City accused of failing to clean up storm water runoff

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SAN DIEGO - The city of San Diego is being warned it must do a better job of enforcing regulations to prevent pollution from getting into the storm drains and flowing into bays and the Pacific Ocean.

In a settlement reached with the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, the city could get hit with up to $1 million in fines if it doesn’t make upgrades with storm water management.

Bill Harris with the city’s transportation and storm water department admitted to Fox 5 Monday that there have been deficiencies in oversight.

"We made a commitment to make up for lost time,” Harris said. “We're going to build more aggressive treatment control and pollution prevention activities - and really try to take care of some of the pollution that went into the drain, if you will, over a few years."

The city has a November 1 deadline to notify more than 140 commercial industrial and residential property owners that they must comply with storm water regulations. Property owners who fail to meet regulations could be fined $100 a day and up to $250,000.

3 comments

  • tarion

    You mean you go caught doing nothing at all and got called out on it. Not that got behind, means oh crap we have do to our job, oh man.

  • Rick H

    Someone should look into Oceanside too, I have complained about landscaping companies that use fertilizer in such a crazy way, a good third of it goes onto the streets and sidewalks where its washed into the storm drains, they came looked around and left. It still happens today, after many years, even the sierra club wasn’t interested. If one multiplies this pollution times thousands of condo and apartment complexes across SD county that a lot of fertilized going into the ocean.

  • DavidM

    Incredible the job bureaucrats can do to shuffle money from one public entity to another. The Water Resources Board, which has incredible jurisdiction and no apparent self control, threatens and then levies HUGE fines against cities and other state departments because runoff from other sources (homeowner fertilizer, cigarette butts in the gutter, even normal erosion, etc.) make it to the bays or seasonal creekbeds.
    So the taxpayers pay the fines, so the Water Board can threaten more, so the taxpayers can pay for the entities to upgrade, so everyone can watch the taxpayers shrug and complain. And even before the last round, the bays and beaches are cleaner than they’ve been since the 60’s.
    Government run amuk for the sake of their own grandiosity.

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