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Storm Water Program - STORMS

STORMS - Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Storm Water

Chapter 5. Implementation Resources

The State Water Board, Division of Water Quality (Division), created the Storm Water Planning Unit through redirection of existing Division resources. The unit consists of one Senior Water Resource Control Engineer, four Water Resource Control Engineers (two of which are Limited Term), one Engineering Geologist, and one Environmental Scientist. These staff are dedicated to successful implementation of the Storm Water Strategy.

The Storm Water Planning Unit will recognize the multi-benefit aspect of the Storm Water Strategy as it will overlap with a variety of State Water Board programs. The implementation of the Storm Water Strategy will bring together those involved in storm water permitting, storm water resource planning, funding programs, groundwater management, and water rights. The Storm Water Strategy will provide the opportunity to coordinate these interests and collaborate on the identification of program priorities, and the application of regulations, policies, and funding. A Water Board Storm Water Program Roundtable also exists to ensure efficient, consistent, and effective implementation of program requirements and directions from management by providing a forum for the following: 1) incubation of ideas and information exchange, 2) consideration of program challenges and associated lessons learned, 3) consideration of program improvements, and 4) development of collective feedback and recommendations on program implementation and improvement. Priorities identified for the storm water program by this roundtable will be captured and updated as part of this Strategy.

The Storm Water Planning Unit will collaborate with other related Water Board programs including but not limited to, storm water permitting, basin planning, TMDLs, Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), enforcement, water rights, funding, and groundwater management, to ensure that input, updates, and assistance are provided holistically from a Water Boards perspective (Figure 3). In addition, the Water Boards have assigned four Executive Sponsors, along with committed participation from staff in four Regional Water Boards (San Diego, Los Angeles, Central Coast, and North Coast) to assist and provide regional expertise and guidance for project outcomes.

Stormwater Planning Interconnectivitiy with Water Board Programs
Figure 3. Storm Water Planning Interconnectivity with Water Board Programs

Additional non-Water Board ancillary resources include, but are not limited to:

  • Contractors supported through project contract funding
    The State Water Board may provide limited discretionary funding to the University of California, California State University, or other research organizations to evaluate highly controversial issues or perform technical studies outside their expertise or to provide equipment and services not available in-house. Because the regulated community and environmental advocacy groups differ significantly on how storm water should be managed, using third party contractors to assist in assessing controversial issues will provide significant benefit to the Water Boards as well as stakeholders. Typically, the products and deliverables generated as a result of these contracts directly influence permit conditions and requirements. Existing examples are described below.
    • Project 1a is intended to support Goal 1 to stimulate greater storm water capture and use in California. Significant feedback was received during initial outreach and stakeholder meetings from the storm water community suggesting that legal, economic, and technical hurdles limit storm water capture and use. This project is contracted to Office of Water Programs at California State University at Sacramento to assess and evaluate the actual benefits that may be realized in California with storm water capture and use, identify critical legal, economic, and technical hurdles that currently impede municipalities from implementing storm water capture and use, identify forcing factors that significantly affect the success of existing projects, and identify opportunities for expansion of capture and use approaches in California. The goal of this project is to provide the basis for development of a storm water capture and use policy for California.
    • Project 3a is intended to directly address Goal 2 to manage storm water to preserve watershed processes to achieve desired water quality outcomes. In California, municipal storm water permits are increasingly incorporating alternative compliance pathways in order to better preserve and protect watershed processes as well as water quality. Assessing compliance with alternative compliance pathways requires sophisticated watershed and water quality based models and forecasting tools to assess whether planned improvements and associated infrastructure will meet permit requirements. This project is intended to address the quality and improve the consistency of reasonable assurance analyses throughout the state, and address the significant sources of uncertainty within the data tools and studies these analyses rely upon. This project is also contracted to Office of Water Programs at California State University at Sacramento.
  • Storm Water Strategy Implementation Committee
    A Storm Water Strategy Implementation Committee (Implementation Committee) is expected to provide a forum for stakeholders from other state agencies, the regulated community, and nonprofit organizations to work with staff on continued evaluation and guidance of the Storm Water Strategy. Staff anticipates the following sectors and organizations to be represented on the Implementation Committee:
    • Environmental advocacy groups
    • Phase I and phase II municipal storm water permittees
    • Industrial and construction storm water permittees
    • Water suppliers
    • Public owned treatment works (wastewater)
    • Public health
    • Businesses with storm water interests
    • Flood Control
    • Other appropriate sectors

    The sector and organizational specific representatives will be decided by the attendees at a kickoff meeting. The Implementation Committee will discuss and coordinate applicable regulatory programs and policies to develop mutually beneficial approaches to storm water management for common objectives. The Implementation Committee will meet periodically (initially quarterly) at varying locations to discuss additional collaboration opportunities, impacts and interpretation of regulations, regional storm water capture considerations and priorities, performance metrics, and ongoing program feedback and recommendations. This committee will serve in an advisory capacity for the benefit of staff and management and is expected to sunset in seven years.

  • Regional Pilot Projects
    Any regional efforts proposed, already underway or completed that can provide additional information to the projects identified in this Storm Water Strategy will be captured. The extent of the information will be systematically evaluated and compiled for consideration as a resource or as information to guide subsequent strategic efforts. The regional nature of the information must be considered within the context of California’s watersheds, and categorized accordingly. To the extent feasible, the information will also be made available through the Water Board as part of a library of resources to be accessed by both the regulatory and non-regulatory community. A list of potential pilot projects identified by interested parties is included in Appendix B.

5.1 Training and Information Sharing

As an ongoing project, the Storm Water Planning Unit will review the available storm water management training opportunities and identify gaps in storm water education. The unit will develop and/or conduct training events with staff, the regulated community, and the public as directed by the analysis. This ongoing project was not included in the formal project list because it has no distinct timeline and is ongoing as information is developed and staff changes occur. However, it is included in this Storm Water Strategy to communicate the intention of the Storm Water Planning Unit to continually evaluate the need for specific storm water training and educational outreach.

5.2 Proposed Phased Implementation of Projects

The following three-phased implementation plan was developed based on projects available to initiate, individual project priority, regional pilot projects available, Water Board resources available, Regional Water Board resources available, and contract funding. Target start and completion dates are estimations and may be revised at a later date.

5.2.1 Proposed Phase I Projects

The following projects are recommended for implementation as part of the Phase I Projects (Table 3). These projects will be initiated immediately, with deliverables and project completion targeted within four years. The projects will use a combination of State Water Board staff, Regional Water Board staff, and contracted partners to achieve the objectives.

Table 3. Phase I Projects

Phase I Projects Target Start Target Completion
1a. Promote Storm Water Capture and Use & 1b. Identify and Eliminate Barriers to Storm Water Capture and Use 2016 2019
3a. Develop Guidance for Alternative Compliance Approaches for Municipal Storm Water Permit Receiving Water Limitations 2016 2019
3b. Develop Watershed-Based Compliance and Management Guidelines and Tools 2016 2019
4a. Implement Senate Bill 985 - Incorporate Principles of Storm Water Resource Plan Guidelines into Storm Water Programs 2016 2018
4b. Eliminate Barriers to Funding Storm Water Programs and Identify Funding for Storm Water Capture and Use Projects 2016 2018
5a. Create Storm Water Program Data and Information “Open Data” 2016 2020
6a. Establish Statewide Framework for Urban Pesticide Reduction 2016 2018
6b. Identify Opportunities for Source Control and Pollution Prevention 2016 2020

5.2.2 Proposed Phase II Projects

Proposed Phase II Projects are targeted for completion within eight years of initiating the program. Lessons learned from the Phase I Projects may influence the scope, priority, and identification of the Phase II Projects (Table 4) resulting in potential changes and/or additions to Table 4. Estimated start dates were determined based on the average targeted completion date of Phase I Projects with the exception of a Phase II Project with identified prerequisites. In that case the start date immediately follows completion of the prerequisites. Alternatively, additional contractor funding may be necessary to partner on a project, or to initiate a project on a timeframe independent of Water Board staff resources.

Table 4. Phase II Projects

Phase II Projects Prerequisites Target Start Target Completion
1c. Increase Storm Water Capture and Use through Regulatory Approaches 1a, 1b 2019 2021
1d. Develop and Establish a Monetary Value of Storm Water None 2019 2023
2a. Encourage Stakeholder Collaboration to Promote Storm Water as a Resource None 2019 2021
3c. Assess Municipal Storm Water Program Monitoring and Effectiveness None 2019 2022
3d. Establish Statewide Regulatory Framework for Municipal Storm Water Programs None 2019 2024
3f. Develop Guidance for Implementation of Post-Construction Requirements to Improve Watershed Health None 2019 2023
4c. Identify Municipal Storm Water Permit Compliance Cost None 2019 2021
5b. Evaluate and Increase Storm Water Permit Compliance None 2019 2021
5d. Align Water Quality Statewide Planning Efforts with Storm Water Program Implementation - Pilot Project Using the Biological Integrity Plan None 2019 2021
6c. Evaluate and Implement Trash Control None 2019 2022

5.2.3 Proposed Phase III Projects

Phase III Projects have been targeted for completion within twelve years of initiating the program (Table 5). Proposed Phase III Projects include projects categorized as medium and low priority. Estimated start dates were determined based on the average targeted completion date of Phase II Projects with the exception of a Phase III Project with an identified prerequisite. In that case the start date immediately follows completion of the prerequisite.

Table 5. Phase III Projects

Phase III Projects Prerequisites Target Start Target Completion
3e. Standardize Minimum Control Measures for Specific Municipal Program Elements None 2022 2023
3g. Establish Guidance for Storm Water Program Asset Management Planning and Cost Estimation None 2022 2023
4d. Identify Industrial and Construction Storm Water Permit Compliance Cost 5c 2028 2030
5c. Establish Sector-specific Technology-based Numeric Effluent Limitations for Industrial and Construction Storm Water Permits None 2022 2028

A timeline illustrating the projects included in the Storm Water Strategy is included as Figure 4. Additional work will likely occur, in many cases, beyond the times shown; however, specific activities are not yet clearly identified.

Figure 4 - Timeline of Porposed Projects thumbnail.
Figure 4. Timeline of Proposed Projects

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