Commercial and Residential Developers, Builders and Landlords Face New Storm Water Regulations

by Allen Matkins
Contact

On May 8, 2013, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved a new municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit that will have far-reaching impacts on both new development projects and existing facilities in San Diego, southern Orange, and southwestern Riverside Counties. This Regional MS4 Permit will regulate both storm water and non-storm water (dry weather) discharges into the region's storm water conveyance facilities, which carry runoff to inland surface waters, bays, estuaries and coastal waters.

The new MS4 Permit contains tough numeric limits for storm water pollutants. Although the permit directly regulates cities, counties and special districts who own and operate large MS4s, it requires these permittees to impose the permit's requirements on development projects, construction sites and existing development (including commercial, industrial, municipal and residential areas) through statutes, ordinances, permit conditions, contracts, orders, and other similar means. Developers, contractors and existing facility owners will therefore be impacted as permittees attempt to comply with the permit's requirements. In particular, the permit emphasizes on-site retention and treatment of surface water runoff, as well as practices to protect and return water courses to a more natural condition.

Key Provisions Impacting Development Projects

  • All development projects will be required to include Low Impact Development Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect natural areas and remove pollutants from storm water discharges, such as maintaining and restoring natural reservoirs and drainage corridors, providing buffer zones for natural water bodies, conserving natural areas within the project's footprint, constructing streets, sidewalks, and parking aisles to minimum widths, minimizing the project's impervious footprint, using permeable materials, minimizing soil compaction to landscaped areas, and using landscaping designed to receive and infiltrate, retain or treat runoff from impervious areas. 
  • Priority Development Projects will be required to include additional BMPs to retain or treat onsite the pollutants contained in the volume of storm water runoff produced from a 24-hour 85th percentile storm event. Priority Development Projects are new developments creating 10,000 square feet or more of impervious surface or redevelopment projects that create or replace 5,000 square feet or more of impervious surface collectively over an existing site of 10,000 square feet or more. Also, new or redevelopment projects that create or replace 5,000 square feet or more of impervious surface and that are also restaurants, hillside development projects, parking lots, or streets, roads, highways, freeways or driveways are Priority Development Projects. 
  • Priority Development Projects will be required to implement practices to manage hydromodification (the erosion and degradation of natural channels and increased sediment loading in receiving waters caused by increased impervious surfaces and increased flow rates) by limiting storm water runoff flow rates and durations to not more than 10 percent of pre-development (not pre-project) conditions. 
  • Offsite alternative compliance options for Priority Development Projects, such as funding or implementing approved offsite projects (for example, retrofitting projects; channel, stream, or habitat rehabilitation projects; and water supply augmentation projects), may be available if the permittees choose to make such projects available. 
  • Priority Development Project applications which have received approval by 18 months after the effective date of the permit may be able to use previous land development requirements.

Key Provisions Impacting Construction Sites

  • Before being issued a permit to commence construction, construction projects that involve ground disturbance or soil disturbing activities that could generate pollutants in storm water runoff will be required to submit a pollution control plan, construction BMP plan, and/or an erosion and sediment control plan. 
  • Construction sites must implement BMPs to reduce the discharge of pollutants in storm water and prohibit non-storm water discharges into MS4s. BMPs must be site specific, seasonally appropriate, and construction phase appropriate and be implemented year-round. 
  • Construction sites are subject to inspection.

Key Provisions Impacting Existing Facilities

  • Commercial, industrial and municipal facilities will be required to implement, operate and maintain BMPs as designated by the permittees based on type of facility and pollutant-generating activity to control storm water runoff.
  • Almost all non-storm water discharges to MS4s must be prohibited, including water from building fire suppression system maintenance (e.g., sprinkler line flushing), crawl space pumps, air conditioning condensation, water line flushing, and landscape irrigation. 
  • For residential areas, permittees must promote and encourage BMPs to reduce pollutants in storm water discharges and prohibit non-storm water discharges. Residential vehicle washing should be directed to landscaped areas or other pervious surfaces where feasible, and residual chlorine, algaecide, filter backwash and other pollutants must be removed from dechlorinated swimming pool discharges. 
  • Permittees must inspect all inventoried existing development at a minimum of once every five years to ensure compliance.

Permit Implementation

The MS4 Permit will be implemented in a phased manner as current permits expire, covering San Diego County immediately, southern Orange County on or after December, 2014, and southwestern Riverside County on or after November, 2015. California also separately regulates specific industrial and construction site dischargers directly through a general permit issued by the State Water Resources Control Board (a new Industrial General Permit is expected in 2013). Compliance with an industrial or construction general permit does not excuse any additional requirements imposed under the new MS4 permit; covered facilities will be obligated to comply with the requirements of both.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Allen Matkins | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Allen Matkins
Contact
more
less

Allen Matkins on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.