The 1987 amendments to Federal Clean Water Act establishes for municipal permittees under the NPDES system, the objectives of effectively prohibiting non-stormwater discharges and reducing the discharge of pollutants from storm drain systems to the maximum extent practicable.
Industrial and Commercial sites and their activities have been identified as major sources of stormwater pollutants that contaminate our receiving waters.
Bob Maldonado, Inspector for the
Stormwater Division’s Enforcement Unit,
educates a restaurant employee on BMP’s
The primary thrust of the Industrial / Commercial Education Program are the educational site visits. These site visits are intended to be educational and to provide the designated industrial/ commercial facilities with information regarding the City of Los Angeles Stormwater Management Program and guidance in complying with stormwater regulations using Best Management Practices.

There are approximately 17, 500 facilities that have been targeted for site visits by the Industrial Waste Inspectors. By July 30, 2001, the inspectors are committed to visit these facilities at least twice to ensure that the facilities have been furnished with all the necessary information they need to reduce the discharge of pollutants from their business operations into the storm drain system. These facilities vary from small restaurants to huge refineries.

Although the primary emphasis is on educating, not punishing business owners, in cases of serious violations of the Stormwater Ordinance, staff is trained to work with other environmental agencies (i.e. D.A.’s, State Attorney General, U.S. Attorney’s Offices) to ensure proper and effective punishment and recovery of punitive damages.

To date, the Inspection and Enforcement Unit have performed approximately 12,000 site visits.

Stormwater Hotline Emergency Response
and Abandoned Waste Program

The Stormwater Hotline receives public compliants and reports of abandoned wastes, chemical spills, dumping of pollutants and illicit discharges affecting City streets, alley sidewalks and storm drain systems. The Hotline is operated by an Inspector/Duty Officer who dispatches two other Inspectors to respond to the reported incidents, by way of coordinating cleanups and abatements, and performing investigations.

The Inspection personnel are fully trained in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response and Incident Command System, as required by California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA), and have the necessary personal protective equipment and monitoring devices to prepare themselves for field hazards and to supervise the clean up of pollutants on public ways to ensure minimal impact to the environment..

In the last fiscal year, the Hotline received and responded to approximately 2000 calls. Over 1000 incidents of waste abandonment and accidental spills were abated, costing the City about $500,000. A total of 23,000 liters and 55,000 kilograms of hazardous wastes were removed from the City’s alleys and sidewalks. Among the most commonly abandoned wastes were waste oil, organic solvents and solids, and household wastes. The Inspectors also investigated 625 cases of illicit discharges and storm drain connections, most of which resulted in the cessation of the discharges.

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