by Carolyn Chase
This season's crop of political pronouncements has taken a decidedly greener turn. What's a voter to think if most candidates are saying that they will be the one to actually do something about cleaning up our beaches and bays?
For instance, when you plug in 92037 (La Jolla), you learn that $1,681,766 has been given ("so far") in the Y2K election cycle. Donations are tracked from the 98 ($921,979), 96 ($1,071,014 ) and 94 ($717,258) federal elections.But when it came right down to it, the County Board of Supervisors took a pass at their October 11th meeting. Supervisor Pam Slater had offered a resolution entitled, "Entering a New Era of Water Safety: Protecting our waterways and beaches from run-off pollution through the implementation of numeric sizing criteria for post-construction Best Management Practices for new and redevelopment."
For instance, when you plug in 92037 (La Jolla), you learn that $1,681,766 has been given ("so far") in the Y2K election cycle. Donations are tracked from the 98 ($921,979), 96 ($1,071,014 ) and 94 ($717,258) federal elections.The recommendation considered was, "Adopt a Resolution supporting the concept and strongly recommending implementation of numeric sizing criteria for significant new and redevelopment projects Countywide, with the understanding that specific number will be developed to fit the County's specific needs."
For instance, when you plug in 92037 (La Jolla), you learn that $1,681,766 has been given ("so far") in the Y2K election cycle. Donations are tracked from the 98 ($921,979), 96 ($1,071,014 ) and 94 ($717,258) federal elections.What is numeric sizing criteria?
For instance, when you plug in 92037 (La Jolla), you learn that $1,681,766 has been given ("so far") in the Y2K election cycle. Donations are tracked from the 98 ($921,979), 96 ($1,071,014 ) and 94 ($717,258) federal elections.Numeric sizing criteria defines the quantity of rainfall volume or flow that must be treated, filtered or infiltrated from any storm. Numeric sizing criteria provides a tool for designing post-construction Best Management Practices for construction projects to help to achieve maximum pollutant and flow reduction. The BMPs can be flow-based or volume-based and are site-specific. The numeric sizing criteria will vary depending on whether flow or volume-based BMPs are selected and what the rainfall amount is for the given area.
For instance, when you plug in 92037 (La Jolla), you learn that $1,681,766 has been given ("so far") in the Y2K election cycle. Donations are tracked from the 98 ($921,979), 96 ($1,071,014 ) and 94 ($717,258) federal elections.Eric Bowlby, on behalf of the Sierra Club, explained, "Numeric sizing requires that a projects' drainage system is properly sized to capture and treat a certain portion of the rain-runoff. They can use natural filters such as grassy swales or other devices to filter pollutants out before they get into the storm drains or streams, which empty into our coastal waters."
For instance, when you plug in 92037 (La Jolla), you learn that $1,681,766 has been given ("so far") in the Y2K election cycle. Donations are tracked from the 98 ($921,979), 96 ($1,071,014 ) and 94 ($717,258) federal elections. There was a consensus that numeric sizing criteria was going to be a requirement of the region's new Stormwater Permit. Bob Copper, Deputy Chief Administrator, noted that numeric sizing criteria was a "foregone conclusion." Supervisor Greg Cox added, "I think we will have numeric sizing." But in the end, even though they acknowledged that it's coming, they declined to do something as basic as supporting the concept.
The Board received letters opposing the resolution from three key industry lobbying groups: The Building Industry Association, The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and BIOCOM -- "the regional association for the life sciences industry."
The Chamber's letter cited that the "costly numeric sizing regulations will produce negligible environmental benefits and be yet another obstacle toward the creation of affordable housing." No evidence was provided on behalf of this position.
There will be ongoing costs for some systems. As long as there is litter, you have to clean it out. But again, what's the alternative? What we're doing now is flushing it out through canyons and streams, through storm drains, and into the bays and beaches. What are the costs now of closed beaches? Better design is definitely warranted at this time -- or we will never get the water quality issues under control. This alone is not likely to do it. But it is part of the picture.
Fortunately, Supervisor Ron Roberts is also on the record responding to this issue in response to a question asked by Sierra Club volunteer Ed Kimura,at the Pacific Beach Democratic Club's San Diego Mayoral candidate's forum. "What about the cost of maintaining, implementing BMPs to control runoff. Who will bear the costs? Developers? Homeowners? And how will we maintain them?"
RR - "I'm not sure of the enormous ongoing costs. I built a shopping center in the City of Davis and they wanted a system that does exactly what you're saying. First flush - it did not add a lot of cost and it didn't add ongoing costs. We did it in Davis, there isn't any reason we can't do it in San Diego."
But Roberts was much less supportive at his day job, stating, "we are going to see numeric sizing as a significant part of the solution. Still, a number of questions remain in my mind."
They evidently didn't come to mind the week before where both Mayoral candidates signed letters to the Regional Water Quality Control Board prepared by Donna Frye, S.T.O.P (Surfers Tired of Pollution stating: "I am writing in support of the inclusion of numeric sizing criteria for post-construction best management practices for new development and redevelopment in the upcoming Municipal Stormwater Permit for San Diego. I believe that municipalities should be obligated to require developers to design post-construction best management practices to meet specified number sizing criteria for volume and flow of polluted runoff."
This commitment was left unacknowledged by Roberts at this hearing or at the "water conference" the following week.
Supervisor Jacob rightly suggested that numeric sizing criteria be placed on the Board's so-called clean water conference agenda. Slater stated she was told by the organizers (Cox and Roberts) that there wasn't room on the agenda for it. It is fascinating to observe that the #1 hot topic in water quality wasn't to be found at a conference that purported to be about Clean Water Issues.
A long term leader on water issues, Supervisor Slater was excluded from organizing the "conference." Roberts took a pass on real leadership - and said nothing about his signed support for numeric sizing at any of these opportunities.
Environmental groups boycotted the faux "water conference." Laura Hunter, Environmental Health Coalition, commented, " "No experts, no action. Where's the commitment to clean water in that? We have asked them for a discrete, reasonable support for a concept of something that is known to protect water quality, and they refused. Sorry, this clean water emperor has no clothes"
Marco Gonzalez, representing six local environmental organizations of the San Diego Bay Council, stated, "This meeting is clearly a bureaucratic response to stall and frustrate efforts for real water quality protection. It offers up a vague, feel-good process that is a poor substitute for real action to protect water quality--action that has been repeatedly requested by the public and the environmental community and, repeatedly, has fallen on deaf ears. These issues have been around for more than ten years. There's no excuse for waiting this long."
Perhaps if the numeric sizing motion had been approved, environmental groups would not have felt the need to boycott the "conference." Instead, on the 28th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, they named the County a "loser" while noting that anything that smacks of real action is fought tooth and nail.