Stakeholders sound-off at stormwater hearing

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 1, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Tuesday, March 29th, at the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) hearing, CMTA joined others in the regulated community to make a very strong case against moving forward with new costly stormwater industrial permit requirements.

In attendance were a handful of supporters of the draft permit; however, even they acknowledged that some of the most diligent efforts of companies utilizing state-of-the-art technology are unable to meet the unrealistic compliance standards.

A highlight of the hearing was the testimony of Senator Rod Wright (D-Inglewood) whose comments drew applause when he emphasized to the Board a need for extreme caution before burdening businesses with another costly set of requirements in this difficult economy, especially with no proven environmental benefits to show for it.

Assemblymember Jeff Miller (R-Orange County and Vice Chair of the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxics Committee) called for the Board to halt their efforts on this proposal and questioned the legality and lack of transparency of the process.

CMTA’s environmental lobbyist, Mike Rogge, and the lead for a coalition of stakeholders, W.A.T.E.R. (Workable Approach to Environmental Regulation), questioned the Board’s action in fast-tracking this process, their lack of complete information in the draft as well as the lack providing an economic impact analysis.  You can see his testimony here: www.cmta.net/pdfs/mike_testimony.pdf

After five hours of testimony, primarily members of W.A.T.E.R., the Board agreed to extend the public comment period until Noon on April 29th and directed staff to work with stakeholders to address their concerns about the multitude of topics raised. SWRCB Chairman Charles Hoppin’s closing comments made it obvious that the decision on this permit would no longer be fast-tracked and that there would be in-depth discussions with stakeholders.  Staff was asked to take a serious look at their proposal to eliminate group monitoring and to impose universal numeric limits that were impossible to meet.

 

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