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Posted to West Valley Clean Water Authority Social Media by Karen Villasenor
Posted to West Valley Clean Water Program Authority Newsletter by Pia Lusk
Creek Connection I Stormwater News
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 email@example.com.
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include in our next publication.