Lahontan requires stricter storm water standards | SierraSun.com

Lahontan requires stricter storm water standards

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Greyson Howard/ Sierra SunSeasonal runoff at Donner Lake gets talked about year-round. The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board recently ordered the Town of Truckee to create a new storm water management strategy.
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The Town of Truckee has another project on its to-do list ” meet new water quality requirements.

The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board is requiring the Town of Truckee to develop a Storm Water Management Program by June 30, 2007, along with a water quality monitoring program. The program, or five-year strategy, will deal with aspects of storm water runoff and contamination in the Truckee area. This unanticipated project will be adding to the town’s workload over the next few months.

“This is a significant project the town just inherited,” Public Works Director Dan Wilkins said at a Feb. 1 meeting. “But we’ve already taken some fairly aggressive steps on water quality in the general plan update.”

The Lahontan water board required Truckee to implement the program because of the town’s population density, potential for growth, potential for discharge into sensitive water bodies (the Truckee River), and as a potential contributor of pollutants to U.S. waterways, Wilkins said.

Lisa Wallace, executive director of the Truckee River Watershed Council, said she agreed with the water quality control board’s requirement, but asked for more involvement from other groups that generate runoff and associated issues.

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board Supervising Engineer Lauri Kemper said the town would only be responsible for town and private property, not water quality issues generated on special district, Caltrans, or railroad land.

“Caltrans has a program already, as do some of the special districts,” Kemper said. “The railroad is not subject to a storm water program, so we deal with them when they have spills.”

Getting these programs up-and-running by the June 30 deadline will likely require 400 hours of staff time, said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook.

“Somebody is going to be working pretty much full-time on this,” Lashbrook said.

The program would include public education on storm water management, public involvement, pollution discharge detection and elimination, construction runoff control, post-construction water management, and pollution prevention, Kemper said.

Kemper said Truckee is well on its way ” with education and involvement through the Truckee River Watershed Council ” but needs more work on discharge detection and elimination.

Eastern Placer County has also been required to meet the same standards, and the Town of Truckee and Placer County may collaborate in their Storm Water Management Programs, Kemper said.

Public workshops and review of the program are tentatively scheduled for March and April, with the final version of the program to be submitted June 30 for approval by the water quality control board, Wilkins said.