Grand Rapids, MI

Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority

Prein&Newhof, Mead & Hunt, Barnes & Thornburg, CH2M, Simply Wallace

Our Expert:

LimnoTech, along with our project partners, developed an innovative and effective long-term stormwater and deicing management program for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Challenge

The 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 needed assistance 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.

The Solution

Our team was awarded a multi-year contract with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority 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 (BMP) and controls for managing deicing materials in runoff, and support the stakeholder involvement effort.

LimnoTech assisted the airport in negotiating an NPDES permit for wintertime stormwater discharges. Our staff worked closely with airport management and outside counsel in preparing and pursuing a permitting strategy. The result was a BMP-based permit that originally based compliance on the demonstrated implementation of BMPs, avoiding numerical discharge limitations. Subsequent to the permit issuance, LimnoTech developed and oversaw the implementation of a Deicing Management Plan and associated Deicing Management Program Monitoring Plan that uses innovative practices and technologies to achieve compliance with permit requirements. As a result our client’s satisfaction with our team’s work, our contract has been renewed multiple times.

This project (Gerald R. Ford International Airport Drainage Improvements) received an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) 2017 National Recognition Award.


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