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Process and Record of Revising the Stormwater Management Regulations and Guidebook

<<  Stormwater Management Rule main page

<<  Stormwater Management Guidebook main page


The following is an overview of the recent development of the District’s Stormwater Management Regulations, beginning with the release of the 2003 Stormwater Management Guidebook (2003 SWMG) and continuing to the present. Each section discusses the process and timeline for each revision, and includes key documents provided to the public for each revision. Updates are listed in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent update listed at the top of this page.

2019 Amendments

DOEE proposed amendments to the 2013 Stormwater Management Regulations to provide compliance flexibility and exemptions for projects that have been disproportionately burdened by compliance, to improve environmental outcomes through updates to the Stormwater Retention Credit (SRC) program, and to update review fees and processes. The following is an overview of the timeline for the public process to update the regulations and SWMG.

  • February 15, 2019 – beginning of public comment period for the 2019 regulation amendments and SWMG updates
  • March 20, 2019 – Public hearing at DOEE
  • April 1, 2019 – Public comment period ends – DOEE begins incorporating feedback into SWMG and regulations
  • January 31, 2020  – Publication of the final rulemaking and final SWMG

Key Documents:

2013 Stormwater Regulations

On July 19, 2013, DOEE released the 2013 Stormwater Management Regulations (formally, the 2013 Rulemaking on Stormwater Management and Soil Erosion and Sediment Control) and the Stormwater Management Guidebook (2013 SWMG).

The 2013 Stormwater Management Regulations and SWMG were designed to accomplish the following:

  • Significantly reduce stormwater pollution flowing into the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, Rock Creek, and other District waterbodies by making the land “spongier” to better mimic how the vegetated natural environment captures rainwater and soaks it into the soil.
  • Improve the health of District waterbodies over time, making them more usable and attractive for District residents, businesses, and visitors.
  • Update the District’s existing requirements to reflect the current scientific, engineering, and practical understanding in the field and to be comparable to other urban jurisdictions, such as Philadelphia, PA, and Montgomery County, MD.
  • Improve equity in how the burden of stormwater management is allocated in the District.
  • Provide flexible compliance options for regulated sites to maximize cost savings while still protecting District waterbodies.
  • Create a financial incentive and business opportunity for voluntary installation of stormwater retrofits to earn Stormwater Retention Credits that can be sold to regulated sites to meet part of their requirements.
  • Enable the District to comply with federal requirements established in its Municipal Separated Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) permit, which is issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act.

The following is an overview of the timeline for the public process to update the regulations and SWMG:

  • August 10, 2012 - published first draft - “Proposed” version
  • November 8, 2012 - completed first formal public comment period
  • March 29, 2013 - published second draft - “Revised” version
  • April 30, 2013 - completed informal public comment period
  • June 7, 2013 - published third draft - “Second Proposed” version
  • July 8, 2013 - deadline for second formal public comment period
  • July 19, 2013 – Finalization of the Rule and SWMG
  • May 1, 2014 – Publication of 2014 Errata for the 2013 SWMG
  • December 23, 2014 – Publication of Clarifications for the 2013 Rule
  • November 17, 2017 – Publication of 2017 Errata for the 2013 SWMG

Key Documents:

2003 Stormwater Guidebook

Prior to the 2013 Stormwater Management Regulations and 2013 SWMG, DOEE implemented stormwater management according to the 2003 SWMG. Section 552 of the 2013 SW Rule described DOEE’s plan for transitioning to the performance requirements in the 2013 SWMG. While the official language is in the regulations, for the convenience of the public DOEE provided a summary of the transition plan. Other provisions of the 2013 Stormwater Management Regulations (including those for erosion and sediment control, Stormwater Retention Credit trading, and service fees) took effect upon final publication of the rule. Projects that are regulated under Transition Period 1 of the transition plan may continue to use the existing design standards and specifications in the 2003 SWMG that is attached below. On rare occasion, DOEE receives projects which may be regulated under Transition Period 1.

Key Documents: