Welcome to the Construction Industry Coalition on Water Quality

Next Training: December 7th & 13th

Construction Site Compliance Training Meeting the Requirements of the California Construction General Permit for Stormwater

Conducting Construction Site Stormwater Monitoring Programs:

  • Stormwater Management Planning
  • Job Site Runoff Sample Collection and Handling
  • Job Site Sampling and Data Analysis Case Studies
  • Laboratory Interaction and Data Management

Here's some of what you will learn:

  • Construction site stormwater sampling and monitoring plan preparation and implementation
  • Construction site stormwater sampling practices & pollutants of concern
  • Evaluating, selecting, and managing construction site runoff and dewatering containment systems
  • Purchasing, operating, and calibrating field sampling and analysis equipment/instruments
  • Managing and understanding laboratory data

When & Where:

Thursday, December 7th, Orange, CA., and
Wednesday, December 13th, Los Angeles, CA.


Or, click here to learn more about this training

CASQA Presentations

In September CICWQ was invited by the California Stormwater Quality Association to participate in their annual conference in Sacramento, September 25-27, 2017. Both Michael Lewis and Dr. Mark Grey each gave a presentation on behalf of CICWQ and provided timely and relevant information to contribute on behalf of the construction industry.

Read more and view the powerpoint files here »

CICWQ White Paper:

Is the General Industrial Permit for Stormwater Discharges Applicable to Your Facility and Property?

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Supporting Members


Top Headlines

A behind-the-scenes battle to divert L.A.'s storm water from going to waste

Joe Mozingo, Contact Reporter, LA Times

The storm had gathered power for days as it crossed the Northern Pacific, and now its outer band was uppercutting the coast.

By the time Eric Batman arrived at work at 7 Monday morning, a hard west wind was driving rain and hail sideways against windows. Thunder reverberated across the L.A. Basin.

Batman reveled in El Niño's long-overdue rumbling.

His job, as senior civil engineer for the county Department of Public Works, is to keep as much rain as possible from escaping to the ocean.

He wished this storm would slow down a bit. Let the mountains wring more of that water out. Make it more of a challenge.

Even at its current clip, the clouds would drop hundreds of millions of gallons on Southern California, and he needed to make sure the system was ready.

On the second floor of the department's headquarters in Alhambra, he checked in with the "storm boss," the on-duty engineer in charge of monitoring flow rates throughout the 3,300-mile network of storm drains, channels, debris basins, dams, spreading grounds - everything humans have built over the last century to control the water racing from the high San Gabriels to the sea.

"Where are we open?" Batman asked. "How much are we taking in?"

The storm boss told Batman that he had inflated one of the seven rubber dams along the lower San Gabriel River.

This move would divert the flow into a spreading ground in Pico Rivera - 90 acres of porous soil that can suck up 75 cubic feet of water every second to be stored in the aquifer below.

But the water wasn't there yet. The San Gabriel takes its time.

With age, the county's two big rivers - sisters born of the same weather systems and topography - have grown distinct in appearance and temperament.

The L.A. River is a fast and moody Type A, and it's had a lot of work done.

Read more at the LA Times »

EPA full steam with 'Waters' protection rule, but trouble ahead

The Obama administration on Wednesday launched a sweeping measure to protect the nation’s waterways and wetlands — an initiative that faces a fierce counterattack from powerhouse industries like agriculture, oil and home-building.

On its face, the final “Waters of the United States” rule is largely a technical document, defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. But the industries and their allies in Congress condemn it as a massive power grab by Washington, saying it will give bureaucrats carte blanche to swoop in and penalize landowners every time a cow walks through a ditch. And it comes amid years of complaints from Republicans about President Barack Obama’s regulatory agenda, which has encompassed everything from power plants and health insurers to Internet providers and for-profit colleges.

Read more at Politico »

Dry-weather runoff: A new source of water for drought-stricken California?

Even without rainfall, the gutters, channels and storm drains of Los Angeles County pulse with about 330 million gallons of water every day.

Enough water to supply 668,000 typical Southern California homes in a year — unaccounted water streaming over green lawns, down paved streets and concrete channels. Water wasted to the ocean during one of the worst droughts in California history.

Most of this dry-weather runoff originates with homeowners who overwater lawns. Next, it comes from over-irrigated golf courses, parks and ball fields, leaky water mains and fire hydrants as well as industrial outflows from factories.

Water managers from the South Bay to the Antelope Valley know about dry-weather runoff but have let it pass them by because it was seen as miniscule when compared to billions of gallons of potable water imported from Northern California and the Colorado River.

Now that those sources are drying up due to decreases in snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and environmental uses of water to keep fish and wildlife alive in the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, engineers and legislators have turned their eyes to this overlooked source as a supplement to outdoor water supplies.

“Dry-weather runoff has been the poor, forgotten Cinderella out there,” began Esther Feldman, president of Community Conservation Solutions, a nonprofit based in Venice that has studied the unusual source of water for eight years and helped contribute to a sea change in state water policy.

Read more»

Supreme Court finds Los Angeles County liable for stormwater pollution

By Steve Scauzillo, May 5, 2014 for San Gabriel Valley Tribune

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District is liable for stormwater pollution that flows down both the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday.

By refusing to consider the county’s appeal, the high court let stand the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from August, when the court found the county and the district violated the federal Clean Water Act 140 times from 2002 to 2008 for excessive amounts of aluminum, copper, cyanide, zinc and fecal coliform bacteria.

"No longer can the county deny the problem. No longer can the county ignore the law," said Liz Crosson, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a co-plaintiff in the original lawsuit filed in 2008.

The county had argued that it maintains the 2,800 miles of storm drains but is not responsible for the toxic pollutants they carry and deposit into Santa Monica Bay, Long Beach, Seal Beach and inland lakes, such as Legg Lake in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.

The county was deemed responsible in March 2011 for fouling popular beaches and lakes that receive outflows from the rivers. The Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal and in January 2013 ruled in favor of the county but in a narrow opinion. The case was remanded to the Ninth Circuit for a full ruling on liability.

The 9th Circuit court divided the case into liability and remedies. The remedy aspect will be heard at a later date, said Steve Fleischli, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the other plaintiff in the case.

“The county of Los Angeles has violated the law,” he said. “Who is responsible for cleaning it up has not yet been determined.”

Gail Farber, chief engineer of the district and director of the county’s Public Works Department, in a prepared statement called the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case “disturbing.” Farber believes the liability and the high cost of ridding stormwater of pollutants will fall on the county’s 88 cities and 140 unincorporated communities.

“This could force municipalities to redirect limited public funds from other critical service to spend on controlling pollution from private and other sources who are the responsible parties,” Farber said in a written statement.

Indeed, the county has estimated the cost of removing this last source of water pollution at $120 billion, said Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, former chairwoman of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and chairwoman of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments’ water committee.

Lutz said the county is absolutely correct, that each city will be responsible for cleanup. That’s because not just the county, but each city near the two rivers has taken out National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. So each city is technically in violation of breaking environmental laws.

"It is serious. It is big," Lutz said. "It will be millions and millions of dollars for each city, as much as a billion."

Read the rest at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune »

Water police take aim at small companies

California’s regulatory tsunami is poised to soak 14,000 mostly small companies in San Diego County that fall under a broad definition of light industry.

At a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board is expected to approve new rules on business operations designed to dramatically reduce levels of bacteria, dirt and chemicals that flow into creeks and the ocean whenever it rains or water otherwise hits the pavement. Companies statewide would have until July 15, 2015, to comply.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because in May the agency’s regional arm imposed similar regulations on local governments in San Diego County, along with parts of Riverside and Orange counties. Those regulations will apply to companies, too, so Tuesday’s proceeding will add a layer.

Taken together, the rules will require many billions of dollars in new spending. Yet they are effectively impossible to meet, scientists say.

Read more at U-T San Diego »

Don't Miss Webinar on Newly Released SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors

Regulated Community Should Expect an Increase in Number of SPCC Compliance Inspections in Near Term

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just released its revised SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors to assist regional inspectors when they review a site’s compliance with the federal Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule. The guide spells out how EPA intends to implement the SPCC rule nationwide and is likely to be a useful tool for the owner/operator of any jobsite or facility that may be subject to these regulations. EPA will present two private webinars for AGC contractors to learn about and ask questions concerning what’s in the new inspector’s guide and what companies can expect during an inspection.

Participation in this webinar is FREE! Not meeting EPA’s SPCC rule could cost you $37,500 per day per violation.

Read more and find out how to register for this webinar »

A Case Study Examining Four Key Provisions of the Proposed Updated San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board Permit

The Construction Industry Coalition on Water Quality (CICWQ) and its partners examine four components of the proposed revisions to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board Municipal Storm Water Permit in a comprehensive case study.

Read more »

L.A. County to revise proposed parcel tax to fight polluted runoff

Supervisors decide against a mail-only ballot for property owners. The fee would help cities and the county deal with storm water and new state regulations.

Faced by widespread public opposition, the Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday sent a proposed parcel fee to combat storm water pollution back to the drawing board.

The proposed fee would be levied on all property owners within the county's flood control district, raising an estimated $290 million a year to help cities and the county deal with widespread water quality issues stemming from polluted storm water and urban runoff and the need to comply with new state regulations.

The supervisors had contemplated putting the fee on a mail-only ballot to the affected property owners. They rejected that notion, while leaving the possibility open for a reworked measure to be placed on the ballot in a general election in June or November 2014. At that point, all registered county voters would have a say, regardless of whether they owned property subject to the fee.

Read more »

SCWC Workshop: Integrated Watershed Management Planning

Mark your calendars for the Southern California Water Committee's (SCWC) June 28th all day workshop on Integrated Watershed Management Planning and the role of stormwater capture.

Join us to learn more about how stormwater capture is being incorporated into local water supply strategies and various perspectives on future opportunities and challenges.

Thursday, June 28, 2012
9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Workshop will be held at:
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 North Alameda Street, Room 2-456
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2944

Lunch is included, free parking provided in the employee parking garage.

Download the flyer for additional information and ticket prices:

Download the workshop agenda:

SCWC Releases Report Highlighting Stormwater Capture Opportunities

First-Ever Six County Analysis on Stormwater Management Strategies

Los Angeles, CA – The Southern California Water Committee’s (SCWC) Stormwater Task Force today released a first-ever report examining strategies to maximize stormwater capture throughout the coastal plain (Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties).

The report, “Opportunities to Increase Water Supplies in Southern California,” is the result of a year-long collaborative effort among local governments, flood control districts, public water agencies, environmental organizations, development interests and private sector companies throughout Southern California that have made water-use efficiency a priority.

Download the report (.pdf)

“In California, we cannot take water for granted, and it’s more important than ever to seek out new and improved ways to capture and utilize local sources while protecting the environment. Until this effort began, there was no regional coordination in place on stormwater issues, everyone was working independently,” said Mark Pestrella, chairman of SCWC’s Stormwater Task Force and assistant director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. “We are much more effective when we share ideas and work together toward common goals.”

The report released today examines how the region as a whole can work collaboratively within the current regulatory framework to achieve shared goals of attaining clean, safe water bodies and a sustainable water supply.

Read more »

Things You Should Know...

Please visit our issues page to see a list of the regulatory permitting and policy actions that are affecting the construction industry.


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