West Valley Clean Water Authority

West Valley Clean Water Program Authority Newsletter

Apr 03

Creek Connection I Stormwater News - April 2020

Posted on April 3, 2020 at 5:17 PM by Pia Lusk

Creek Connection I Stormwater News

April 2020

Authority Operations Update
In order to do our part to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the Authority has temporarily closed our office in accordance with the recommendations by the State of California CDC, and the region wide health directives.  We hope that by the measures we are all taking, this pandemic is short lived. 

Our office staff continues to work remotely.  We have suspended all regular business inspections but will be responding to illegal discharges into the storm drain (IDDEs) as needed.  While the current conditions will require some adjustment on the delivery of some projects and services like community events, schools’ presentations, and inspections, our goal is to continue to maintain work flow to the extent possible.  We are also looking at other innovative ways to deliver services necessary to meet your Municipal Regional Permit (MRP) requirements.

2020 Authority Board
The Authority’s Board Members for FY2020-21 will continue to include Chairperson Paul Resnikoff (Campbell), Vice-Chairperson Barbara Spector (Los Gatos), Board Member Daniel LaBouve (Monte Sereno), and Board Member Rishi Kumar (Saratoga).  Current alternates include Susan Landry (Campbell), Marico Sayoc (Los Gatos), Rowena Turner (Monte Sereno), and Mary-Lynne Bernald (Saratoga).

NPDES Permit Reissuance/MRP 3.0 Update
The current Municipal Regional Permit (MRP 2.0) went into effect on January 1, 2016 and expires on December 31, 2020.  Discussions with Water Board staff commenced earlier this year for the next permit issuance (MRP 3.0) and work groups have been meeting regularly.  An administrative draft of MRP 3.0 is expected to be released in the Summer/Fall of 2020 and a draft Tentative Order in the late Winter/early Spring of 2021.  Adoption is anticipated in mid/late Spring of 2021 with the new permit going into effect July 1, 2021.  The current permit (MRP 2.0) will be administratively extended until the next permit is adopted.  Contact Sheila Tucker at stucker@wvcwp.org for additional information.

New Strategic Plan
The Board unanimously adopted the Authority’s 2020 Strategic Priorities at its February 6th Board Meeting.  The Authority will continue its focus on Permit Compliance, Administration and Finance, Stormwater Education, and Technology and Innovation.  The Mission, Values, 2020 Strategic Priorities and key initiatives can be found here.

Upcoming Budget and Work Plan Adoption
The Authority’s FY2020-21 Budget and Work Plan will be presented and considered for adoption at the May 7th Board Meeting.

Upcoming Hearing on Stormwater Property Assessments
The Authority will conduct a public hearing on the proposed storm sewer fees for FY2020-21 and consider approval of placement of the fees on the Santa Clara County property tax roll.  Collection of the storm sewer fees will begin again in September of 2020.  

Long-term Funding Options
The Authority will be evaluating long-term funding options in 2020.  A request for proposals is currently underway to hire a financial consultant to evaluate cost of service, long term funding options, and conduct a rate and fee methodology study and a salary and benefit review.  Proposals are due on April 30, 2020.  The RFP can be found here.

Environmental Compliance Inspector Job Opening
The Authority currently has an opening for the part time position of Environmental Compliance Inspector.  The first round of interviews was conducted on March 27, 2020.  Final interviews will be conducted in April, 2020.

CloudCompli
In order to digitize workflow and streamline stormwater inspection compliance and reporting, the Authority is deploying CloudCompli.  CloudCompli is a software solution that provides online scheduling, inspection forms and access to storm drain workflows and reports from any device.  The Authority built out and is currently testing two modules for the commercial and industrial inspection program and illegal discharge incidents.

Stormwater Resource
Plan (SWRP)
The Santa Clara Basin Stormwater Resource Plan was finalized and submitted to the State Water Board. The Plan identifies the projects that are eligible for State bond funding (e.g., Prop 1 grants).  The final report can be found here.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Handbook Part 1 and Part 2
Part 1 – Provides general guidelines of streetscape and project designs that integrate stormwater capture treatment measures into the range of functions associated with projects in public rights-of-way and on other public properties.  GSI Handbook - Part 1

Part 2 – Includes details and specifications of typical design specifications and guidance.  The Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program continues to revise the details for general components related to bioretention and pervious pavement and other updates over the next few months.  
GSI Handbook - Part 2

Point of Sale Pesticide Controls
On February 24th the SCVURPPP and Authority staff conducted an Our Water Our World (OWOW) training for 10 employees of Home Depot Campbell.  Staff also worked with the Authority to recruit Saratoga Ace Hardware in to the OWOW Program.

Upcoming Grant Opportunities
San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund – EPA announced its San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund FY2020 Request for Applications (RFA).  The RFA is soliciting proposals that will improve water quality and restore wetlands in San Francisco Bay and its watersheds.  There is approximately $5.9 million available to support projects in the range of $500,000 to $2,000,000.  Applicants must provide a minimum of 50% non-federal match and projects must be within the nine Bay Area counties that drain to the San Francisco Bay.  Proposals must be submitted here on or before the proposal submission deadline of May 13, 2020. 

Sustainable Parking Lot Program Grant Proposal Partnership.
  The City of Palo Alto is proposing a Sustainable Parking Lot Program for surface parking lots in multiple South Bay jurisdictions and applying for a San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund grant.  If any other jurisdictions are interested in partnering on this grant proposal, please contact Sheila Tucker at stucker@wvcwp.org.

California Natural Resources Agency’s (CNRA) Urban Greening Grant Program.
  The CNRA will be accepting proposals for the Urban Greening Grant Program from March 9th through May 1st.  The program, funded by Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, seeks projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide multiple benefits.  Eligible project types include multi-objective stormwater projects, and green streets and alleys that integrate green infrastructure elements.  Eligibility and program requirements, including submittal information can be found here.  

Current Grant Updates
Trail Grant
The Authority is working with the City of Campbell and the Town of Los Gatos to implement a grant from the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) to develop and install 10 environmental interpretive signs and new trash and recycling receptacles with dog waste bag receptacles along a six mile stretch of the Los Gatos Creek Trail.  Ten trail signs are in the final stage of design and production.  Installation of the trail signs and trash, recycling and dog waste bag receptacles will begin later this year.

School SWPPP Grant
The Authority was awarded partial grant funding from Valley Water to develop stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) at school sites.  The grant is designed to educate high school students about contaminants entering our water and empowering them to make meaningful changes to improve water quality.  

Public Information and Outreach
School Presentation/Community Events
Before the local public health order went in effect throughout Santa Clara County and in local schools in our West Valley Communities, the Authority gave presentations and enviroscape demonstrations to nine (9) classes of second and third grade students.  Unfortunately, five school presentations and six community events have had to be cancelled.  Staff is currently looking at opportunities to refocus community event and school presentations into online formats.  Research on curriculum and resources for teachers is underway.

Promotional Items
Because of the popularity of decals among young kids and teens, the Authority developed stickers to be used as giveaways at both at school and community events. Click here to view.  

Watershed/Stormwater Video
The Authority’s videographer intern is currently working to create a series of short educational videos.  The first video on watershed and stormwater pollution is complete and will be featured as a part of the Authority’s social media launch.  Click here to view  Work has begun on the second video which concentrates on pesticide use.

Public Opinion Survey
The Authority partnered with a Public Administration class at San Jose State University to conduct a 10-minute survey of residents in the West Valley to measure knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors related to stormwater pollution.  The survey was conducted in late March by phone, online, and text.  Seven hundred and fifty residents responded to the survey.  The students are expected to complete the final report in early May 2020.  

Social Media Launch
The Authority is preparing to launch a new social media campaign.  The launch will focus on the Authority’s new Watershed Video and educational and interactive messaging about stormwater pollution. Social media platforms will include Facebook, Twitter (@cleancreeks) and YouTube (Clean Creeks).  We look forward to working with our member agencies, sharing content and leveraging our communication platforms.

Upcoming Meetings and Events
Authority Board Meeting, Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PDT), Monte Sereno City Hall, 18041 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd., Monte Sereno, CA 95030.

Please share any content in the Authority newsletters in your agency publications.  Likewise, if you would like to share any stormwater information with other member agencies, please email Pia Lusk at plusk@wvcwp.org and we will include in our next publication.


Dec 19

Creek Connection I Stormwater News - December 2019

Posted on December 19, 2019 at 3:11 PM by Pia Lusk

The West Valley Clean Water Program Authority (Authority) is pleased to report that 2019 has been a year filled with many accomplishments, which would not have been made possible without the support of the Board of Directors and all of our member agency staff. Thank you all!

New Authority Staff Member
Please join us in welcoming Kiley Kinnon, as our new Environmental Inspector. Kiley brings over 20 years of experience working in the stormwater field. Kiley can be reached at kkinnon@wvcwp.org (408) 354-4734 office or (408) 442-6067 mobile. 

Authority Funding
In advance of the sunset of the storm sewer property fee collection in June 2020, the Authority evaluated options and developed a strategy for continued funding for Authority operations. Campbell, Monte Sereno and Los Gatos adopted resolutions authorizing the Authority to take over the collection of the storm sewer property-related fee in FY2019-20. The Authority conducted its first public hearing on the proposed storm sewer fees for FY2019-20, approved placement of the fees on the Santa Clara County property tax roll and began collection of the storm sewer fees in September 2019. The Authority will be evaluating options for long-term funding in early 2020.

NPDES Permit Reissuance
Our current Municipal Regional Permit (MRP 2.0) went into effect on January 1, 2016 and expires on December 31, 2020. Discussions with Water Board staff commenced earlier this year for the next permit issuance (MRP 3.0) and work groups have been meeting regularly. An administrative draft of MRP 3.0 is expected to be released in the summer of 2020 and a draft Tentative Order in early 2021. Adoption is anticipated in spring of 2021 with the new permit going into effect July 2021. The current permit (MRP 2.0) will be administratively extended until the next permit is adopted. Contact Sheila Tucker at stucker@wvcwp.org for additional information.

SB205
Effective January 1, 2020, California cities that issue business licenses will be required to determine whether any of the primary Standard Industrial Classification Codes (SIC) applicable to that business apply to a General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities (IGP) excluding construction activities. The new requirements are mandated by SB205.

If applicable, the city must also document the Waste Discharger Identification number, WDID application number, notice of non-applicability (NONA) identification number or no exposure certification (NEC) identification number for the business requesting or renewing the business license. SB205 also requires a city to keep records of the applicable documentation and submit compliance information to the State Water Board as requested. Authority staff is working with the member agencies to provide guidance and support to implement SB205 by January 1, 2020. Contact Sheila Tucker at stucker@wvcwp.org for additional information.

Trash Reduction Targets
All member agencies exceeded the trash reduction targets of 80% reduction (from 2009 levels) by 2019 as required by the Municipal Regional Permit (MRP): Campbell 99%, Los Gatos 92%, Monte Sereno 100%, Saratoga 89%. The current MRP requires permitees to meet the goal of 100% trash load reduction from 2009 levels or no adverse impacts to receiving waters by July 1, 2022.

Green Infrastructure Plans
Following a two-year long effort to develop plans to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure features into new and existing drainage infrastructure on public properties and rights-of-way, all member agency City/Town Councils adopted Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plans. The plans were submitted to the Board on September 30, 2019 as required by the MRP.

Microplastics
The San Francisco Estuary Institute recently released the results of a three-year study that found every year, seven (7) trillion tiny pieces of plastic flow into the San Francisco Bay. Billions of pieces of “microplastic” - particles smaller than five (5) millimeters each pass through the Bay Area’s sewage treatment plants every year. The particles come from synthetic fibers in clothing, like fleece jackets that shed in washing machines or baby wipes flushed down toilets, and then wash down sewer pipes, pass through treatment plant filters and empty into bay waters.

The study also revealed 300 times more of the microplastic comes from storm drains, the largest source of the particles. The drains collect plastic litter from roads, foam food packaging, rubber bits from car tires, and other sources and deliver the debris to creeks and the bay, especially during wet winter months, where it breaks down but never fully disappears. While the science of microplastics is still in its infancy, this is an emerging anthropogenic pollutant that we anticipate hearing more about. Two articles: San Jose Mercury News Article and San Francisco Chronicle Article

CloudCompli
The Authority purchased CloudCompli, a software solution that will be used to digitize workflow and streamline stormwater inspection compliance and reporting. On-boarding is underway with the system anticipated to be operational in early 2020.

Website Redesign
As part of the Authority’s commitment to improving communication with member agencies and sharing information with residents, the Authority launched a redesign of our public website last June at www.cleancreeks.org. The content for the member-only site is currently under development and scheduled to launch in early 2020.

Grants
The Authority is working with the City of Campbell and the Town of Los Gatos to implement a grant from the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) to develop and install 10 environmental interpretive signs and new trash and recycling receptacles with dog waste bag receptacles along a six mile stretch of the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Ten trail sign concepts have been developed and creative design is underway.

The Authority prepared a grant application to the SCVWD to conduct a watershed Hackathon in Q4. Although the grant was not funded, the Authority will evaluate alternative sources of funding for FY2019-20 to conduct the hack-a-thon.

The Authority submitted a grant request to the SCVWD designed to educate middle and high school students about contaminants entering our water, and empowering them to make meaningful changes to improve water quality. This is accomplished through the structure of preparing a School Site Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Using the school site as their focus, students will design and implement activities they have identified, using water quality goals, to reduce pollutants from flowing off their campus. The Authority requested funding to do three school sites in FY2020-21. 

Public Information and Outreach
The Board approved the Authority’s Public Information and Outreach Strategy in November. The purpose of the Strategy is to provide a framework to more tactically plan outreach activities with available staff and resources, organize the way messages are delivered to leverage partner resources and ensure MRP requirements are metThe Strategy also provides goals, measurable objectives, budget, and a structure to evaluate success over time so that resources can be most effectively targeted. Please contact Pia Lusk at plusk@wvcwp.org for information or opportunities to coordinate outreach activities. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events
Authority Board Meeting, Thursday, February 6, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PST), Monte Sereno City Hall, 18041 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd., Monte Sereno, CA 95030.

Please share any content in the Authority newsletters in your agency publications.  Likewise, if you would like to share any stormwater information with other member agencies, please email Pia Lusk at plusk@wvcwp.org and we will include in our next publication.