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development of minimal impact design standards

development of minimal impact design standards
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

promoting low-impact development and other stormwater management techniques

In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature allocated funds to develop minimal impact design standards (MIDS)—performance standards, design standards, and other tools to enable and promote the implementation of low-impact development and other stormwater management techniques. The MIDS project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota with an emphasis on keeping the raindrop where it falls to minimize stormwater runoff and pollution and preserve natural resources.

Barr assisted the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and several stakeholder groups throughout the MIDS project. To help set statewide performance goals that best mimic a site’s natural hydrology, we developed models for three Minnesota regions to compare the runoff rates and volumes of hypothetical developed sites that met identified performance goals to the runoff rates and volumes of similar sites under native-soil and native-vegetation conditions. We then compared the modeled runoff rates and water volumes to the results of the native-vegetation models to determine how well various stormwater-management techniques could reproduce natural hydrology.

Barr also worked closely with the MPCA and stakeholder groups to develop and train users on the MIDS design sequence flowchart and MIDS calculator. These tools determine the applicable performance goal; help designers select and size stormwater best management practices (BMPs) to meet MIDS requirements; and quantify the stormwater volume, total phosphorus, dissolved phosphorus, and total suspended solids removed via the proposed best management practices (BMPs).