In March 2020, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection formally adopted groundbreaking amendments to the state’s stormwater management rules to better protect water quality by reducing polluted runoff through the implementation of green infrastructure technologies, which also helps to make New Jersey more resilient to storm and flood impacts from climate change. The new rule amendments take full effect on March 2, 2021. Green infrastructure is a set of stormwater management practices that use or mimic the natural water cycle to capture, filter, absorb, and/or reuse stormwater.
In older stormwater collection systems, stormwater would be centralized in one big basin. With these new rules, it will be required that stormwater management features be distributed around a site. Historically, stormwater runoff has been a major source of water pollution throughout New Jersey and across the nation. Runoff from storms carries fertilizer, pesticides, automotive fluids, and other pollutants into waterways, degrading ecosystems and impairing lakes, streams, and rivers. Poorly controlled stormwater can also lead to dangerous flooding conditions. Climate change has posed an added risk for harm to people and property from stormwater runoff.
Green infrastructure uses nature to reach its goals. Some strategies include rain gardens, bio-retention basins, vegetated swales, and green roofs. It naturally manages stormwater, allowing better infiltration of above-ground stormwater into the groundwater deeper beneath our feet. This use of natural resources helps in beautifying communities and helping in the fight against climate change by creating carbon-sequestering green space.
Have questions about the new Green Infrastructure Rules? Refer to the FAQ here.
NJSPE’s next upcoming event can inform you even more about the new stormwater rules! This webinar takes place on Friday, December 4, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you’re an NJSPE member it’s just $49 to attend and for nonmembers, it’s $99. Professional engineers will earn 2 PDHs for attending!