September 27 – San Diego Coastkeeper Audits North County Stormwater Programs

Review reveals cities fail to identify pollutants produced by local sources

SAN DIEGO, CA – September 27, 2010– San Diego Coastkeeper,® the region’s leading environmental nonprofit protecting inland and coastal waters, completed its audit of North County stormwater programs including Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside, and San Marcos, along with aspects of San Diego County’s program. Coastkeeper discovered that none of the cities audited had identified the main pollutants for each of its industrial and commerical facilities, a key requirement of the regional stormwater permit’s annual reporting requirements.  

“Without knowing which pollutants come from which sources, the cities and interested members of the public do not have the information they need to target the sources that most contribute to the pollution problems in our local waters,” said Jill Witkowski, San Diego Coastkeeper’s staff attorney.

The audit examined several aspects of the stormwater programs, including compliance with the San Diego Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit, inspection of nurseries in the Agua Hedionda hydrologic area, enforcement actions taken by the cities and public access to stormwater documents. Coastkeeper compiled a report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each city’s stormwater program in the areas reviewed and providing action areas for all cities. The report is available for download online.

San Diego Coastkeeper hopes that the audit will help each of the cities reviewed to improve its stormwater program and assist the cities in working together to improve water quality in the Agua Hedionda watershed.  The results from the audit have also been shared with the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to improve the next version of the regional stormwater permit. San Diego Coastkeeper hopes to continue working collaboratively with the cities and the Regional Board to use the audit results to improve stormwater programs and water quality in the region.

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Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s inland and coastal waters for the communities and wildlife that depend on them by blending education, community empowerment and advocacy. Visit us online at http://localhost/sdcoastkeeper. Coastkeeper is a registered trademark and service mark of Santa Monica Baykeeper and is licensed for use herein.