A Quantitative Approach to Trash Control Implementation

Date / Time:
Tuesday, Oct 16 1:35pm to 2:05pm
Meeting Room 1-3 (Lower Level)
Track / Session:
Trash Track / Trash Assessment and Tracking

Caltrans is developing its implementation plan to comply with the statewide Trash Provisions (Water Code Section 13383 Order) issued by the State Water Board and evaluating new technologies such as machine learning, image recognition and data analysis to assist with developing the plan.

Through the use of these technologies, Caltrans aims to more effectively assess trash levels, plan work and monitor progress. Conventional methods alone for assessment and monitoring are time and cost prohibitive given the extensive amount of right-of-way statewide. As a result, these new technologies in combination with manual verification and visual assessment may offer a solution.

The goal of this quantitative approach will be to reduce human error during analysis, produce numerical datasets for comparison and develop a data model for improving the planning, implementation and monitoring of trash control measures.

This presentation is intended to provide the audience with an overview of this approach and share knowledge obtained through the initial evaluation of new technologies.

Primary Speaker:
Walter Yu, California Department of Transportation
Supporting Speaker 1:
Laura Larsen, Michael Baker International
Supporting Speaker 2:
Patrick Kuga, Michael Baker International
Primary Speaker Biography: 

Walter Yu is a Senior Transportation Engineer with the Caltrans Stormwater Program and currently serves as the project lead for the District 4 (SF Bay Area) Litter Abatement Program which is using data analysis and machine learning to improve compliance with the Caltrans NPDES Permit requirements and Statewide Trash Amendments. Walter has over 12 years of experience with Caltrans, including over 6 years with implementing water quality and stormwater compliance programs. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley and currently pursuing a M.A. in Software Engineering from the Harvard Extension School.

Supporting Speakers Biographies: 

Laura Larsen is a Senior Project Manager at Michael Baker International with eighteen years of experience in stormwater management projects including Best Management Practice (BMP) design, NPDES permit implementation, and water quality analysis. She has extensive experience in transportation and municipal NPDES stormwater permit compliance assistance, BMP research, design and implementation including Low Impact Development (LID), water quality monitoring, TMDL development and implementation, BMP design and implementation, BMP operation and maintenance, and BMP performance data analysis. She has a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from UCLA and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.

Patrick Kuga is a Project Manager at Michael Baker International with eight years of experience in stormwater quality. He has extensive experience with construction stormwater compliance and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) support services. Patrick works with clients to develop and implement stormwater program elements, write and review Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs), and perform compliance inspections of construction sites and other facilities. He is a Construction General Permit Trainer of Record (CGP ToR) and has performed numerous stormwater trainings both in classroom and field settings. He currently leads Trash Amendments compliance efforts for multiple clients and serves as co-chair of the CASQA Non-Traditional Phase II Small MS4 Permit (Phase II Permit) Subcommittee.