Expert Q&A: Nancy Gardiner on stormwater assessment & management
Nancy Gardiner is an Associate and Senior Client Leader at Haley & Aldrich and an expert in environmental water quality and management. She works out of our San Diego office.
What’s the issue with stormwater?
The primary environmental issue is preventing runoff from washing pollutants into rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Unlike sewage and wastewater, stormwater is not treated before it runs off into drains and receiving waters. As with most things, prevention is preferable and always cheaper than the cure, or “remediation” in environmental terms.
The other big issue is preventing erosion and flooding. Because we have so much paved surface in our cities and communities, stormwater immediately starts to flow and aggregate rather than sink into the ground and quickly gains tremendous destructive potential.
Okay, so this is primarily a problem for municipalities?
No, not at all. All companies need to deal with stormwater issues regardless of the industry sector. And of course, municipalities, institutions, and transportation agencies with storm drainage systems. There are about half a million entities with stormwater permits today.
Describe the scope of Haley & Aldrich’s stormwater services.
Haley & Aldrich provides comprehensive services for environmental water issues, from assessment and plan creation, to permit compliance and monitoring, designing engineered solutions, training, client advocacy and guidance regarding regulatory actions, full implementation of municipal, industrial, and construction stormwater permits, watershed management planning – even sustainability and resilience consulting.
Give me some examples of the ways you help clients.
Companies and agencies need a lot of guidance, because – unlike Haley & Aldrich – dealing with EPA and state regulations is not their core business. We can help them create either basic streamlined Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans or complex technical documents like Quality Assurance Project Plans.
What we really like to do though is to take a top-down perspective and advise them about big picture strategies, such as capturing rainwater and other sustainability options, or help them rethink their operations so that they no longer require coverage under a stormwater permit – which can also save them a ton of money. We love helping our clients to do that.
For more information about Stormwater Assessment & Management, contact Nancy Gardiner.