Forty-one employees from across the District participated in a class at Ensley Engineer Yard (EEY) Sept. 4 preparing them to receive stormwater certification. Memphis District Stormwater Coordinator Conrad Stacks organized the class taught by Tom Lawrence on behalf of Tennessee Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control.
Stacks said in the past, stormwater violations were impacting many of our projects. This prompted the District to train a number of our engineers and technicians in stormwater certification starting about eight years ago.
“Initially, the District was receiving from five to ten notices of violation a year from state environmental agencies on our projects,” Stacks said. “After training Memphis District employees and requiring contractors to also have a certified employee on staff or hire a company to provide a representative certified in stormwater, notices of violation fell drastically to being a rare issue.”
Stacks explained that heavy rainfall can cause significant erosion and runoff if not mitigated for with techniques like silt fences to contain sediment transport. Left unchecked, the silt and other construction materials and byproducts can contaminate the stormwater, causing it to become unsightly and potentially unhealthy for wildlife.
The class at EEY learned about stormwater regulations, permitting, inspections, and best management practice. They are now waiting on the results from their certification tests taken at the end of the class.