K&A Presented at U of M
Brian Boyer, P.E., presented at the University of Michigan Campus Sustainability Town Hall on November 6, 2013. The presentation, "Stormwater Management: Why here? Why now?" summarized ongoing stormwater management progress by several entities. View the presentation slides here.
Jackson, MI Stormwater Utility Fee Ruled Illegal Tax
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a stormwater utility fee issued by Jackson, MI is an illegal tax. The court determined the utility fee was a tax, not a user fee, and must be approved through a public vote. Since no such vote was held, the court ruled the city cannot legally collect the fee. However, the opinion also stated the city was not obligated to refund property owners for payments already made. The utility fee was adopted in 2011 to fund city stormwater services, such as street sweeping and cleaning catch basins. Previously, these activities were funded through property taxes, as well as other taxes and fees.
K&A Presented at 2012 ACES Conference
Mark Kieser and Jim Klang represented K&A at the December 2012 ACES international conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This annual conference brings together leaders in the fields of ecosystem services and ecosystem markets. Mark presented on a project in Peru developing payments for watershed services, as well as moderated a discussion about what it takes to bring buyers to ecosystem markets. The "buyer's" session featured K&A's work on developing the first water quality trading program in CA where nutrient credits have now been exchanged. A K&A project team partner, XCG Consultatns, also presented on the Lake Simcoe, Ontario water quality trading system. This project involves developing Canada's largest WQT program. Jim's presentation on the Conservation Marketplace Midwest showcased K&A's efforts to develop and support a regional marketplace for multiple ecosystem service credits. Both Jim and Mark also served on related panel discussions. For more information about the conference, including presentation abstracts, visit the ACES website.
Conservation Marketplace Midwest Brochure
Conservation Marketplace Midwest (CMM), a parternship of conservation professionals including K&A, recently produced a brochure on ecosystem service markets. This brochure introduces CMM and defines the organization's mission and goals for buyers and agricultural producers considering participation in environmental market programs. CMM was created to provide key administrative and verificiation services that are essential for the delivery of high-quality commodities bought and sold in environmental markets. The brochure was produced under a grant to the Minnesota River Board (a member of CMM) by the McKnight Foundation. View the brochure. For more information, please visit the CMM website.
CIG Awarded to City of Santa Rosa
The City of Santa Rosa, Kieser & Associates, and local resources conservation districts in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed were recently awarded a Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA. The purpose of the project is to develop a water quality trading program for the watershed. Read the local press release for more information.
Pilot Trades in the Ohio River Basin
August 15, 2012 | The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), project partners, and participating states in the Ohio River Basin met in August to sign an interstate water quality trading plan. According to a press release by EPRI, the plan will serve as the basis for implementing interstate nutrient trading in the Ohio River Basin. Representatives from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky signed the plan on August 9, 2012.
Journal of Green Building Publication
April 6, 2012 | An article by Brian Boyer and Mark Kieser recently was published in the Journal of Green Building. The article, entitled "Urban Stormwater Management - An MS4 Success Story for Western Michigan University," discussed the BMP implementation completed on campus over the past decade. K&A compelted a project with the University to quantify its past and present stormwater loading in the context of its phosphorus TMDL goal. The project also assessed future opportunities for BMP implementation on campus and off-site to eventually result in a net zero stormwater loading from the campus.
The article is featured in the Journal of Green Building, Winter 2012 issue (Volume 7, Number 1). A copy of the article abstract is available on the Journal's website.
Presentation at the MiAPPA Conference
March 23, 2012 | The Michigan Association of Physical Plant Administrators (MiAPPA) held its 2012 Winter Conference at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan on March 19-21, 2012. Mark Kieser, Senior Scientist at K&A gave a presentation with Peter Strazdas, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management at WMU on campus stormwater management. The presentation focused on WMU's progress toward TMDL compliance through stormwater management on campus. WMU also has a broader goal of becoming Stormwater NeutralTM.
For more information, visit the MiAPPA website.
Cedar Lake Article in the Michigan Riparian Magazine
February 1, 2012 | The Winter 2012 issue of the Michigan Riparian Magazine features an article by Mark Kieser, Brian Boyer, Patty Hoch-Melluish, and Jamie McCarthy of K&A. The article walks through the comprehensive series of watershed studies K&A conducted to evaluate lake level issues at Cedar Lake, located near Oscoda, Michigan. More information about the Michigan Riparian Magazine and this article can be found on the Michigan Riparian website.
Back Door Gardening for a Superfund Site
December 6, 2011 | K&A is assisting cleanup efforts in the recently initiated Portage Creek PCB sediment removal efforts. Historically contaminated sediments in various sections of the creek, which flows in close proximity to K&A offices, are being strategically removed to reduce human and wildlife exposure. Typical for highly disturbed urban streams is degraded riparian habitat. K&A has inventoried existing vegetation along 1.8 miles of the creek that will be remediated. We are also designing the vegetative restoration of these areas which will specify a variety of native and endemic species.
K&A and WMU Complete Stormwater Project
November 11, 2011 | K&A has been working with WMU and the Forum of Greater Kalamazoo on a number of stormwater treatment projects in the Arcadia Creek watershed. Construction on this latest project along Stadium Drive began in September and was completed at the beginning of November. (Click here for before and after pictures of the project site). Once vegetation is fully established, the project will correct erosion and runoff issues along this stretch of Arcadia Creek. Prior to construction, sediment and phosphorus from erosion and runoff in this section of Arcadia Creek was transported to the Kalamazoo River. With the improvements along this stretch, stormwater will be allowed to infiltrate into the ground rather than running directly into Arcadia Creek.
More information on these efforts can found at mlive.com.
K&A Assists in 'Cleaning Davis Creek'
October 24, 2011 | The Kalamazoo Gazette recently published an article detailing a grant proposal recently submitted by the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner and local municipalities to reduce pollution coming from the Davis Creek Watershed. K&A assisted the Drain Commissioner in preparing the grant proposal for submission to the Michigan Department of Environmental (DEQ) Quality's Nonpoint Source Grant Program. The Drain Commissioner was invited by DEQ in September 2011 to submit a full grant proposal application on behalf of the county and local municipalities.
The grant proposes to implement soil erosion and streambank restoration practices recommended in a recent engineering study completely by the Drain Commissioner and another engineering firm. K&A would provide engineering design and construction oversight for the project, if awarded. The DEQ anticipates grant awards will be announced in the summer of 2012.
Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project Awarded $1.4 Million from USDA for Pilot Trades
September 1, 2011 | EPRI published a news release announcing the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) they received from the USDA for Phase II of the Ohio River Basin water quality trading project. The project is a market-based approach for facilities facing high costs for treatment upgrades. The purpose of the program is to provide facilities with an option to purchase credits at a lower cost than upgrades. The pilot trades will engage the agricultural sector by implementing agricultural conservation practices. Credits will be generated from the nutrient reductions from these conservation practices.
The project is being lead by EPRI with support from K&A, American Farmland Trust, Hunton & Williams LLP, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Read EPRI's news release for more information on the Ohio River Basin water quality trading project and the recent CIG award for Phase II trading pilots.
K&A Successful in Bringing in Three DEQ Water Quality Grants for Nonpoint Source Projects in the Kalamazoo River
August 31, 2011 | In October 2010, K&A prepared three grant proposals for nonpoint source funding on behalf of watershed partners in the Kalamazoo River Watershed. Michigan DEQ announced 11 nonpoint source grant award recipients in July 2011. All three of the project proposals from the Kalamazoo River Watershed were selected for funding. The projects will address stormwater loading from urban areas at two sites in the West Fork Portage Creek Watershed and protection of high value natural areas in the August Creek/Gull Lake Watershed. The grants will provide over $1.1 million in funding from DEQ and the federal government to the Kalamazoo River Watershed. K&A will act as the lead engineering firm on both stormwater projects in the West Fork Portage Creek Watershed for Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Read the DEQ press release for more information about all 11 grant recipients. A WMU press release about the upcoming stormwater project was recently published in the Kalamazoo Gazette.
K&A Contributes to EU Integrated Water Policy Project
August 4, 2011 | A consortium led by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and funded by the European Commission CORDIS is evaluating Economic Policy Instruments (EPI) for sustainable water management in Europe. While this Seventh Framework Programme project is focused on specific conditions in the EU, the project team has solicited several case studies assessing the performance of EPI outside of the EU, particularly in the US, Australia, and China. A case study on water quality trading in Ohio was submitted by K&A and selected by the project team for this international review.
Mark Kieser will be contributing to the overall project by providing input and evaluation of the EPI case studies in Europe and abroad. He will be providing further information on the effectiveness and efficiency of water quality trading in the U.S. through the Ohio case study in the Great Miami River Watershed.
K&A Earns Michigan Natural Shoreline Professional Certification
May 13, 2011 | Michigan's Natural Shoreline Partnership and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have developed a Natural Shoreline Professional Certification program. The program provides training to contractors and consultants on shoreline technologies and bioengineered erosion control to protect Michigan's inland lakes. Patty Hoch-Melluish of K&A completed the training course, field exercise, and passed the certification exam to become a Natural Shoreline Professional. Professionals are trained in the design, implementation, and maintenance of natural shoreline landscapes on inland lakes.
This certification is part of K&A's commitment to providing clients with lake-friendly shoreline management options that balance environmentally sound practices and solutions with aesthetics. See our Lake Management page to read more about this and other technical services we provide.