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Stormwater Case Studies Search Results

Case Study Location: Oregon: Eugene

Case Study Title: Outcome-based Erosion Control Program

Minimum Control Measure: Construction site stormwater runoff control

City of Eugene Stormwater Management Program LogoEugene, Oregon, uses an outcome-based approach to erosion prevention and sediment control that promotes flexibility by considering site-specific conditions and cost-effectiveness.

Location: Oregon: Eugene
Annual Rainfall: 43 inches
Population: 140,000
Year the Program Started: 1997

Contact Information:

Ginger Perales
City of Eugene, Stormwater Management Program Exit EPA Site
99 West 10th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 682-5249  


Eugene, Oregon, uses an outcome-based approach to erosion prevention and sediment control that promotes flexibility by considering site-specific conditions and cost-effectiveness. Eugene implemented the Erosion Prevention and Construction Site Management program in February 1997. The program requires all construction activity in the city, regardless of size, to meet minimum standards to protect water quality. A permit must be obtained for construction activity disturbing 1 acre or more. The program is funded through permit fees, enforcement, and stormwater utility funds.

Eugene's program requires that all construction projects meet a very specific set of outcomes during construction and implement mandatory best management practices (BMPs) during the wet-weather season (October 15 through April 30) to the maximum extent practicable (MEP). Projects that are 1 acre or larger or are larger than 500 square feet and are in a "sensitive area" are required to obtain a permit, but all construction is required to meet the required outcomes to the MEP.

MEP is defined in an administrative order as the reduction achievable through technically feasible, cost-effective BMPs, siting criteria, operating methods, or other alternatives approved by the city. A BMP is considered cost-effective as long as the cost is less than or equal to $1.50 per square foot of disturbed area. This cost does not include design preparation, preparation of the construction site management plan, correction of violations, or permanent landscaping or design.

The required outcomes, paraphrased below, are listed in the city's Administrative Rules implementing the Erosion Prevention Ordinance:

  1. Adjacent properties, water features, and Related Natural Resource Areas are kept free of deposits or discharges of soil, sediment, or construction-related material.
  2. Vegetation in water features, Related Natural Resource Areas, and associated bank or riparian areas adjacent to construction sites are preserved or protected from impacts.
  3. Public rights-of-way, the city's stormwater system and Related Natural Resource Areas, private streets, and private stormwater drainage systems that discharge to the city's stormwater system are kept free of mud, soil, sediment, concrete washout, trash, or other similar construction-related material exceeding 0.5 cubic foot in volume for every 1,000 square feet of disturbed area. Any such discharges that occur must be prevented from entering water features or the city's stormwater system and must be removed by not later than the end of the day in which the discharge occurs, or as directed by the city.
  4. Soils and stockpile areas may not be exposed to precipitation or stormwater runoff without providing secondary containment, perimeter controls, and other approved BMPs. A perimeter control is defined as a facility or combination of facilities that results in no stormwater runoff leaving a site during a 5-year storm event and prevents saturated soil conditions. Such facilities include constructed ponds, ditches, swales, infiltration trenches, and pipes. For development sites larger than 40 acres, the design storm is a 10-year storm event.
  5. Earth slides, mudflows, earth sloughing, or other earth movement that might leave the property must not occur.
  6. No discharge into the city's stormwater system or Related Natural Resource Areas of construction-related contaminants resulting from activities such as cleaning or washing of equipment may occur.
  7. No hazardous substances, such as paints, thinners, fuels, and other chemicals, may be released.
  8. A supply of materials necessary to meet the above outcomes must be kept on the construction site at all times.

Storm drain inlet protection

All construction activity that will result in soil disturbance during the wet-weather season (October 15 through April 30) must implement and maintain the following BMPs on-site:

  1. Construction site entrances must be graveled with crushed rock of sufficient size and graded as necessary to prevent any off-site tracking.
  2. All stormwater facilities, water features, and Related Natural Resource Areas must be protected.
  3. All exposed soil and stockpile areas not protected by perimeter controls consistent with an approved construction site management plan must be covered.
  4. Sediment, soil, or construction-related material must be removed immediately from the right-of-way, adjacent property, and the city's stormwater system, including water features and Related Natural Resource Areas.

The city has developed a comprehensive Erosion Prevention and Construction Site Management Manual [PDF] Exit EPA Site explaining the ordinance, describing the application and permitting process, detailing each outcome, and providing guidance for developing a construction site management plan and selecting BMPs.

Compliance with the outcomes is assessed through inspections. The public plays a part in ensuring compliance by reporting sites that might be out of compliance; follow-up inspections are conducted to ensure compliance. All permitted activity is required to have one initial inspection before any ground disturbance. Follow-up routine inspections are conducted monthly for most residential construction. Commercial construction receives at least one inspection per month but is often monitored weekly. All other construction activities not required to obtain permits are inspected as needed or during routine building inspections. Inspections are conducted until final stabilization is in place. Routine inspections are documented, and sites not in compliance are reinspected to ensure compliance. The program has three full-time erosion prevention specialists and one supervisor.

Additional Materials Related to this Case Study:

Additional Resources and Tools for this Minimum Control Measure

EPA presents this case study as an example to which Phase I and Phase II municipal stormwater programs can refer as they develop their own stormwater programs. Although EPA has reviewed the case studies, they should not be considered officially endorsed by the Agency and are not intended to represent full compliance with EPA’s stormwater Phase II minimum control measures. Each community must decide on the appropriate BMPs necessary to meet its unique permit requirements and local conditions.

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