Verification of Best Management Practices in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
The implementation, tracking and reporting of Best Management Practices (BMPs) has been at the center of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership’s restoration efforts for almost three decades. Properly installed and functioning practices and technologies reduce local flooding, protect sources of drinking water, ensure against the collapse of stream banks, and support local economies through the return of clean water and viable habitats suitable for recreational activities. Conversely, improperly installed or functioning practices do little to mitigate the effects that runoff of nutrients and sediment can have on local waterways.
What is Verification?
The process in which BMPs are inspected to ensure proper installation and operating effectively resulting in reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollutant loads.
How are BMPs verified?
The verification process involves three steps:
(1) Initial inspection begins with verification to determine if the BMP was installed correctly,
(2) Follow-up checks completed to ensure the BMP is functioning correctly throughout the lifespan, and
(3) BMP performance determines if a BMP is reducing pollutants as expected or is no longer functioning as expected.
As part of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s partnership, Delaware provided a plan for enhanced BMP verification in the First State. In this plan, to EPA, Delaware plans to verify the existence and performance of BMPs installed across the state as part of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and restoration efforts. Delaware's Quality Assurance Project and Verification Plan ensures that all BMPs installed in the Delaware’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are implemented correctly and are, in fact, effectively reducing nutrient and sediment pollution as expected. This plan will help Delaware measure success, locate areas to adapt, and ensure that these conservation and technological practices are doing the job of protecting people’s properties, lands, riparian habitats and local streams.