protection tools including runoff management practices or BMPs. Contains often-cited technical notes that describe, compare, and evaluate urban controls as well as the effects of runoff both with and without controls.

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Wetlands & Riparian Management

Wetlands & Riparian Management Category Page

Learn more about wetlands and riparian management.

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