Industry and environmental interests agree: Bill’s passage will provide an even playing field for businesses while improving California’s water quality.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 2, 2019
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 205 (Hertzberg) which addresses the pervasive issue of industrial facilities that remain unregulated by California’s clean water laws. Senator Hertzberg and California Coastkeeper Alliance collaborated closely with the State and Regional Water Boards, as well as the regulated industry, to come up with an elegant solution to California’s largest urban source of water pollution – stormwater.
California’s industrial stormwater permit currently regulates approximately 10,000 industrial facilities, but there are thousands more industrial dischargers that have failed to comply. This means that when it rains, toxic stormwater pollution from unregulated facilities flows freely from oil refineries, landfills, manufacturing plants, auto yards, and scrap metal recyclers into our waterways.
“California has the strongest industrial stormwater permit in the nation, but without comprehensive enrollment by industrial facilities, the state will never achieve the Clean Water Act’s goals to restore the health of our waterways,” said Sean Bothwell, executive director of California Coastkeeper Alliance. “There are tens of thousands of facilities that have failed to enroll in the industrial stormwater permit, creating an economic disadvantage for those facilities that are doing their job to be compliant with their permit. SB 205 will level the playing field for the regulated community and help California achieve their mission of attaining swimmable, fishable, and drinkable California waters.”
California Coastkeeper Alliance worked closely with industrial permitees to develop a solution that doesn’t add excessive hurdles or bureaucracy for California’s Water Boards or local municipalities. SB 205 would require applicable facilities to demonstrate enrollment with the industrial stormwater permit when applying for or renewing their business license.
“SB 205 demonstrates the power of collaboration when government agencies, regulated industries, and environmental organizations work together to solve a significant problem through pragmatic solutions,’ said Irma Muñoz, Los Angeles Regional Water Board Member. “Unenrolled industrial facilities in Los Angeles offer a significant challenge to achieving our water quality goals, and SB 205 provides an elegant solution to overcoming that challenge.”
“For 5 years, the California Metals Coalition (CMC) worked with leaders from the environmental community, cities, and government to make SB 205 come to life. CMC members are a new generation of California metal manufacturers. Those who meet with us and work with us are not surprised to see CMC as a leader on SB 205,” said James Simonelli, Executive Director of the California Metals Coalition.
“We’ve always believed that operating a responsible metal business in California means having a stormwater permit. The union team members that work at our metal facility also raise families near our metal facility. SB 205 will further help keep water clean, and is one way to demonstrate our commitment to the community,” said Michael Lowe, California Metals Coalition President and General Manager at AB&I in Oakland.
California Coastkeeper Alliance unites local Waterkeeper programs to fight for swimmable, fishable, and drinkable waters for California communities and ecosystems.