Implementing a Countywide Compliance Project to address field monitoring and GIS mapping requirements in Sections E.9.and E.11 of the new Phase II Stormwater Municipal Permit
The Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP) was created in 1993 and is comprised of Marin’s 11 cities and towns, the County of Marin and the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. Each MCSTOPPP member agency implements a local stormwater pollution prevention program and funds the countywide MCSTOPPP, which provides for the coordination and consistency of approaches between the local stormwater programs.
In early 2013 the State Water Resources Control Board reissued a more prescriptive Phase II Permit to regulate discharges of stormwater from small municipalities. Facing reduced staff levels and budgets, Marin’s local municipalities needed a cost effective to comply with the additional permit requirements. These municipalities looked to MCSTOPPP to complete the permit requirements on behalf of the local programs. In this way, municipalities are sharing the cost of testing equipment, field monitoring, data management, and GIS mapping.
This presentation will provide attendees with information on project development, overcoming obstacles, and the results achieved. In particular the following themes will be used to illustrate the hands on lessons learned, the evident limitations of using grab samples to identify illicit discharges, and how the project develops into an ongoing program.
• Examining the practicality of developing a Countywide Compliance Project to address field monitoring, data management, and GIS mapping requirements in Sections E.9.and E.11 on behalf of the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Preventions Program’s local agencies
• Collaborating early with local agencies and the Regional Water Board to get implementation of dry weather field screening started in 2013
• Contending with the complications of developing a uniform approach to a countywide compliance program where one size doesn’t fit all
• Working out what to do about submerged and tidally influenced outfalls, and taking the visual monitoring approach
• Recognizing the advantages of one team collecting and managing the data countywide
• Determining that based on the results of dry weather flow samples tested so far, grab samples aren’t providing much value, especially in smaller sub-watershed storm drain systems
• Using the existing business inspection programs to create the industrial/commercial facilities inventory
• Inventorying permittee owned and operated facilities is one thing, mapping their stormwater drainage systems and outfalls may be another
• Realizing the merits of integrating GIS into future decision making to establish Priority Outfalls
• Developing a compliance project into an ongoing program, where do we go from here
By cost sharing the expense of the project through the countywide program, municipalities are able to comply with the initial monitoring, data management, and mapping requirements of the new, more prescriptive permit. Based on the results of zero exceedances to date from dry weather sampling, the question is whether its providing any useful information that can be used to develop an ongoing program, and if so how? After the first year of successful collaboration with this project, the countywide program is continuing to examine opportunities to provide these ongoing services to assist the local agencies, and possibly expand their role in tasks that previously would have been done at the local level.