Massachusetts DEP Nonpoint Source Pollution Guidance Manual and Technology Assessment Resource Tool

The Geosyntec-designed website replaced a 4-inch binder with a content-rich, searchable resource for Massachusetts agencies, developers, and stakeholders involved in stormwater management. The Geosyntec-designed website replaced a 4-inch binder with a content-rich, searchable resource for Massachusetts agencies, developers, and stakeholders involved in stormwater management.

In 1993, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) published the Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Manual, commonly referred to as the "MegaManual" due to its hard-copy format that filled a four-inch binder. The MegaManual was intended to provide guidance to municipal officials on how best to manage nonpoint source (NPS) pollution to surface waters. However, due to the document's format, volume, limited distribution, and organizational structure, MassDEP observed that this document was not reaching a broad audience, being used effectively, or reflecting the latest information on technologies and management strategies. MassDEP wanted to reinvent the way it communicated standards, practices, and technologies to stormwater management.

Geosyntec's Scope of Services

Geosyntec proposed that the updated version of the Massachusetts Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Manual be modularized and moved to electronic media with 24/7 access through the internet, with each module available in searchable format. Renamed as the "Clean Water Toolkit," Geosyntec designed a system whereby the website can be updated with information on new best management practices (BMPs), regulatory developments, and state/federal resources as they become available.

When Geosyntec delivered the site to MassDEP, the Toolkit included downloadable chapters, 159 fact sheets on BMPs (including design schematics), numerous web links to additional information resources, and a searchable glossary of terms. A feature of the Clean Water Toolkit is the "BMP Selector Tool," an interactive database that helps users select management techniques for specific NPS pollution problems or sites. The Selector Tool guides users through a series of questions to produce a targeted collection of BMP fact sheets from the Toolkit's inventory, thereby allowing user rapidly access information specific to their unique project requirements. Behind the rapid access to relevant data is Geosyntec's vast experience in developing and applying BMP technologies across the United States. The site includes live links to web sites and other stormwater management reference documents, providing access to a wealth of additional information on current research and regulatory initiatives.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec accomplished MassDEP's goal of creating an NPS management resource tool that can actually be used by a wide array of stakeholders around the State by making information quickly and easily accessible via the internet. By conducting several mailings and making presentations at a wide variety of venues, we have raised awareness regarding the site's availability as the resource of choice for NPS information in Massachusetts.

Project Overview

  • Location: Massachusetts, USA
  • Client: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Project Practice Areas: Water and Natural Resources Assessment, Management, and Restoration
  • Type of Facility: Waterbodies
  • Services Provided: Guidance Document Development; Website and Database Application Development; Training and Education; Public Outreach
  • Type of Work: Guidance Manual
  • Company: Geosyntec Consultants
  • Governing Regulation: Clean Water Act (CWA)
Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a specialized consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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