With the organizational support of the Standards Oversight Council (SOC), our partner agencies revised 38 technical standards and made significant progress toward revision of several others. SOC was successful in encouraging broader participation in the process, ensuring that standards were developed using the best available science and practical experience. Included in federal, state and local programs, SOC-developed standards improve consistency across agency programs and are relied upon by land owners and professionals to design practices that control runoff and storm water from farms, urban areas, and transportation and utility systems. In 2014, SOC facilitated two full standards teams and broad review of four revised standards. During the broad reviews, SOC received more than 370 comments for consideration in the development of standards. SOC also made presentations at several events to do outreach on the SOC process, encourage participation, and collect stakeholder input.
Draft proposed revisions to NRCS 632, Waste Separation Facility, and NRCS 350, Sediment Basin were also posted for broad review in spring 2014. The SOC website has more information about the many technical standards recently revised and published.
Urban Stormwater Standards
The biggest accomplishment related to urban storm water control was the release of the DNR 1008 Permeable Pavement Standard. This is a fairly new practice in Wisconsin, so the SOC team agreed to subsequent annual meetings to review new research and field experience.
This year, SOC also facilitated broad review of DNR Standards 1060 Storm Drain Inlet Protection for Construction Sites, and 1004 Bioretention for Infiltration. Revisions to these standards were good examples of how new field experience and industry input can positively impact standards development. The revised Storm Drain Inlet Protection Standard added a Type D inlet device developed by a member of the group, Clear Waters Environmental Results, which has a Green Tier Program Charter. This new device allows use of different filter fabrics that can capture smaller soil particles. Driven by county field experience and industry recommendations, the Bioretention Standard revisions include improvements related to planting density, mulch substitutes, soil mix depth and pH range.
Outreach and Collaboration
The SOC coordinates communication among agency representatives through quarterly meetings. SOC also participates on WI Land+Water’s Technical Committee that consists largely of county technicians. These and other interactions help SOC understand the ever changing technical needs for improved conservation and runoff control practices. We delivered presentations at area conferences and events and provided educational materials to attendees at trainings and other networking opportunities. With our updated website and electronic distribution list (updates in 2013) we have more effective communication channels to release standard announcements. For our new outreach project this year, we embarked on making a short video that will highlight the importance of broad engagement in technical standards development.