North Carolina Stormwater Compliance Evaluation for the 20 Coastal Counties
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Stormwater is one of the largest sources of pollutants in the United States and contributes sediment, heavy metals, oil, pesticides, fertilizers, bacteria, and other contaminants to coastal waters. Water quality is critical to coastal areas for commercial fishery health and recreational activities. To minimize the introduction of water quality pollutants, North Carolina implemented the State Stormwater Program (SSP) for post construction stormwater management. A study in 2005 identified low compliance rates with the SSP (30.7%) and a follow-up in 2009 found that only 20% of noncompliant sites had rectified their violations. There are currently no studies documenting recent compliance rates with the SSP. This study addressed three objectives: (1) Update the compliance study to include recent trends in compliance and reasons for violations (2) Determine the perceptions of the strengths and opportunities for improvement, and (3) Conduct a program analysis of the SSP. These objectives were achieved by analyzing compliance data from the Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources, conducting interviews with a small sample of entities that interact with the SSP, and reviewing applicable compliance literature. The results of our study show potential areas for improvement and were used to make policy recommendations for North Carolina to increase compliance with these regulations. Our results indicate that compared to the 2005 estimate, compliance in 2012 increased to 50%, and was lower in coastal counties than noncoastal counties. In total there were 2,838 compliance inspections between 2008 and 2012. Yearly inspections increased between 2008 and 2010, but decreased sharply in 2011 and remained low in 2012. The majority of violations were due to reporting and maintenance issues. Interview respondents indicated that the main impediments to compliance are maintenance and education, and that compliance could be improved through increased maintenance checks and public outreach efforts. The program analysis showed that while the stormwater program generally has clear regulations, it could benefit from increased visibility of the regulating agency, engagement, as well as education. Potential avenues for improvement are discussed, and are considered within the context of our findings.
CitationBishop, Rachael; Chen, Szu-Ying; & Santoni, Amanda (2014). North Carolina Stormwater Compliance Evaluation for the 20 Coastal Counties. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8516.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment