Importance of Tracking and Accounting
Watershed restoration through stormwater management has been an increasingly urgent priority for municipalities. Whether water bodies are impacted by TMDLs or are impaired without a TMDL, comprehensive tracking and accounting systems allow municipalities to identify the land uses and sections within municipal boundaries that require additional stormwater management and track progress towards meeting the target reductions (e.g., pollutant-specific or impervious cover reductions). However, developing and maintaining these systems have presented unique challenges for municipalities and regulating bodies.
The University of New Hampshire (UNH)- Stormwater Center, a SNEP Network Parnter, along with EPA Region 1, Paradigm, and the Consensus Building Institute worked together to develop training tutorials that helps support municipalities in using EPA’s BMP Accounting and Tracking Tool (BATT).
BATT is a spreadsheet-based tool that provides accounting, tracking, and reporting for pollutant (nutrients and sediment) load reduction. The tool allows for aggregate, summary reporting (e.g., overall phosphorus reductions) for compliance with MS4 permit requirements for communities by major watershed.
The BMP Accounting and Tracking Tool (BATT) of USEPA Region 1 is a spreadsheet-based tool that provides accounting, tracking, and reporting for nutrient load reduction. The BATT uses Microsoft-Excel platforms and is intended to standardize accounting and tracking of a variety of BMP types and their associated nutrient load reductions. The purpose of this tool is to provide permittees and watershed managers means to account for and track over time the nutrient load reductions (total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN)) associated with implementing SW and NPS controls, and to track net increases or decreases in nutrient loading associated with changes in land uses within the area of interest (an MS4 area, specific watershed, etc.).
The tool provides three primary functions:
- Accounting and Tracking of BMP Implementation – documents nutrient controls implemented and their associated estimated nutrient load reductions for tracking the progress of watershed-based implementation programs, and for demonstrating compliance with permits (e.g., MS4) and/or TMDL nutrient reduction requirements. This portion of the tool includes stormwater and NPS control accounting;
- Accounting and Tracking Changes in Land Use – documents the changes in development and impervious cover within a permitted area or watershed to track net changes more accurately in nutrient loading within an area, recognizing that development or redevelopment may significantly change nutrient loading from a given land area, regardless of nutrient controls being implemented;
- Reporting – generates reports of accomplished implementation activities and associated nutrient load reductions to document the progress of watershed implementation programs and to assist users in satisfying permit reporting requirements and demonstrating compliance with associated permits and/or TMDL nutrient reduction requirements.