MS4: Storm Water regulations

New storm water regulations are going into effect for all of Los Angeles County.

At the end of 2013, the LA County Regional Water Quality Control Board implemented extremely stringent clean water permit requirement for all municipalities, including Glendora. Referred to as the MS4, or the Stormwater permit, it requires that water runoff must either remain in our city or, if it leaves via the storm drains, must not exceed new pollutant requirements.

The 1972 Clean Water Act mandates that each state implements a permit system for regulating and treating sources of water pollution. In Los Angeles County, the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board consisting of seven members appointed by the Governor, governs this system.  Glendora has done a good job of complying with past MS4 permit requirements by monitoring and making continual improvements to our water control measures as needed. The challenge is that the new MS4 regulations are much more stringent than in the past and, if runoff exceeds permit requirements, hefty fines can be assessed. This presents major challenges for our city, requiring us to set up an extensive new water testing and mitigation program. In 2014, Glendora spent close to $300,000 to develop an initial compliance plan and start the first phase of testing.  The annual cost to our city for complying with this permit could be in excess of a million dollars.

The City of Glendora is in the process of determining a location for the construction of a pilot storm water retention, testing and cleaning facility. Staff is requesting Council approval to explore three different sites in order to determine which one is the most effective location. After the initial testing is completed, staff will prepare a report which outlines their recommendation on the preferred pilot project location along with a cost estimate for the next phase of work.  The cost of exploring the three possible locations is estimated to be $74,850 and will come from the City’s general fund reserves.

Glendora is mandated by the State of California and the federal government to comply with the MS4 permit but neither provide funding. Glendora, along with other municipalities in LA County, must prepare and budget for this upcoming expense which is expected to be significant and long lasting.

At our upcoming council meeting on Tuesday, January 27th at 7pm we will discuss staff’s request for Council approval to explore sites for cleaning and retaining storm water within our City.

You are welcome to attend, or watch the video live on our city website, or archived after it is uploaded: http://www.ci.glendora.ca.us/residents/online-videos

For more information please read:

http://stormwater.wef.org/2013/11/california-court-rules-ms4-permit-requirements-federal-mandates/

http://stormwater.wef.org/2014/05/supreme-court-declines-hear-los-angeles-stormwater-case/

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