- Trash Amendment 13383 Orders Issued
The Amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for the Ocean Waters of California to Control Trash and Part 1 Trash Provisions of the Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries of California (Trash Amendments) was adopted on April 7, 2015. The Trash Amendments require that the applicable municipal stormwater programs choose either “Track 1” or “Track 2” to comply with the narrative water quality objective for trash.
· Under Track 1, a municipal stormwater program would install a network of full capture systems (FCS) for all storm drains located in their priority land use areas (defined by the Trash Amendments).
· Under Track 2, a municipal stormwater program could use a combination of controls (multi-benefit, structural and/or institutional), as long as they can demonstrate that the combination of controls performs as well as Track 1.
In late May and early June 2017, the State Water Quality Control Board (for Phase II programs) and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (for Phase I programs) issued California Water Code Section 13383 letters requiring the municipal stormwater programs to select either Track 1 or Track 2 as the way in which they will comply with the Trash Amendments. The municipalities have 3 months from issuance to respond to the letter and submit any required information. If Track 2 is selected, the municipality will have an additional 15 months to submit an implementation plan to the applicable Regional Water Quality Control Board.
LWA has been assisting numerous Phase I and Phase II municipal stormwater programs throughout the state conduct the necessary analyses and assessments in preparation for the decision regarding Track 1 or Track 2. The types of analyses that have been conducted include:
· Identification of Priority Land Uses (PLUs);
· Planning Level Full Capture System (FCS) Analyses;
· Development of Trash Generation Rates (TGRs) and Full Capture System Equivalency (FCSE) values;
· Planning Level Cost Estimates for Track 1/Track 2; and
· On Land Visual Assessments (OLVA)
- LWA Engineer Leads CWEA Committee
In May 2016 LWA’s own Alina Constantinescu stepped in as Chair of the Clean Water Environment Association (CWEA) Committee on Pretreatment, Pollution Prevention, and Stormwater (P3S). P3S is a state-wide group promoting professional and technical proficiency in wastewater and stormwater pollution source control. Alina leads a strong team of water environment professionals tasked with organizing year-round trainings on regulatory trends and technological developments, networking events, and an annual conference with over 200 participants. Alina’s involvement in many of LWA’s pretreatment projects has prepared her well for this new leadership role. Congratulations, Alina! LWA is excited to support you in this new position.
- LA Regional Board Approves First EWMP
Over the course of two years, LWA took the lead in developing the Upper Santa Clara River Enhanced Watershed Management Program (EWMP) collaboratively with other consultants and through a stakeholder process. The stakeholder comment process involved Permittees as well as the Regional Board, United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), citizens, the development community, water providers, Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation Districts, Integrated Regional Water Management Group members and other interested parties. The Los Angeles County MS4 Permit allows Permittees the flexibility to develop Watershed Management Programs or EWMPs to implement the permit requirements on a watershed scale through customized strategies, control measures, and best management practices. The Upper Santa Clara River EWMP was the first EWMP to be approved by the Los Angeles Regional Board.
- LWA Successfully Leads North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program NPDES Permitting
The North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program (NVRRWP) will provide a new source of water for agricultural customers in the Del Puerto Water District (DPWD). The NPDES permit allows the Cities of Modesto and Turlock to discharge tertiary treated municipal wastewater into the Delta Mendota Canal (DMC). The project increases reliable agricultural water supply in an area with severe pumping restrictions even before the recent drought. LWA prepared the discharge permit application including the Antidegradation Analysis Report and additional analysis of potential water quality impacts, and led the project team through the permitting process with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. The NPDES permit was adopted in February 2016 and it is expected that the pipelines and other facilities will be complete by December 2017.
- NACWA Releases White Paper on Municipal Agricultural Collaborations
LWA worked with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), AGree, and the U.S. Water Alliance to prepare the report, Collaborating for Healthy Watersheds: How the Municipal & Agricultural Sectors Are Partnering to Improve Water Quality (www.nacwa.org). The report was funded through the Targeted Action Fund (TAF) as a collaborative effort between NACWA; AGree, an organization that seeks to drive positive change in the food and agriculture system; and the U.S. Water Alliance, an organization that focuses on breaking down the “silos” between sectors to provide leadership for building a national platform for holistic water policy. The paper features 9 partnership models between municipalities and farmers that are making progress in attaining water quality goals and reducing nutrient pollution in our nation’s surface waters. The highlighted projects are cost-effective alternatives to the traditional approach of building advanced treatment facilities that can create an economic burden to many communities. Municipal-Agriculture collaborations to prevent nutrients and other pollutants from being released into waterways are described for projects around the country (New York, Oregon, Ohio, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Florida and Texas). In addition to the nine case studies, the report also discusses federal efforts to promote collaboration including USEPA’s Water Quality Trading Policy and the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) as well as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).
- LWA Leads Team to Develop Integrated Plan for the City of Santa Maria
LWA is working with the City of Santa Maria to develop an Integrated Plan to focus its efforts and resources to effectively address requirements from multiple water resource and water quality regulatory programs. Santa Maria is one of five communities awarded an EPA technical assistance grant to develop an Integrated Plan in 2014. LWA is coordinating a consultant team and working with the City, EPA, the Central Coast Regional Board and other stakeholders to develop a plan that meets the City’s goals and protects the beneficial uses of the Santa Maria Valley watershed and groundwater basin. The Integrated Plan will consolidate, in one place, the City’s water quality requirements and outline the specific and measurable steps the City will take to achieve compliance with those requirements. The Integrated Plan will be developed according to the framework developed by United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and described in the May 2012 memorandum, Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework (“EPA Framework”).
- Calleguas Copper WER is First Water-Effect Ratio in Southern California
As technical consultant to the Calleguas Creek Watershed Management Plan, LWA conducted a water quality study in Mugu Lagoon and Lower Calleguas Creek (in the Calleguas Creek Watershed, Ventura County) to determine a Water-Effect Ratio (WER) for copper using USEPA methods. The WER is used to adjust national copper criteria to local conditions to ensure protection of aquatic life. Based on the WER study results, LWA staff worked with RWQCB staff and stakeholders to adopt copper site-specific objectives into the Los Angeles Region Basin Plan in Fall 2006. The WER was the first ever approved in Los Angeles Region. The new copper objectives based on the WER were approved by the SWRCB in June 2007. A copy of the WER report can be viewed here (pdf).
- Ammonia Site-Specific Objective Adopted by Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
LWA developed and implemented a work plan to develop a water effect ratio (WER) in support of an ammonia site-specific objective (SSO) for 3 major water bodies in Southern California: the Los Angeles River and tributaries, the San Gabriel River and tributaries, and the Santa Clara River. The LWA work effort included WER study design and approval by state and federal regulatory agencies; water quality sampling using USEPA protocols; and analysis of the water quality laboratory data to calculate site-specific objectives. The final SSO report was adopted by the Los Angeles Regional Board staff in June 2007–the first ammonia SSO adopted in California. A copy of the WER report can be viewed here (pdf).