Understanding BMPs in Site Redevelopment: Navigating the Differences and Maintenance Requirements

In our previous discussion on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for new site developments, we delved into the what, why, and how of implementing BMPs in new construction projects. As we continue our exploration of BMPs, this blog post focuses on the redevelopment of existing sites, highlighting the differences in BMP requirements, the importance of these practices in redevelopment projects, and how they are maintained and managed as required by local

BMPs in Redevelopment vs. New Development
The application of BMPs in site redevelopment poses unique challenges and opportunities compared to new site developments. While both scenarios aim to mitigate environmental impacts and manage stormwater effectively, redevelopment projects often deal with pre-existing conditions that can constrain design options and necessitate innovative approaches to BMP implementation.

  1. Existing Infrastructure: Redevelopment projects must account for existing buildings, roads, utilities, and drainage systems. Integrating BMPs may require modifications to or the integration of new features with the old infrastructure to meet current standards.
  2. Limited Space: Often, there is limited space available on redevelopment sites, requiring more compact or underground BMP solutions such as bio-retention systems, rain gardens, or permeable pavements that can fit within the constraints of the site.
  3. Soil and Contamination: Previously developed sites may have soil contamination or compacted soil, which can affect the feasibility and design of infiltration-based BMPs. Remediation or engineered solutions may be necessary to ensure BMP effectiveness.
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Redevelopment projects may trigger regulatory requirements that differ from those for new developments. Local jurisdictions may have specific guidelines or incentives for incorporating BMPs into redevelopment projects, acknowledging the challenges and encouraging sustainability.

Implementing BMPs in redevelopment is crucial for several reasons:

  • Water Quality Improvement: BMPs help filter and treat stormwater runoff, reducing pollutant loads entering water bodies.
  • Flood Mitigation: Proper stormwater management through BMPs can reduce the risk of flooding, a critical consideration in developed areas with extensive impervious surfaces.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to local stormwater management regulations is necessary to obtain project approvals and avoid potential penalties.
  • Community and Environmental Benefits: BMPs contribute to the sustainability and resilience of urban areas, enhancing community well-being and protecting ecosystems.Maintenance and Management Requirements

The success of BMPs over time heavily depends on regular maintenance and management, responsibilities typically outlined by local jurisdictions. Maintenance activities may include:

  • Inspection: Regular inspections to check for sediment accumulation, structural integrity, vegetation health, and overall functionality.
  • Cleaning and Repair: Removal of debris and sediment, repair of any damage to structures, and replacement of failed components.
  • Record Keeping: Maintaining logs of inspection findings and maintenance activities to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements. Local jurisdictions may require the development of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) or a BMP maintenance agreement to ensure ongoing care and management of the installed practices.

While BMPs in site redevelopment face distinct challenges, they play a pivotal role in managing stormwater, protecting water quality, and enhancing urban resilience. Understanding the differences in BMP application between new development and redevelopment, and adhering to maintenance and management requirements, are key to the successful integration of these practices. As regulatory frameworks continue to evolve, staying informed and engaged with local authorities will ensure that redevelopment projects contribute positively to the sustainability and health of our communities. Stay tuned for our upcoming posts where we will delve deeper into specific types of BMPs and explore case studies of successful implementations in both new developments and redevelopments.