Too many California beaches, coastal areas, and rivers are plagued by pollution from landfills, oil refineries, metal recycling facilities, and other industrial facilities. Polluted runoff from industrial facilities can contaminate our waterways with lead, aluminum and other toxic pollutants. These pollutants are highly toxic and endanger California communities and watersheds.
California's State Water Board has recently issued a Final Draft of their update to the 15-year old Industrial General Stormwater Permit. Unfortunately, after more than two years of work, the current Draft Permit fails to make necessary improvements, and in several respects, weakens industrial pollution controls. Please tell the State Water Board to develop a strong Industrial Stormwater Permit and require everyone to do their part to protect California’s waters.
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This permit grants the worst polluters unfair economic advantage, and will make few improvements to reduce pollution to California's bays, rivers, and ocean. In particular, I object to new permit language that delays or fails to encourage industrial stormwater polluters to implement the best stormwater pollution treatment technologies. This creates confusion among the industrial community and regulators alike. California needs to make sure that industrial polluters implement the most up-to-date stormwater pollution controls and treatment technologies if we are going to clean-up the hundreds of degraded rivers, lakes, and shorelines around the State, and facilitate efficient permit enforcement.
The draft fails to include enforceable limits for toxic chemicals associated with stormwater runoff from the thousands of industrial facilities across California. I urge the State Water Board to work with staff to develop a streamlined permit that is clear and enforceable, and achieves the shared goal of collecting more and better data.
Please develop a strong, enforceable Industrial Stormwater Permit that helps ensure that California waterways are safe for swimming, drinking, and fishing.