Jefferson Lab Stormwater Pollution Prevention Reminder

Jefferson Lab Stormwater Pollution Prevention Reminder

Stormwater runoff occurs when rainfall or snowmelt flows over ground surfaces.  Naturally vegetated ground surfaces often absorb the majority of runoff into undisturbed soils.  However, impervious surfaces such as paved roads, parking lots, and even rooftops send runoff directly into downstream receiving stormwater conveyance systems essentially untreated.  Pollutants of concern that are often captured by stormwater runoff include everything from nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus to bacteria, oils, greases, sediment and other debris.

Jefferson Lab is regulated under the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) that is administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  The Lab has an existing DEQ permit for the entire facility that is called the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit.  This permit provides direction on the proper Best Management Practices or BMPs that should be utilized to prevent the discharge of polluted stormwater runoff.  These BMPs include:

  • Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts, which includes increasing awareness for employees on the various pollutants of concern and measures that can be taken to prevent these discharges;
  • Public Involvement/Participation, which includes the requirement for the preparation and online posting of an Annual Report on the condition of the Jefferson Lab MS4 that is submitted to DEQ on a yearly basis (posted at: https://jlabdoc.jlab.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-19447); this BMP also requires that JLab ESH staff attend a series of local and regional stormwater related conferences and meetings to share ideas and strategies on stormwater pollution prevention;
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, this BMP requires JLab to maintain an updated storm sewer system map in a Geographic Information System (GIS) that depicts all stormwater conveyances and associated engineering controls and the requirement to conduct routine inspections of the entire stormwater system to identify any potential illicit discharges to the system;
  • Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control requires applicable oversight, plan reviews/approvals and inspections of all ongoing construction projects occurring onsite;
  • Post-construction Stormwater Management requires the long term operations and maintenance of permanent stormwater management controls along with annual tracking and reporting to DEQ of all permanent stormwater management structures that exist at the Lab;
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping requires the Lab to identify any high-priority areas onsite with the potential to discharge pollutants into the JLab MS4; this BMP also requires proper training for applicable JLab staff that are required to work with stormwater related issues onsite such as construction projects, proper spill response, and proper application of pesticides and herbicides during grounds maintenance activities occurring onsite.

Everyone can contribute to this effort by reporting any pollution issues observed at the Lab, to the Environmental Health and Safety Department at ext. 7308.