Gino DiCaro

Costly Storm Water Regulations Proposed

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Feb. 18, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Two weeks ago the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) unveiled draft regulations for Industrial Storm Water Permits.  Although this draft regulation is termed “not in its complete form,” the SWRCB has begun formal rulemaking, culminating in a Public Hearing on March 29th in Sacramento with comments due by noon on April 18th.

The draft regulations can be viewed: at: www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/stormwater/indstpermits.shtml

SWRCB held a Northern California public workshop in Sacramento on Monday, February 14th.  It was readily evident that the changes from the previous permitting system are substantial.

Not only is there a requirement for more sampling, testing and training but the new regulations will have no “light industry” exemption.  Even if there is no possibility of storm water exposure, there is the necessity of filing annual certification of such and the payment of a fee.  There is also no provision for consideration of background level water or for contamination of rainwater due to air pollution. Numeric standards will be incorporated which will not be achievable by some industries. There will be more prescriptive Best Management Practices.  Group monitoring will no longer be an alternative.  Every site must be monitored and, in most instances, each will need to purchase, at a minimum, a rain gauge, conductivity meter and pH meter.  There will be an electronic and public reporting system mandated; however, there is no current provision for national security protection.  Rain events down to ¼ inch may need to be sampled.  Missing events can ratchet a company up to Level 3 with significant penalties and increased sampling and testing requirements.

When asked about the projected cost to industry, it was stated that they did not have the money to do a cost impact analysis on the economy.  CMTA and others estimate $600 million plus, not counting the increased likelihood of lawsuits.

The SWRCB spokesman conceded that they were having difficulty handling the 10,000 general permits they have now.  With the elimination of group monitoring plans, that number will easily double.

The public workshop in Southern California will be held February 23rd in Irvine to discuss the Draft Industrial General Permit. Staff will again briefly discuss the significant proposed changes from the prior permit and the public will have an opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification on the proposed changes.  We encourage you to attend.  Details are:

 

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989