storm water quality management policies. It also has to submit its
own local plan to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Both are required as part of the National Pollutant Discharge
This is the third time the city has had to take specific steps to
qualify for a permit by the board. Each time, the requirements were
built upon the previous steps.
"It's a good idea to protect against urban runoff and pollutants
into the ocean and we should do our best to contribute to that
effort," said Planning Commissioner Katrina Foley.
The board issued Costa Mesa's first permit in 1990 to the Orange
County Stormwater Program -- a partnership between the county, all
cities within Orange County and the Orange County Flood Control
District. The program focused on gathering data about existing
conditions and setting up an initial set of improvement measures
aimed at known water quality deficiencies. The second permit, issued
in 1996, built upon the knowledge gained during the first permit
period. Its goal was to improve water quality incrementally.
The city's own plan will describe how it will meet or exceed the
requirements measures laid out by the county in its Drainage Area
Management Plan. It will also include specific thresholds for issues
like the amount of soil disturbance and storm water runoff. New
development and significant redevelopment projects are subject to
national storm water permit requirements if they exceed these
Some recommended new general plan policies include:
* Avoid conversion of areas particularly susceptible to erosion
and sediment loss and/or establish development guidelines that
identify these areas and protect them from erosion and sediment loss;
* Promote integration of storm water quality protection into
construction and post-construction activities, as required by the
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Stormwater Permit and
the city's plan;
* Implement urban runoff pollution control measures and programs
to attempt to reduce and control the discharge of pollutants into
storm drains to the maximum extent practicable;
* And coordinate with other local government agencies on
countywide land use issues to maintain a watershed-based approach to
land use, flood control and nonpoint source pollution prevention.
The city must adopt its plan by July.