USA: Geosyntec Stormwater BMP Project Earns Industry Award for Excellence

USA Geosyntec's SSFL Biofilter Project Wins Industry Award for Excellence

Geosyntec’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) biofilter project earned the 2013 Outstanding Stormwater BMP Implementation Award from the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) on September 10.

Representatives of the client (Boeing), the SSFL Surface Water Expert Panel, and members of the Geosyntec project team that designed and implemented the biofilter system accepted their award during the 9th Annual CASQA Stormwater Conference, held September 9-11 in Lake Tahoe, California.

The system, now in place in California’s Ventura County, is designed to harness natural processes to treat stormwater runoff while promoting habitats that encourage pollination. It uses plants, soils, and various filter media to capture sediment and pollutants before releasing cleaner water back into the watershed.

The biofilter also serves as an educational tool for students and the community, as its surrounding ADA-compliant walking paths are lined with educational signage and benches where visitors can observe its top layer of native vegetation.

The biofilter is one of several stormwater best management practices (BMPs) Geosyntec designed for the SSFL site, which once was a rocket engine testing and energy research facility for the U.S. government. Geosyntec stormwater practitioners recently published a new statistical methodology for the placement of stormwater BMPs based, in part, on data from the biofilter project.

“The Santa Susana biofilter is a reflection of the project team’s expertise, valuable public input and strong regulatory oversight by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board,” said Paul Costa, Boeing’s Environmental Operations and Compliance Manager at the SSFL. “Working with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Pollinator Partnership, and the Wildlife Habitat Council provided the spark to design the biofilter as an educational tool for students and the community.”

“This award validates the hard work of a dynamic team, who — under the leadership of a panel of stormwater experts — developed an innovative, natural stormwater solution that is effective, educational, beautiful, and replicable,” Mr. Costa said. “The Santa Susana biofilter represents Boeing’s commitment to responsible environmental leadership in Ventura County and beyond.”

Gerhardt Hubner, CASQA’s awards committee chair, also praised the project for its creativity and innovative approach to stormwater challenges.

“Boeing’s biofilter is an exceptional, multi-use stormwater project in a number of important ways,” Mr. Hubner said. “The company merits recognition for its groundbreaking research and the biofilter’s effectiveness in reducing the amount of polluted runoff that enters storm drains, streams, and the ocean. CASQA values Boeing and the project team’s success, innovation, and dedication to the improvement of stormwater quality in California.”

Geosyntec contributors to the SSFL biofilter project include Ron Johnson (San Diego), Brandon Steets (Santa Barbara), and Dan Bourdeau (Portsmouth). Other project contributors include Megan Otto (Los Angeles), Rita Kampalath (Los Angeles), and Paul Hobson (Portland), among others.


Press Release, September 19, 2013