Local Cities Face Expensive New Stormwater Rules
February 21, 2013
Rain just got a lot more expensive for Peninsula cities.
On Feb. 5, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a new statewide permit with extensive new requirements for addressing stormwater pollution.
That means California cities of less than 150,000 people are now on the hook for the expensive and difficult task of reducing pollutants from stormwater that gushes through their systems into streams, rivers and the ocean.
The new permit piles on top of a state rule adopted last March, affecting Pebble Beach Company, Monterey County and the cities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pacific Grove and Monterey, which have outfalls discharging into protected waters known in state-speak as Areas of Special Biological Significance. The rule requires those jurisdictions to achieve zero dry-weather runoff and 90-percent pollutant reduction in the wet season.
Local municipalities and the Monterey Regional Stormwater Management Program pushed hard against the new regulations, according to Sarah Hardgrave, environmental programs manager for the city of Pacific Grove.
The Monterey Regional Stormwater Program's management committee will be working with the Regional Water Board staff to update the existing stormwater program over the next six months, she reports.
"Most municipalities are expecting a significant increase in costs to implement the state’s permit requirements," Hardgrave writes by email. "On the Central Coast, this includes considerable new requirements for development projects, which will have to design ways to retain runoff onsite to predevelopment conditions."