In January of this year, the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) issued the 2016 Edition of the “Green Book”, Georgia’s Manual for Erosion & Sediment Control. This edition was developed under the management of the Carl Vinson Center with input from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Transportation and the GSWCC. A 6-month transition period allowed time for owners, engineering professionals and contractors to interpret and implement the requirements. All plans submitted after July 1st must utilize the 2016 Green Book Edition.
The 2016 Manual addresses changing technologies and adopts new Best Management Practices (BMP) for managing erosion
and sediment during and after the construction process. The manual also adds a process for certifying new BMP’s, a new section on coordinating Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control Plans with Post-Construction Stormwater Management and updated requirements for Low Impact Development (LID).
Best Management Practices – BMP’s
The new manual is focused on performance standards that will evolve with technology and creative implementation. New BMP’s were adopted to address the following:
Processes for improving sedimentation and filtration were added to assist in the separation of suspended particles.
Options for sediment storage for smaller sites were added
Methods for protecting trees during construction.
BMP revisions include:
Matting and blankets (Mb) is part of a category called Slope Stabilization (Ss), which included Hydraulic and Rolled products
Silt Fence (Sd1) is classified either Non-sensitive or Sensitive
Channel Stabilization (Ch) now is now specified using category 1, 2, or 3 based on the velocities of the flow in the channel.
Process for new BMP’s
In recognition of rapidly evolving technology and design, the GSWCC has developed a procedure for adding and removing BMP’s without revising “The Green Book”. New BMP’s can be submitted to the GSWCC for inclusion on the Equivalent Best Management Practice List and will be approved if an engineering professional has successfully installed and documented the Alternative BMP process on 3 projects.
Coordination of Erosion & Sediment Control with Post-Construction Stormwater Management
It is vital, that during construction, low impact or green stormwater infrastructure is protected from construction runoff that can seriously compromise the post-construction BMP’s. The manual now outlines considerations that should be taken into account for specific, low impact post-construction BMPs
The manual also includes guidance on co-location of erosion control measures with traditional post-development BMPs, such as stormwater ponds, and low impact development, such as bio-retention. Co-locating these measures will help limit disturbance and also reduce cost for developers and owners.
With each revision, the GSWCC Erosion and Sediment Control Manual requirements are becoming more sophisticated, often impacting site decisions very early in the process. If you have a project starting after July 1st and need guidance or interpretation of these new requirements call us – Wesley Reed, PE at 770-452-7849.