Sustainable Fort Rucker
Sustainable Fort Rucker
 : : Environmental & Natural Resources Division, Directorate of Public Works (DPW) : :

MISSION: In order to sustain the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker's training, readiness, and quality of life needs, we will provide the guidance, actions, and customer assistance necessary to comply with all environmental laws and regulations, prevent pollution where possible, protect and conserve vital natural resources, and continually improve our operations.

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Stormwater Management


Water quality in the United States is regulated by the Federal Water Pollution Act, as amended by the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1977 and further amendments in 1987. It has the objective of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's navigable waters. This legislation gave authority to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish regulatory standards for wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, and sewage sludge use and disposal practices. The primary tool for wastewater compliance is through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program, generally delegated to and overseen by state environmental programs. NPDES permits are issued and monitored to private and federal facilities ensure compliance with the standards.

 

Fort Rucker is required to meet the requirements of several NPDES permits to include the development and implementation of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and a Best Management Practices (BMP) Plan.  The consolidated SWPPP and BMP Plan provides Fort Rucker with comprehensive guidance on stormwater pollution prevention as required under the NPDES program as well as the identification of BMPs designed to reduce the potential of polluted stormwater runoff.  The SWPPP also provides guidance for preventing and/or minimizing the related problems of erosion, sediment and stormwater on construction sites.

 

Stormwater Outfalls

A stormwater outfall is the point where stormwater enters the natural waterway or separate storm sewer system.  Identification of stormwater outfalls is essential in identifying the best opportunities for stormwater pollution prevention.  Site maps of the Fort Rucker stormwater outfalls located in the cantonment area, airfields, stagefields, and airports are included in the SWPPP. 

 

Permit Number AL0002178 (Phase I Individual Permit) allows discharges at designated outfalls with no analytical monitoring requirements provided that Fort Rucker does not add pollutants or allow pollutants to enter the discharge stream.  The permit requires all stormwater discharges to be free of sheen and visible oil, floating solids, or visible foam in other than trace amounts.   To ensure that these standards are met, outfalls are periodically monitored as necessary, with emphasis placed on the outfalls that have a higher potential to carry contaminated stormwater off of the facility.  Monitoring efforts primarily focus on construction activities and situations with a potential for contaminating stormwater due to spilled material or waste.   Particular attention is paid to ensure that each outfall has no sheen, visible oil, floating solids, or visible foam.  If any pollutants are discovered, then corrective measures are taken immediately to ensure that no pollutants enter the receiving watershed. Outfalls are also inspected for erosion/sedimentation and potential turbidity issues. 

 

Construction Stormwater Permits

Polluted stormwater runoff from construction sites on Fort Rucker has the potential to flow into local rivers and streams that can carry pollutants off the installation.  The EPA recognizes the following list of pollutants as those commonly discharged from construction sites: sediment, solid and sanitary wastes, phosphorus, nitrogen, pesticides, oil and grease, concrete truck washout, construction chemicals, and construction debris.  Of these pollutants, sediment is usually the main pollutant of concern.  Increased sedimentation and the contribution of other pollutants from construction sites has the potential to cause physical, chemical, and biological harm to the waters of the State.

 

ADEM requires owner/operators, contractors, and other responsible entities to apply for and obtain NPDES permit coverage prior to conducting regulated construction disturbance.  The operator is the person who has operational control over construction plans and specifications, and/or the person who has day-to-day supervision and control of activities occurring at a construction site.  The State of Alabama and EPA require all relevant entities to obtain permit coverage, as co-permittees, for a given construction project.

The following construction activities must be registered:

  • Construction activities and associated areas one acre or greater in size;
  • Construction activities less than one acre in size that are part of or associated with a larger plan of development or sale that might eventually exceed one acre; and
  • Construction activities less than one acre in size that are determined by ADEM to have significant potential to cause or contribute to water quality impairment.

Construction Best Management Practices Plan (CBMPP)

ADEM requires each construction activity to prepare, implement, and maintain a CBMPP.  This plan must be designed to minimize pollutant discharges in stormwater runoff to the maximum extent practicable during land disturbance activities.  The CBMPP must be prepared by Qualified Credentialed Professional (QCP), and it must be maintained on site during the life of the construction activity and must be available to contractors; other site staff; and to EPA, state and local officials.  The CBMPP is only required to be submitted to ADEM if the operator is proposing a discharge to a Tier 1 waterbody, an Outstanding National Resource Water designated waterbody, or for projects involving waterbody relocation or significant alteration.  A portion of the Choctawhatchee watershed, Claybank Creek in Coffee County and Dale County and Harrand Creek in Coffee County, is listed as a Tier 1 waterbody relative to construction activity.

 

The construction operator is responsible for developing an adequate CBMPP and submitting this plan to DPW-ENRD.  For further reference, see the EPA document, Developing Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan – A Guide for Construction Sites.

 

Contact Information

Stormwater Program Manager
(334) 255-1658
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