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Stormwater Permit Being Renewed

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
March 11, 2009

The management of the UNH Stormwater Management Program is being transferred from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) to Energy and Campus Development (ECD). Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of developing a new five-year stormwater permit for New Hampshire that will cover UNH.

Paul Chamberlin, assistant vice president of ECD, and Jim Dombrosk, director of energy and utilities, will now manage the permit.

UNH’s stormwater management plan is aimed at curbing the threat of  runoff contamination when the water doesn’t permeate the soil. The management plan involves, among other measures, treating, storing or capturing the runoff.

Sanding and salting roads, parking lots and sidewalks; landscaping treatments and general buildings and grounds maintenance potentially impact the stormwater system. As a result, runoff can contain high levels of contaminants such as sediment, solids, nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, heavy metals, pathogens, toxins, and organic material.

"Street sweeping, water that collects in catch basins that drain into the rivers—these are potential problem areas that can contribute to contamination,” says Dombrosk. “We want to make sure that what goes into the rivers and brooks doesn’t have a lot of silt and salt.”

 If it does it can be hazardous to wildlife, destroy aquatic habitats and raise pollution levels. 

Photo of stenciling

Details about the proposed stormwater permit are available at:  http://www.epa.gov/NE/npdes/stormwater/MS4_2008_NH.html.

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