VIDEO: "DOE drainage standards will not protect Puget Sound”, according to Tom Holz





 Puget Sound is on a Track to Die Following the Next Wave of Development 

In March 2011, the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners requested a seminar by Tom Holz on “Why DOE drainage standards will not protect Puget Sound”. The seminar described how low impact development is the only path to protect the Sound. Formerly with the City of Olympia, Tom Holz is well-known in Washington State for his tireless efforts in leading change in the field of rainwater management and green infrastructure. 

According to Tom Holz, “The Department of Ecology apears to be on a path to continue using the same standard for development for the next five to eight years that has been used for the last decade. DOE calls it the ‘flow-duration’ standard. It more accurately should be described as the 0/100/100 standard.  That is, DOE will require ‘0%’ forest set-aside, will allow ‘100%’ hardened surfaces, and will allow ‘100%’ runoff of precipitation falling on a site.”  

“As almost everyone knows, healthy streams are found in watersheds that are 100% forested.  Stream channels begin to destabilize following the clearing of about one-third of its watershed.  Thus DOE will allow development that will result in exactly the opposite of a healthy watershed,” concludes Tom Holz.


Zero Impact Design

In the late 1990s, Tom Holz coined the acronym ZID – that is, Zero Impact Designs – to describe an approach that sharply reduce the “effective impervious area” of new development with practices such as eco-roofs, roof gardens, rain barrels, alternative paving surfaces, soil amendments, bioretention, reforestation, and filter-swale systems.



The seminar is posted on YouTube. To view Tom Holz, click on the two links below:

The first link is about 52 minutes (fast forward to the 4.13 minute mark to get past the set up). The second link is closing and discussion with decision makers and public. “It’s a bit dry so make a bowl of popcorn,” recommends Tom Holz.


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