Associate Planner Viado advised the committee of the resignation of Larry Trullinger from the Committee and that the City Manager's Office has advertised the vacancy. Applications are currently being accepted and prospective candidates will be reviewed by the City Council.
Orange County Trash Bash:
Chairman Hardwick and Committee-member Pendarvis informed the Committee of their attendance at the first annual Orange County Trash Bash held on Saturday, April 29, at the Discovery Museum. The event recognized various organizations and programs in Orange County that are outstanding in the areas of reducing, reusing, and recycling. The City nominated the Fullerton Arboretum's Home Composting Program for an award and purchased a table at the event. The Arboretum's program won in the Educational Institution category.
Chairman Hardwick introduced Gerry Thibeault and Mark. Smythe of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB). Mr. Thibeault gave a brief description of the RWQCB regions within the State and their respective jurisdictions. Each water board is based on water shed boundaries, and the three water boards in Southern California are: 1) San Diego RWQCB (Region 9), 2) Santa Ana RWQCB (Region 8), and 3) Los Angeles RWQCB (Region 4). Board members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
Regional boards have area-wide storm water discharge permits that have been adopted for all urban areas in the state. Orange County was first in the state to acquire a municipal area-wide storm water permit ten years ago. The County is the lead agency and most of the Cities within the County are included as co-permitees. All surface water discharges are regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the Federal Storm Water Program.
Mr. Smythe gave a brief summary on the storm water program and permits. Permits are required for industrial sites, construction sites and municipal projects. He further explained the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) which is a set of requirements on new development and redevelopment for commercial sites over 100,000 square feet and for residential subdivisions with more than 10 units. Also included are regulations on parking lots, restaurants, and auto repair facilities which have the potential for storm water run off problems. Mr. Thibeault explained how the standards for run off are required to be addressed by the various Regional Water Boards. Each Regional Board provides different standards based on the needs to protect that region's water body. Standards for water bodies are set under Federal regulations, but each Regional Board adopts its own standards, which are also approved by the State and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Standards adopted by the Santa Ana RWQCB are available on their web site.
After a lengthy discussion on urban run off, Chairman Hardwick asked Mr. Smythe and Mr. Thibeault what they saw in the future of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention issue and what Fullerton can do to stay ahead on the issues. Mr. Thibeault responded that the Legislature is putting a lot of money into the funds for Urban Run Off Programs and there will be an increase in regulatory presence dealing with storm water in the future due to the higher level of awareness by the Legislature, the Governor, and the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) relative to storm water issues.
Committee member Schmidt asked for an explanation of water shed and run off. Mr. Thibeault explained that a water shed is an area that contributes to the flow at a certain point. Fullerton is part of a ground water basin but their surface flow goes into the San Gabriel River. Committee members inquired of several aspects regarding surface water and ground water problems.
Mr. Rosen asked where should the City Of Fullerton's staff be focusing their energy. Mr. Smythe suggested making better use of the building inspectors, industrial inspectors, and Fire Department. These people can be trained to recognize a potential problem and alert those who can work on the problem. Mr. Thibeault also stated that Building Inspectors reviewing large projects should note water flow problems and seek the advise or assistance of the RWQCB. He also said the city of Los Angeles has training videos and would forward copies of these videos to the City of Fullerton.
Hughes Site Contaminated Plume:
Chairman Hardwick introduced John Carlson of the City's Engineering Department. Mr. Carlson informed the Committee of City water quality issues relative to the Hughes Aircraft site's contaminated plume, as recently discussed by the Fullerton Observer. A lengthy discussion was held covering the history of the site, the clean up efforts started by Hughes, and the recent public hearing held at Park's Middle School addressing the contamination in the perched water zone and the top of the aquifer.
Mr. Rosen stated that the whole operation is under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Toxic Substances Control and the City has no authority to request any different kind of treatment than what they are currently doing. The clean-up program is being financed by the Raytheon Company.
Mr. Carlson also brought attention to the issue of the shallow well at Fire Station # 3, built in 1954, where there is a contaminated plume extending into Anaheim. Toxic substances have appeared in some water wells near this location. These wells must be put out of service when the Federal toxicity levels are exceeded. The Orange County Water District is reviewing how to mitigate the flow of the contaminated plume.