Aurora Construction-Erosion Control Program: SWMP/SWPPP Lessons Learned

Presented by Sue Hurd & Geoff Rabinowitz

This presentation will take a look at the overall structure of the City of Aurora’s Phase I MS4 construction-erosion control program. The City’s program currently regulates approximately 285 active construction projects and conducts over 3,000 compliance related inspections per year. This volume of data has afforded the program the ability to actively assess how well the program is meeting its intrinsic and extrinsic goals, which includes the protection of State waters, protecting the City’s MS4, meeting the MS4 Permit requirements, and working with the regulated community to effectively and efficiently accomplish these shared goals. The programmatic functions will be dissected so as to allow for a robust discussion of the aspects that are working well and those that present opportunities for improvement. Successes include the City’s educational focus, program efficiency, data driven decision making, and predictability of process outcomes. The opportunities for improvement of certain program variables include an underutilized SWMP, better setting permittee expectations, long term management of post construction private stormwater management systems (ponds), and enforcement protocol efficiency and effectiveness. Further, a potential outcome based redesign of the City’s inspection form and process will be briefly presented. The initial part of the presentation is developed around the core concept of answering the question: “Is the approach really achieving the desired goals and if so, to what degree?” This will allow the presentation to migrate from a discussion of the City of Aurora’s program to a more generalized workshop to address how to develop, modify and improve an erosion control program. The workshop part of the presentation will focus on a fun, interactive discussion with active participation that will follow a more free form for problem solving. This will include the opportunity to define jurisdictional specific goals and outcome based results. Active participation is requested for this presentation. This will require an open mind to the “out-of-the-box” problem solving process, one that may not strictly adhere to current dogmatic regulatory processes. Thus allowing for both a linearly engineered and reverse-engineered problem solving approach.

 The goals of this presentation are to:
      • Provide an overview of a mature Phase I MS4’s erosion control program.
       • Discusses what is working well.
       • Discuss opportunities for improvement, including desired and potential solutions
       • Present planned (not guaranteed) modification to the City of Aurora’s erosion control inspection process and form.
       • Enter into an active and product open discussion of what goals and related processes can be taken to help participants (municipalities) better develop, modify or improve their erosion control programs.

Sue Hurd

Senior Environmental Inspector

City of Aurora

Sue moved to Colorado three years ago from Gainesville, Georgia. She received her BS in Environmental Science from Florida Institute of Technology and a MEd in Science Education from Brenau University. She has taught 7th grade science for 10 years and also has 10 years experience in the science field ranging from an environmental specialist to an environmental code officer for various agencies in Florida, Georgia, and Michigan. Sue has been with the City of Aurora for the past two years and when she isn’t working, you may find her on a Colorado trail with her 1 ½ year old black lab, Ember.

Geoff Rabinowitz

Environmental Inspection Coordinator

City of Aurora

Geoff holds a BS in Marine Biology and BS in Ecology from the Florida Institute of Technology, a MS in Executive Management from Florida State University and is currently pursuing a Doctor in Public Administration degree from Valdosta State University. Geoff has over 20 years of environmental regulatory experience working for federal, state and local agencies as well as private consulting firms and a national home builder. Geoff has been with the City of Aurora since 2012.

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