Stormwater Work Group
The goal of the Stormwater Work Group (SWG) is to continue to develop and implement a sustainable, cooperative stormwater monitoring and assessment framework. We are implementing the 2010 Stormwater Monitoring and Assessment Strategy for Puget Sound, as well as more than 100 stakeholder group recommendations.
Stormwater Work Group members are representatives of local, state, and federal governments, environmental and business organizations, public ports, Tribes, and agriculture. The group formed in 2008 to develop a strategic approach to monitoring and assessment, and to reduce stormwater pollution in Puget Sound. The group's work directs the Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM) program implementation and other stormwater-related monitoring and assessment.
New to SWG? Watch this ten minute introductory video for a brief history and explanation of the SWG and SAM.
The Stormwater Work Group meetings in 2023 are scheduled on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Feb. 8, May 17, Sept. 13, and Nov. 15. All meeting agendas, materials, and summaries are sent out via email (see more info below).
An innovative approach to stormwater monitoring
Local governments in Western Washington spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year implementing the requirements of municipal stormwater National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. How do we know if the permits are working?
Most NPDES permits require compliance monitoring. But in contrast to controlled sources which often come from the end of a pipe, municipal stormwater permits apply across continuous, "nonpoint" landscape with thousands of property owners. The virtually unlimited public access to municipal stormwater infrastructure makes these systems especially challenging to monitor.
Permittees asked Ecology for a different approach to monitoring. In 2008 the Stormwater Work Group was convened. Over the first eight years of this process, hundreds of individuals representing dozens of organizations participated in 70 formal stakeholder meetings, dozens of additional targeted discussions, and five public workshops as part of the process to develop and implement a new, coordinated monitoring program.
Stormwater Work Group's role in stormwater monitoring
The Stormwater Work Group continues to meet four times per year to implement, improve, and expand the regional stormwater monitoring program. The group strives for consensus around a cooperative program that leverages existing programs, scientific expertise, and other capacity to improve our understanding of stormwater impacts and evaluate the effectiveness of stormwater management actions.
The Stormwater Work Group sets priorities and oversees the budget for Stormwater Action Monitoring, the regional stormwater monitoring program implemented through the municipal stormwater permits. We want to know whether conditions are getting better or worse, whether we are protecting key resources, and whether our programs are effective at achieving desired results.
What projects are we working on?
The Stormwater Work Group has a two-year work plan that is updated each winter. The work plan includes steps to implement our work and communicate our findings.
- Discussions about stormwater management of tire wear particles to reduce toxicity in the 6PPD Subgroup
- Deciding on topics for a fourth round SAM study solicitation for effectiveness studies and source identification projects
- Planning to finalize a Draft Agricultural Runoff Monitoring Strategy (last discussed in 2016, awaiting staffing capacity to reconvene)
- Effectiveness studies
- Nearshore marine and Puget lowland stream status & trends studies
- Planning future nearshore sediment monitoring
- Lower Columbia Urban Streams monitoring
- Reviewing our scientific framework; evaluating our progress
- Developing a communication strategy
Stay in touch
All meeting agendas, materials, and summaries are sent out via email.
You can join any or all of the stormwater email lists on our GovDelivery Subscriber Preferences Page. Enter your email address, click to add subscriptions, and navigate to the Water Quality Program list to find:
- STORMWATER-WORK-GROUP meeting agendas, materials, and summaries of our meetings, and additional announcements related to our work.
- STORMWATER-ACTION-MONITORING: up to three newsletters per year to hear about SAM study findings and upcoming workshops.
- SWG-REPORTER: four issues per year to hear about study findings and the process for prioritizing and selecting studies (read the latest issue).
- SWG-6PPD-SUBGROUP for meeting agendas and notes of those discussions.