VC to Set the Bar for Nation in Recycling Stormwater

According to hard-working Heal the Bay activist Mark Gold, the Southern California Regional Water Quality Board this month committed Ventura County development projects to capturing stormwater and using it to replenish local aquifers. This means avoiding pollution and saving water — the best of possible solutions to two problems simultaneously. Most remarkably, the ruling commits to monitoring stormwater quality at the beach to make sure it happens. Writes Gold on his blog Spouting Off:

The crux of the requirement is that approximately 95% of the rain from
a three-quarter inch storm must be captured and used or infiltrated on
site.  In the event that infiltration or capture and storage isn’t
feasible on site, then the developer must mitigate the runoff by giving
funds to local government for regional infiltration projects like green
streets, parking lot retrofits and stormwater recharge at parks, right
of ways or open space.

Writing for the city of Ventura in the Star, public works director Ron Calkins declares:

Last week, after many months of negotiation and collaboration between
cities, environmental groups and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality
Control Board, a new results-oriented, cost-effective, countywide
storm-water permit was issued. Possibly the most progressive in the
nation, the new permit contains stringent and precedent-setting
regulations focused on further improving water quality.

'Specially impressive to yours truly, the ruling contains verification procedures. Gold notes:

Until the budget crisis devastated California’s beach monitoring
programs, Ventura County monitored over 50 beaches on a weekly basis. 
Officials eliminated their program when state funding stopped.  With
the inclusion of mandatory monitoring at Ventura County’s most
stormdrain pollution-impacted beaches, the public health of swimmers
and surfers will be better protected.

Congratulations to the far-sighted and hard-working folks at Cal EPA who worked through this long, hard decision…which will help keep beach clean for one and all.

[pic of Ventura Beach in 8/08 from drummrl966]
Venturabeachseal

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