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Water quality mitigation banking : final report, December 2009.
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Water quality mitigation banking : final report, December 2009.
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    Final report; Jan. 1, 2007-Dec. 31, 2009.
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  • Abstract:
    Current practice in New Jersey for mitigating stormwater impacts caused by transportation infrastructure

    projects is established by NJDEP Stormwater Regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:8). These rules outline specific

    processes to offset impacts to water quality, groundwater recharge and peak rate of runoff/runoff volume

    resulting from the addition of impervious surfaces. The rules are written to address impacts of individual

    projects without specific provisions for addressing cumulative programmatic impacts of multiple projects

    through “mitigation banking”. The requirement to design and build separate, “on site” mitigation features

    for each project results in delayed implementation schedules, inefficient and nominally effective results

    and excessive maintenance demand. Over two decades ago, with reference to wetland resources, the

    need to achieve greater efficiency and environmental and economic benefits of scale led to the creation

    of wetland banking, which serves as a useful model for establishing a Stormwater Banking Program in

    the State of New Jersey. This report describes outcomes of a comprehensive study on the feasibility of

    water quality banking in the State of New Jersey. Groundwater recharge can be included within the

    banking system; however peak flow control banking is less likely feasible due to the potential for

    increased flooding of private properties. A detailed survey of future New Jersey Department of

    Transportation (NJDOT) projects was carried out to assess mitigation needs and to identify a pilot

    watershed for water quality mitigation banking. The Hackensack River HUC-11 watershed was selected

    for this purpose. Due to its highly developed context, “on site” project mitigation will likely cause

    significant hardship and delay future projects. By identifying a feasible “off site” location for water quality

    treatment, it was shown that an initial bank can be established to meet future needs within the

    watershed. A framework for tracking mitigation credits using a web-based computer program was also

    developed for successfully implementing water quality mitigation banking. The approach will provide

    future opportunities for adding credits to the bank by removing unnecessary impervious surfaces on

    projects and “over-treatment” at available “on site” BMPs.

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