January 29, 2018Â byÂ NYS BMPÂ Â·
Winter in New York affords time for reflection on the growing season and planning for the new one. However, after a month of that exercise, you are still â€œstuck in the shopâ€! So while you are stuck inside why not conduct a review of the potential environmental risk? Did you know your maintenance shop is often the location on the course that poses the GREATEST risk to water quality â€“ POINT source pollution.
A critical first step in aligning your facility with Best Management Practices is to assess potential point source pollution risk. Point source pollution is any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe. Examples of point sources include:
- discharges from equipment washing area
- waste from pesticide
- fertilizer and equipment maintenance wastes
- unintended releases fertilizer and pesticides storage areas
It is clear much of this risk emanates from the maintenance shop area where equipment and chemicals are stored and transferred to and from equipment. Minimizing the risk from these areas begins with recognizing the potential for off-site movement, understanding any regulatory requirements associated with the volume of chemical storage or rinsate, and mitigating the risk through proper containment.
If you are considering a new facility, local building inspectors should be consulted during planning to outline the permitting process and local requirements. Also, consider meeting with a representative from a NYSDEC regional office and the local fire marshal. The NYSDEC requests a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) for new construction, which is administered by local governments. NYSDEC, and other interested and involved agencies, comments on SEQRs.
An excellent place to begin any assessment of your existing facility begins with understanding the regulatory guidelines that are provided by the NYSDEC. These have been summarized on theÂ NYS BMP website.
A very practical article to consider the condition of your existing facility was penned in 2014 by USGA Senior Agronomist Dave Oatis, titled,Â I Know We Donâ€™t Have the Money, but Can We Afford NOT to Invest in a New Maintenance Facility?
Since you are stuck inside, you might as well consider looking around at the building you might be stuck in and see if it measures up!