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 SWRCB Releases Draft of New Storm Water Industrial General Permit
 DTSC Delays California Green Chemistry Initiative Implementation
 Cities Prepared for California's New Green Building Code




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SWRCB Releases Draft of New Storm Water Industrial General Permit

Posted by Michael Einhorn, Esq.

The State Water Resources Control Board (the Board) has released its draft NPDES Industrial General Permit (draft Industrial General Permit).  Under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), discharges to waters of the United States are prohibited unless in compliance with a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit.  CWA § 301(a).  Under the California Water Code, the Board is charged with protecting beneficial uses of California’s waters.  U.S. EPA has authorized the Board to implement the NPDES program for discharges regulated under the federal CWA.

The draft Industrial General Permit applies to most industrial facilities, including manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, hazardous waste treatment/storage/disposal, landfills, recycling, steam electric power, transportation, and sewage/wastewater treatment.  The Board asked a blue ribbon panel of experts to address whether it is technically feasible to establish numeric effluent limitations or some other quantifiable limit for inclusion in general storm water permits.  The draft Industrial General Permit reflects the findings of the panel, and incorporates elements of the U.S. EPA’s Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP).

The Board has released a document detailing major changes and new requirements contained in the draft Industrial General Permit.

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DTSC Delays California Green Chemistry Initiative Implementation

Posted by Mary Wilke, Esq.

Implementation of California’s Green Chemistry Initiative titled “Safer Consumer Product Alternatives” has been delayed indefinitely beyond the January 1, 2011 statutory adoption deadline.  The deadline was established by California Assembly Bill 1879 (Chapter 559, Statutes of 2008).  According to Linda S. Adams, the Secretary of California’s Environmental Protection Agency, the delay is needed “to further vet the programmatic issues that have been brought to our attention via the public comment process.”  The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC), the state agency that is promulgating the regulations, is taking additional time to further review the proposed regulations.  Secretary Adams also requested that the Green Ribbon Science Advisory Panel reconvene to address public comments collected from the previous drafts.  A revised third draft of the regulations was presented in November, 2010 following a public comment period.  The third draft contains substantive revisions to the earlier text, including scaled back manufacturer and retailer compliance requirements that were not well-received by the environmental community.

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Cities Prepared for California's New Green Building Code

Posted by Courtney LeBoeuf, Esq.

As many of California’s cities have adopted green building ordinances over the last several years, the state’s new Green Building Standards Code, to be added to the building standards code on January 1, 2011, is not likely to hinder development in these communities.  The Green Building Standards Code will be Part 11 of the California Building Standards Code in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.

The new Green Building Standards Code, known as CALGreen, is the first in the nation statewide mandatory green building code for newly constructed buildings.  Finalized earlier this year by the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the Building Standards Commission, CALGreen is a comprehensive code that will apply to newly constructed residential, commercial, school and hospital buildings.  Residential-type buildings, such as single family dwellings, and motels, hotels, and apartments of three stories or less, are subject to the CALGreen Code when constructed new, under a permit issued on or after January 1, 2011.  Newly-constructed nonresidential buildings subject to CALGreen include, among others, state-owned buildings, state universities, and privately-owned buildings used for retail, office and medical services.  While CALGreen applies to all newly constructed buildings unless otherwise exempted by law (i.e. federal buildings and buildings constructed on Indian land or reservations) it does not apply to remodels and additions.

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