The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) drew regulatory attention in response to seasonal biofilms that were observed in one of the streams receiving stormwater runoff from the facility. The biofilms were associated with deicing materials in the runoff and were classified as a risk to water quality. As a result, the airport’s original General Industrial Stormwater Permit was renewed as an Individual NPDES discharge permit, and the airport was required to eliminate its contribution to the occurrence of biofilm in the stream. The airport required a team of engineers and scientists to assist in negotiating the terms of the discharge permit, evaluating and selecting alternatives for meeting the requirements of the permit, designing and implementing the selected alternative(s), and engaging stakeholders throughout the process.
LimnoTech led the team that was awarded a multi-year contract with the Kent County Department of Aeronautics to provide technical support for development and implementation of GRR’s long-term stormwater and deicing management program. LimnoTech’s role was to provide technical leadership in permit design and negotiation, oversee data collection and monitoring efforts, identify and evaluate alternative best management practices and controls for managing deicing runoff, and support the stakeholder involvement effort.
The results of the LimnoTech team’s efforts were an initial BMP-based discharge permit that based compliance on the implementation of BMPs as an alternative to numerical discharge limits and a long-term management program that uses innovative practices and technologies to achieve compliance with permit requirements. The contract has been renewed multiple times as a result of client satisfaction with our team’s work.