• Major Changes Coming for Public and Private Construction Projects
  • June 9, 2009 | Author: Shawn D. Hagerty
  • Law Firm: Best Best & Krieger LLP - San Diego Office
  • The California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) recently issued a draft storm water permit that would substantially change the way public and private construction projects are planned and implemented, as well as dramatically increase their costs.  If adopted as proposed, the permit would apply to all current and future public and private projects in California that exceed one acre, including linear projects such as pipeline installations.

    As proposed, some of the most significant changes in the permit include:

    • Numeric limits for pH and turbidity on many projects. If these limits are exceeded, a violation with monetary penalties is issued.
    • A site-specific, risk-based assessment to be performed for each project, and significantly increased sampling and monitoring requirements based upon the risk assessment.  This includes bioassessment sampling for many projects over 30 acres.
    • Significant staff training and the retention of specialists to plan and implement storm water plans.
    • All linear projects over one acre must obtain coverage under this permit rather than under the small linear permit.
    • Electronic filing of reports and notices of violations, which will be publicly available on-line.

    The permit is available online. The link includes details on a public hearing that will be held June 3 at the State Board in Sacramento. Written comments will be accepted until June 17.  It is anticipated that the State Board will adopt the permit later this year.