About the Author

 

Janet Aird

Articles by Janet Aird

Fugitive Dust Control and Road Stabilization

| Whether fugitive dust comes from mining activities, country roads, open land, or elsewhere, federal governments in North America and in other countries around the world have been tightening their dust control regulations. ... READ MORE

Underground Storage and Detention Systems

| Whether a site is undeveloped, densely developed, or somewhere in between, it can face challenges in detaining stormwater runoff. When aboveground space is at a premium, underground stormwater detention systems are an efficient way to store, detain, or infiltrate stormwater runoff while the ground above is used for parking, parks, or other ­features. These detention systems also may include filters to remove sediment and debris before the water enters the system. ... READ MORE

Making Room for Runoff

| Whether a site is undeveloped, densely developed, or somewhere in between, it can face challenges in detaining stormwater runoff. When aboveground space is at a premium, underground stormwater detention systems are an efficient way to store, detain, or infiltrate stormwater runoff while the ground above is used for parking, parks, or other ­features. These detention systems also may include filters to remove sediment and debris before the water enters the system. ... READ MORE

The Best Equipment for the Job

| There’s a lot to be said for an erosion control technique that covers large, inaccessible areas with mulch and seed, and costs less than sod. ... READ MORE

Managing Daily Cover and Drainage at MSW Landfill Sites

| Today’s municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are much more than places to dump household trash. They’re engineered facilities that are designed to hold and isolate the trash from the environment and are governed by both federal and state regulations. Landfill designers and operators face two main challenges to the integrity of their landfills. One occurs ... READ MORE

Fugitive Dust Control and Road Stabilization

| Whether fugitive dust comes from mining activities, country roads, open land, or elsewhere, federal governments in North America and in other countries around the world have been tightening their dust control regulations. ... READ MORE

Tackling Landfill Erosion and Leachate Challenges

| Today's municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are much more than places to dump household trash. They're engineered facilities that are designed to hold and isolate the trash from the environment and are governed by both federal and state regulations. ... READ MORE

A Calm, Smooth Surface

| Whether fugitive dust comes from mining activities, country roads, open land, or elsewhere, federal governments in North America and in other countries around the world have been tightening their dust control regulations. ... READ MORE

Landfill Challenges Accepted

| Today's municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are much more than places to dump household trash. They're engineered facilities that are designed to hold and isolate the trash from the environment and are governed by both federal and state regulations. ... READ MORE

Sand Filter Systems With Detention: A Perfect Solution

| For stormwater detention and filtration in small, highly impervious drainage areas, sand filter systems with detention may be the perfect solution. In urban areas, they may sometimes be the only solution. They're appropriate for commercial, municipal, and industrial operations. ... READ MORE

Preventing Erosion with Riprap and Gabion Walls

| Rocks probably were humans' first construction materials, and they still may be one of our most important. Loose, as riprap, or contained in gabion walls, they're ideal for preventing erosion along water channels, ­rivers, creeks, lakes, and oceans. ... READ MORE

Rock Solid

| Rocks probably were humans' first construction materials, and they still may be one of our most important. Loose, as riprap, or contained in gabion walls, they're ideal for preventing erosion along water channels, ­rivers, creeks, lakes, and oceans. ... READ MORE

Constructed Wetlands for Erosion Control and Stormwater Mitigation

| Many people think of wetlands as smelly, mosquito-ridden nuisances, but healthy wetlands provide habitat for birds, fish, amphibians, bats, and other insects that live on mosquitoes. Wetlands are home to more than one-third of the United States’ threatened and endangered species, according to EPA. ... READ MORE

Improving the Soil

| In revegetation, everything begins with the soil—usually poor soil. Soils may become degraded during the construction of buildings, roadside projects, or mining or landfill operations, or because of overgrazing or deforestation. They lose their topsoil, usually the top 2- to 8-inch layer of the soil, where the most important nutrients lie. In addition to sand, stone, and clay, topsoil contains decayed plant and animal matter, bacteria, fungi, algae, insects, earthworms, and nematodes. ... READ MORE

Challenges at MSW Landfill Sites

| Today’s municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are much more than places to dump household trash. They’re engineered facilities that are designed to hold and isolate the trash from the environment and are governed by both federal and state regulations. Landfill designers and operators face two main challenges to the integrity of their landfills. One occurs ... READ MORE

Compact Machines for Erosion Control Projects

| The small size and light weight of compact machines—track loaders, excavators, and skid steers—make these vehicles ideal for work in limited spaces and sensitive areas that need to be protected from damage. They maneuver along the shores of waterways and beside busy roadways. They access wooded areas. They cross wetlands and golf courses, leaving little compaction of the soil. And, they're easy to haul. ... READ MORE

Compact Machines and Attachments

| The small size and light weight of compact machines—track loaders, excavators, and skid steers—make these vehicles ideal for work in limited spaces and sensitive areas that need to be protected from damage. They maneuver along the shores of waterways and beside busy roadways. They access wooded areas. They cross wetlands and golf courses, leaving little compaction of the soil. And, they're easy to haul. ... READ MORE

Pipes, Detention, and Sand Filtration

| For stormwater detention and filtration in small, highly impervious drainage areas, sand filter systems with detention may be the perfect solution. In urban areas, they may sometimes be the only solution. They're appropriate for commercial, municipal, and industrial operations. ... READ MORE

Improving the Soil

| In revegetation, everything begins with the soil . . . usually poor soil. Soils may become degraded during the construction of buildings, roadside projects, or mining or landfill operations, or because of overgrazing or deforestation. They lose their topsoil, usually the top 2- to 8-inch layer of the soil, where the most important nutrients lie. In addition to sand, stone, and clay, topsoil contains decayed plant and animal matter, bacteria, fungi, algae, insects, earthworms, and nematodes. ... READ MORE

Spillway Flood Control

| Michigan Spillway Flood Control Project Vast amounts of moisture—both heavy snow and rainfall—have been falling on the flat, rural Red River basin in North Dakota and Minnesota for the past 25 years, says Ben Varnson, chairman of the Nelson County Water Resource District in North Dakota. Ten inches of rain can fall during the spring ... READ MORE

Constructed Wetlands: Mitigating Sensitive Habitats

| US 36 Habitat Mitigation Project Several wetland drainages, including a protected and critical willow habitat in the riparian zone of South Boulder Creek, are home to two federally protected species: the tiny Preble’s meadow jumping mouse and the beautiful but elusive Ute ladies’ tresses orchid, says Patrick Hickey, project manager and wetland and wildlife specialist ... READ MORE

Constructed Wetland Design: Site Planning

| When planning a constructed wetland site, there are some questions to ask, says David Whitney, a civil engineer and owner of EcoSolutions LLC in Westford, VT. Questions include: How much space is there? Is the wetland a retrofit or large tract of land? What is the watershed like? Does it have a high pollutant load ... READ MORE

Constructed Wetlands

| Many people think of wetlands as smelly, mosquito-ridden nuisances, but healthy wetlands provide habitat for birds, fish, amphibians, bats, and other insects that live on mosquitoes. ... READ MORE

Stormwater Infiltration and Detention

| The 63rd Street Infiltration and Detention Project The Intermodal Rail Yard on 63rd Street, a few miles south and west of Chicago, has been a fully functional intermodal facility for transferring containers of freight between trains and trucks in and around the city and the region for decades. “The yard had been operating for a long time, ... READ MORE

Reinforced Concrete Pipe in Auxiliary Sewer Systems

| Retrofitting a post-1906-earthquake-era sewer system, especially one that lies between underground utilities and a subway line on a main thoroughfare, isn’t a project to be undertaken lightly.  In this very challenging project, engineers in San Francisco used reinforced concrete pipe to build an auxiliary sewer pipe system, which was layered under a busy thoroughfare between ... READ MORE

Geosynthetics: Defining Eight Categories

| Geosynthetics are amazing products. They range from sheets that are less than a millimeter thick to three-dimensional cells. They may be pervious or impervious, woven, knitted, stitched, matted, or extruded. Made of polymer materials such as polyolefin, polypropylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), they’re thinner, lighter, and easier to install than sand, gravel, ... READ MORE

Pipes, Culverts, and Detention Systems

| When it comes to managing stormwater runoff, concrete, corrugated steel, and plastic pipes all have their place. The following three projects highlight the opportunities of using pipe for both conveying runoff and detaining it. ... READ MORE

Geosynthetic Options

| Geosynthetics are amazing products. They range from sheets that are less than a millimeter thick to three-dimensional cells. They may be pervious or impervious, woven, knitted, stitched, matted, or extruded. ... READ MORE

Geosynthetic Options

| Geosynthetics are amazing products. They range from sheets that are less than a millimeter thick to three-dimensional cells. They may be pervious or impervious, woven, knitted, stitched, matted, or extruded. Made of polymer materials such as polyolefin, polypropylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), they're thinner, lighter, and easier to install than sand, gravel, and clay. They have higher resistance to stress, but they're more sensitive to ultravio... ... READ MORE

Designing Versatile Streetscapes

| Dig a trench of an appropriate depth and width, cover it with a quality geotextile, fill it with correctly layered and sized aggregate, and place paving stones of brick or concrete block on top. This is the basic formula for not only a beautiful surface for pedestrians and vehicles, but also a system that stores, reduces, and improves the quality of stormwater runoff-and may be less expensive in the long run than asphalt. The possibilities and the variations are endless. The projects highl... ... READ MORE

Getting Back to Nature

| The goal of many revegetation projects is often almost heroic: to recreate a wetlands damaged by open-pit coal mining, a salt water marsh drained for farming, or a canyon eroded by wildfire and flood-all based on tiny native seeds. Often these sites require compost, fertilizer, and mulch. In addition to mulches that are blown dry and protect the seeds, some are applied hydraulically, and some contain nutrients for the soil. Some newly developed mulches do both. Coal Mine Reclamation Projec... ... READ MORE

Stabilizing the Unstable Site

| There's an erosion control blanket or turf reinforcement mat (TRM) for just about every disturbed slope, open area, and drainage ditch. And when they're used with additional erosion control products, the combination can control virtually every erosion risk. These products do more than stabilize the soil. They increase water infiltration, retain soil moisture, and protect newly planted seeds from heavy rain and wind. Erosion control blankets are generally specified for flatter slopes, short... ... READ MORE

Making the First Move

| Work on construction sites may increase the rate of erosion by as much as 1,000 times the preconstruction rate, according to EPA. The main problem associated with erosion at these sites is the impact of sediment on water quality. It may contain lead, arsenic, and mercury; oils, petroleum, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds); nitrates and phosphates; and herbicides and pesticides. A construction site's stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) should minimize the amount of disturbed ... ... READ MORE

Making the First Move

| Work on construction sites may increase the rate of erosion by as much as 1,000 times the preconstruction rate, according to EPA. The main problem associated with erosion at these sites is the impact of sediment on water quality. It may contain lead, arsenic, and mercury; oils, petroleum, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds); nitrates and phosphates; and herbicides and pesticides. A construction site's stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) should minimize the amount of disturbed ... ... READ MORE

More Than Just a Pretty Face

| Pavers can be made of concrete, shale, or polymer, and they come in individual stones as well as mats that can be laid mechanically or manually. The base is usually a minimum of 12 inches deep. The gaps between the pavers may be filled with gravel or topsoil seeded with vegetation, or left open. Perforated pipe can alleviate excess water. The primary purpose of these paving systems is to allow stormwater to infiltrate the ground, which prevents flooding, traps suspended solids, and filters... ... READ MORE

Armored Stability

| Gone are the days when cementing a stream was the only solution to a tough slope stabilization problem. Streams are systems, and the best ways to fight erosion on their slopes often involves multiple solutions, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station's Environmental Impact Research Program on Bioengineering for Streambank Erosion Control. These days, hard-armor options range from traditional to nontraditional retaining walls such as vinyl pilings, from ... ... READ MORE

The Science of Seeds

| "If you go to the basic biology of it, there are two basic principles," says Mark Fiely, horticulturist at Ernst Conservation Seeds. "The new roots lock the soil in place and the leaves reduce the velocity of the rain." Fiely always recommends planting diverse species. While some may have taproots or corms, most have a fibrous root network to stabilize the soil. He also selects species to interrupt the rain above and at ground level. These include grasses and flowering plants, some of whic... ... READ MORE

Sturdy Support for Demanding Sites

| Segmental retaining walls have come a long way since humans first fit rocks together to hold back slopes. And although site owners have many additional retaining wall types to choose from-including reinforced earth, poured concrete, soldier pile, and soil nail-segmental walls, also known as dry-stacked and mortarless walls, are still the most popular. Modern blocks vary in size, shape, and appearance. What they have in common is their precision-engineered design. Their batter is built in. ... ... READ MORE

Stormwater Software

| Many types of software are available to stormwater management professionals for monitoring, analysis, and program management related to stormwater and combined sewers. Some of their applications help determine the size and number of best management practices (BMPs) that are needed for a particular drainage area and evaluate their effectiveness. Some track parameters such as the quantity and quality of runoff, and the flow rate, flow depth, and quality of water in each pipe, channel,... ... READ MORE

Cutting Down the Runoff

| "The use of permeable pavers has gone rampant," says David Hein, an engineer with Applied Research Associates in Toronto. "It's driven by the stormwater people. There's been a major effort to deal with stormwater at the source." While the goal of poured concrete and asphalt is to guide water away from their surfaces, the goal of the permeable paver system is to allow it to infiltrate into the ground below. And although they're used most frequently for parking lots and driveways, they're al... ... READ MORE

Clear Water Control

| Construction activities can generate 400 times more erosion than takes place on undisturbed land, according to the Planning and Zoning Division in Jefferson County, CO. Sediment, the most abundant form of water pollution, generally contains a mixture of clay, silt, and sand, with particles ranging in size from 0.004 millimeter (0.00016 inch) to 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) in diameter. More ominously, contaminants such as cadmium, mercury, lead, PCBs, PAHs, and many pesticides may accompany o... ... READ MORE

Clearing the Air…and Keeping It That Way

| In 1306, King Edward I of England proclaimed the first air-quality law. He prohibited the burning of coal in craftsmen's furnaces because of its smell. Airborne coal particles still produce an unpleasant smell; however, we now know they also constitute a threat to human health. And it isn't just coal. Any particulates that are 10 microns in diameter or smaller can enter the lungs and cause serious health problems, such as asthma and decreased lung function. They also can contribute to hear... ... READ MORE

Underwater

| Flooding can be caused by heavy rain falling for an unusually long time. It can be caused by an unusually large snowpack followed by a sudden thaw. It can be caused by unusually high tides, tsunamis, dam failures, deforestation, poor drainage, or a high proportion of impervious land, or by a combination of any of these factors. Because the most vulnerable areas are low-lying, the first method of flood control is often to build berms, levees, and floodwalls. Another is to dig down and construct ponds and... ... READ MORE

More Than Just Storage

| Underground pipes and other structures do more than free up aboveground space. When they're carefully selected and designed, they can accomplish a wide variety of goals, often in challenging situations. For example, at the Sacred Heart Senior Apartments in Saint Francis, WI, a pipe system meets requirements for total suspended solids (TSS) removal and reduces peak runoff. At the 3M corporate headquarters in St. Paul, MN, a different pipe system in a different configuration provides required improvements... ... READ MORE

A Tale of Two Hillsides

| These two slope stabilization projects had the same goals: to protect the slopes from water-related erosion with engineering techniques and materials that made them look natural and remain maintenance-free for the long term. But the similarities end there. One project restored a fragile stream and protects it from stormwater flow. The other protects a manmade pond carved into a ski hill from the slow rise and fall of the pond's icecap.   The pond at Canyons Ski Resort was graded to increase its are... ... READ MORE

Hydroseed Challenges, Hydroseed Solutions

| There are slopes and then there are slopes. Some of the slopes on the back sides of the dams around Horsetooth Reservoir in Colorado, for example, reached 1:1 and stretched as much as 800 to 1,000 feet long. The hydroseeding equipment used on the reclamation project was pulled up and supported on its way down by tractors on narrow roads constructed especially for the job. On the other hand, the Ruby Natural Gas Pipeline reclamation project involved working on terrains that ranged from wetlands to steep ... ... READ MORE

Pipe and Drainage Systems

| At some point, as stormwater pipes begin to fail, almost every manager will face the decision to replace or repair them. The choice depends on a number of factors: What condition is the pipe in? Is it badly degraded, or does it just have some leaky joints? How much ground will be disturbed if it's replaced, and is excavation feasible? What's above the pipe--heavy traffic, light traffic, a building, a field? Are there utilities nearby, either aboveground or below? How quickly does the job need to be done?... ... READ MORE

Going Underground

| Sometimes, when it comes to stormwater detention and treatment, the best place to go is underground. "Like everything else, cost is the main concern," says Gil Colman of Colman Engineering PLC in Harrisonburg, VA. Typically, land-based best management practices (BMPs) such as ponds, vegetated swales, and filter strips tend to be less expensive than manufactured ones. However, when space is limited and the value of the land is high, it's often more cost-effective to build detention underground. And even ... ... READ MORE

Structural Solutions

| Contractors have a multitude of tools to use in their never-ending battle to keep soil and water apart on construction sites, especially when the sites are on slopes. Sometimes soft armor, such as vegetation, erosion control blankets, turf reinforcement mats (TRMs), or coir logs, will control the erosion and stabilize the slopes. Sometimes contractors have to bring in the hard armor. These structural best management practices (BMPs) include such heavyweights as retaining walls, gabions, concrete structu... ... READ MORE

Integrating GIS

| First came Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which helps answers the question: Where? Where are the BMPs on a specific construction site? Where are the dams or the riparian buffers on a farm, or the toes and the tops of bluffs? Then came geographic information systems (GIS). With GIS, users can collect and store data of all kinds: topographical maps, aerial photographs, and satellite images; data that has been remotely sensed, for example, by cameras, digital scanners, and LIDAR (light detecti... ... READ MORE

RECPs Hold Fast

| As rolled erosion control products (RECPs) become increasingly sophisticated, they're being used in applications ranging from light covers that allow snakes to pass through to heavy-duty replacements for riprap. Vegetation can grow through all of them, and some varieties come with seeds already embedded in them. Erosion control blankets are used on relatively flat surfaces to stabilize disturbed soils, reduce erosion from rainfall impact, and enhance plant germination and establishment until vegetation ... ... READ MORE

Challenges in Dust Control

| "A number of construction projects are caught up in the economy," says Morgan Kost, chief executive officer of Superior Hydroseeding in Watsonville, CA. "Property owners want to develop them, but they're still in a holding pattern. When you have large tracts of open land, that's when dust control comes in." Dust control is also necessary on smaller areas, such as materials stockpiles and haul roads. Because dust is responsible for so many problems, from sedimentation and water pollution to respiratory h... ... READ MORE

Staples of the Industry

| When it comes to choosing a silt fence or wattle to contain sediment and filter water for a construction project, cost is often a priority. Whether they're made of natural fibers or geotextiles or a combination of both, some are less expensive up front; others cost more, but are more affordable in the long run, often either because of their flexibility, durability, or ease of use. Four different products were used in the following very different, but successful projects. Lake Okeechobee Being chased by ... ... READ MORE

Building a Better Wall

| One of the tests of good products, design, and construction is that the final result makes it almost impossible for anyone who wasn't involved in the project to tell how much went into it, in spite of the challenges. The following three retaining wall projects all took place along roadways and overcame a variety of challenges, from extreme weather and grade changes to time and space constraints. Highland Valley Copper Mine First, frost heaved up the compacted base where the retaining wall was to be buil... ... READ MORE

Retention and Detention Systems

| The need to detain and retain stormwater in limited spaces has been stimulating manufacturers and designers to come up with a remarkable variety of products and increasingly creative ways to use them. These include underground boxes and chambers, usually of concrete or some form of synthetic, in all kinds of sizes and configurations. Whether the project is a large site, such as a school or apartment complex, or a small one, such as two homes unfortunate enough to be in the path of sediment-laden stormwa... ... READ MORE

Pipes and Liners

| Stormwater pipes. They're in the countryside, at beaches, in forests. They're in cities in the desert. They're made of concrete, corrugated steel, and plastic. In time, they may be retrofitted, because they're incomplete, inadequate, or failing. In areas where they can't be dug up and replaced, they might be reinforced with sophisticated plastic liners that often improve the flow. The flow of water in pipes and channels is still calculated by the Manning formula, which was created by a man who began his... ... READ MORE

Soil on the Move

| Silt and sediment management devices may not be as impressive as retaining walls or as subtly beautiful as rain gardens, but they're the first line of defense against soil that's on the move. They range from simple wattles to trackout devices to sophisticated polymer treatment systems that reduce turbidity in runoff. The goal in choosing one or more of these devices for a project is to effectively contain the silt and sediment and prevent it from reaching areas outside the project limits. In some cases... ... READ MORE

Walls and Blocks

| Retained materials, whether they're rock, soil, or stormwater, always have a tendency to move forward and downward with gravity. Holding them back calls for all the ingenuity at engineers' disposal. Concrete fabricated to form articulated concrete blocks (ACBs) and joined together into mats can help prevent erosion from runoff. They're often used with a geotextile that separates the backfill or base layer from the topsoil. Concrete blocks, usually in a locking shape or with a locking device, connect to ... ... READ MORE

Underground Detention Systems

| Stormwater detention has evolved from open lakes to impressive underground vault and pipe systems made of prefabricated concrete, corrugated aluminum, polyethylene, or fiberglass, either enclosed or open-bottomed. These systems let large amounts of stormwater enter, temporarily store it, and release it to a downstream system so it empties at a rate determined by local regulations. While the first goal of such detention systems is to manage stormwater runoff to prevent flooding and downstream erosion, th... ... READ MORE

Geosynthetics at Work

| Geosynthetics are amazing materials. They drain, contain and filter. They separate as well as hold together. They work underground and underwater, on mountainsides and on rooftops. According to the International Geosynthetics Society, the words geotextiles and geomembranes were coined only about 30 years ago, at the first International Conference on Geotextiles, in Paris. Since then, we have added geogrids, geonets, geosynthetic clay liners, geofoam, and geocomposites. These materials are made of polypr... ... READ MORE

Channel Linings

| Not too long ago, poured concrete and stone masonry were about the only choices engineers had when they needed to stabilize banks and prevent erosion in channels with high shear stresses. They succeed, but at a cost: Because they don't allow stormwater to infiltrate into the soil, contaminants are carried along with the water to the outfalls, which often face greater erosion problems than the channels themselves because of the velocity the stormwater has built up along the way. In addition, these channe... ... READ MORE

Structural Stormwater BMPs

| The ongoing battle between stormwater professionals and stormwater runoff has spurred the creation of a wide range of structural best management practices (BMPs). From HDPE pipe to sophisticated filter systems, there's a product for virtually every situation. Many projects combine one BMP to treat the runoff and another to allow it to infiltrate. The following five projects highlight some of the best of the available methods and technologies.   Legacy Parkway and Nature Preserve Buried along a... ... READ MORE

Challenges in Slope Stabilization

| Keeping soil in place is hard enough on flat land. Engineers, contractors, and others who work with slopes have gravity to contend with as well as soil type and water. And then there is whatever's under the soil. The Millennium Pipeline project in New York restored environmentally sensitive agricultural land after a gas pipeline was installed. The project at the Police Evidence Storage Facility in Winston-Salem, NC, was defined not only by a debris field, but also by the discovery of an old utility pipe... ... READ MORE

Containing Sediment

| "According to the EPA, soil is the number-one pollutant in waterways," says Louise Oyen, environmental specialist with Geographic Solutions Inc., an engineering, surveying and environmental services company in Bay Minette, AL. Even if the soil is not contaminated, if it is transported offsite it can fill up small tributaries and streams and move on until it reaches the mouths of rivers, bays, and other waterways. Oyen can see the results as it filters into the nearby Mobile Bay and eventually the Gulf o... ... READ MORE

Managing Runoff From Start to Finish

| The Phase II regulations of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) require permittees to address six minimum stormwater runoff control measures. Two of them apply directly to stormwater design and construction on development projects. First, temporary erosion control best management practices (BMPs) must be implemented to keep runoff and sediment from leaving construction sites of an acre or more, as well as from smaller sites that are part of a larger development. These BMPs typica... ... READ MORE

Project Profile: The Taming of Turkey Bay

| For more than 30 years, dirt bikes, four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, and trucks tore up the 2,500 acres of rolling hills, ridge tops, and shorelines of Turkey Bay, in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL) in western Kentucky. The US Forest Service took over the first federally designated area for off-highway vehicles (OHV) in 2005; but, by then, the damage had been done. "It looked like something akin to abandoned strip mines," says Jackie Franklin, a soil scientist and hydrologist w... ... READ MORE

Dust Control and Soil Stabilization

| It isn't just dust from disturbed soil and eroded roads. It's ash from volcanoes and wildfires; crystalline silica from construction sites; pollutants from oil, gas, and mining operations; and much more. Particles break into dust by impact, combustion, crushing, and grinding. The dust is released during loading, dumping, and transporting, or, by the wind, and can be carried for miles by air currents. And once it's airborne, it can reduce visibility enough to cause vehicle and workplace accidents, wear a... ... READ MORE

Conservation Easements and Wetland Ordinances

| Wetlands need all the protection they can get, and conservation easements and wetland ordinances are two good ways to protect them. Ordinances are laws adopted by municipalities and counties to cover matters that aren't already covered by state or federal laws. They specify the way or ways land may be used in particular areas. "Having an ordinance allows you to have a consistent framework to base a decision on," says Brad Robole, director of Washburn County's Planning, Land and Resource Management Depar... ... READ MORE

Urban Retrofitting

| Built-out spaces often require innovative ways to treat stormwater--sometimes because runoff and water-quality problems have increased along with development, and sometimes because stormwater requirements were less stringent when the original development took place. But finding the space and means to incorporate stormwater measures is a challenge. This article looks at how three sites have managed it. Liberty Centre Parking Garage When it comes to urban stormwater retrofitting, every little bit counts. In... ... READ MORE

Full Coverage: Erosion Control Blankets and Mats

| Water has washed away soil for millions of years, but it's meeting its match in today's erosion control products, including hundreds of rolled erosion control products, or RECPs. From the first, developed in 1973, to the latest environmentally sensitive ones and high-tech turf reinforcement mats (TRMs), there's an erosion control solution for virtually every problem. "We see a lot of challenges when it comes to erosion control," says Jonathan Koepke, manager of the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Divi... ... READ MORE

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