|The handbook, Preventing Stormwater Pollution, (shown at left) is provided as a reference that reinforces the material outlined in the video and describes how employees can reduce stormwater pollution both on the job and at home. Each division within the City of Los Angeles will be responsible for ensuring that its employees view the video and receive a copy of the handbook for review.
City employees are also encouraged to download the Stormwater Program publication, Make the Call, a pocket-size primer on spotting illicit discharges while conducting their duties.
|A Message from the Mayor
As employees of the City of Los Angeles, you keep our city in good working order on a daily basis. Over the years, as the city has grown, so have your roles in maintaining services that are integral to its vitality.
Today, we are asking for your help in reducing stormwater pollution. Carelessly dropped trash and improperly disposed pesticides are damaging our waterways and beaches, and we should all be concerned. We must move quickly to reduce pollution so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy clean waters in Santa Monica and San Pedro Bays.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, I am asking each of you to join me to prevent stormwater runoff pollution. When you use the "best management practices" in this workbook, not only do you reduce pollution flowing into our oceans, but you serve as role models for your community.
Thank you for doing your part to protect and keep Los Angeles one of the greatest cities in America!
We Are the Leaders
This guide is a tool for you to use as part of the City’s commitment to stop stormwater pollution. The following guidelines have been developed to help us reach this goal. Take this tool with you and use these Best Management Practices (BMPs) wherever you work in the City.
Santa Monica bay, San Pedro bay, and our rivers are being polluted on a daily basis. The number one cause is urban runoff–water that washes everything left on city streets and in gutters through the storm drain system. This amounts to 10 to 25 million gallons of runoff a day during dry weather flowing untreated into the rivers and the ocean.
The time to clean up our water is now—and it starts with us!
Do You Know Where it Goes?
What goes into a storm drain and is flushed with rainwater, or daily urban runoff…goes untreated into our rivers and ocean.
…and what effect it has on our water. These wastes from work and every day activities are among the most common stormwater and urban runoff pollutants:
Used motor oil and grease- automotive maintenance, urban housekeeping yard and warehouse activities, construction, spills and illegal dumping
Foam cups, plastics, cigarette butts, and paper- litter, general housekeeping (in all types of work and leisure)
Trimmings from trees, landscaping and lawns- grounds and building maintenance, landscaping activities, tree and park maintenance, home and yard maintenance
Antifreeze, cleaners and solvents- automotive maintenance, urban housekeeping and landscaping, building and grounds maintenance, spills and illegal dumping
Pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides- grounds and building maintenance, landscaping activities, tree and park maintenance, urban housekeeping, over watering
Sediment- erosion from construction, landscaping, building and grounds maintenance
Pet droppings, viruses and bacteria– urban housekeeping, non-stormwater connections to storm drains, leaking septic tanks
CLOSES OUR BEACHES FROM CONTAMINATED STORMWATER
CAUSES ILLNESS IN SWIMMERS, WADERS AND SURFERS
CONTAMINATES AND KILLS FISH AND OTHER MARINE LIFE
CLOGS STORM DRAINS AND CAUSES NEIGHBORHOOD FLOOD CONDITIONS
HARMS THE FRESHWATER HABITAT OF OUR RIVERS
REDUCES OUR QUALITY OF LIFE
COSTS TAXPAYERS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR LOCAL CLEAN UP
All City of Los Angeles employees can reduce the volume of litter, foam cups, plastic, and other debris on city streets, rivers beaches and bays by waste reduction and recycling—something you already do every day… right?
Recycle paper, cans glass, and plastics in your office
Order smaller volumes of office supplies to avoid waste and save money
Use washable drinking cups (ceramic, glass, plastic) in the office and keep a supply in the lunchroom cabinets
Follow all City recycling and waste reduction guidelines
All City employees dispose of some amount of waste…and disposing with care to prevent urban and environmental pollution will make Los Angeles a cleaner, healthier place to live and work.
City employees can reduce toxic chemicals, heavy metals, cleaning solutions, and automotive fluids (like oil, grease, antifreeze, and solvents) from entering waterways by preventing spills on the job or cleaning them up immediately when they happen.
Wash water draining to the street is one way that litter, oil, rotting leaves and toxic pollutants are transported from our job sites and homes, and into storm drains and waterways
All City employees, particularly those who maintain the City’s cars, trucks, and other vehicles, and those who operate them, can prevent contamination of the storm drain system by good housekeeping and diligent maintenance.
VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE:
OUTDOOR VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT STORAGE AND PARKING:
BASIC DO’S AND DON’TS:
Do use good housekeeping practices and be diligent about following routine maintenance procedures
Don’t allow spills, leaks, wastes or washwater from vehicles or equipment to enter the storm drain
All City employees who work in warehouses, or store materials in yards or shops can reduce waste and pollution by ensuring none of these materials get spilled or washed into the storm drain system.
Read and follow handling instructions for all the materials you store
STORE UNDER COVER
Maintain Buildings and Grounds Wisely
All City employees—who clean our municipal buildings, City sidewalks and plazas; trim the tens of thousands of street trees throughout Los Angeles; and maintain our parks and grounds—can make an enormous difference in whether or not dirt, grime, and chemicals reach our regions rivers and beaches.
BUILDINGS, SIDEWALKS, PLAZAS, PARKING LOTS:
PROPERTY AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
Prevent Pollution During Construction
All City employees who work in construction, either as laborers, inspectors or managers, have a crucial responsibility to control erosion and pollutants from building materials at the job site. You can prevent pollution of stormwater and drinking water, wildlife habitat, neighborhoods and recreation areas in the urban environment.
STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION PLAN (SWPPP):
California State Water Resources Control Board issued a general ordinance that requires construction sites larger than 5 acres to prepare and follow a SWPPP; this ordinance may be updated to include smaller sites. For more information on preparing these plans, call the Stormwater Hotline (800) 974-9794.
PRINCIPLES IN SELECTING BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
PLANNING BMPS FOR CITY FACILITIES
SOME TREATMENT CONTROL BMPS APPROPRIATE FOR NEW PROJECTS ARE:
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|This doesn’t mean you have to clean up after others, but there is a 24-hour hotline to report pollution on public property that you believe will harm our waterways and beaches.
HELP TRAIN OTHERS
FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT- The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act require standards for discharging stormwater into our nation’s waterways. Cities are required to have a permit for discharging into storm drains that lead into rivers, lakes, or the ocean. The permit is called a "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)" permit.
OUR NPDES PERMIT- An NPDES Permit allows clean stormwater discharges into rivers, lakes or the ocean. The current permit was issued in 1996 by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (Los Angeles Region) and requires a decrease in pollutants to stormwater and urban runoff.
Our Permit is based upon a foundation of education rather than harsh enforcement actions. The Permit requires that all City employees receive training in stormwater pollution prevention. Knowing the general principles that can significantly reduce pollution helps make compliance with stormwater permits and regulations easy. However, the City is responsible to the Regional Board for all employees’ actions and may be fined for polluting activities.
STORMWATER ORDINANCE- In 1998, the City of Los Angeles passed its stormwater ordinance. It gave the City local legal authority to enforce the NPDES Permit. While education is the key to successful stormwater pollution prevention, we still have the means to take corrective actions with serious offenders. Any commercial, industrial, or construction business found discharging waste or wastewater into the storm drain system may be subject to legal penalties.