February 1, 2010
Requiring Rainwater Mitigation in LA
From an interesting story in the LA Times:
A proposed law would require new homes, larger developments and some redevelopments in Los Angeles to capture and reuse runoff generated in rainstorms.
The ordinance approved in January by the Department of Public Works would require such projects to capture, reuse or infiltrate 100% of runoff generated in a 3/4 -inch rainstorm or to pay a storm water pollution mitigation fee that would help fund off-site, low-impact public developments. . . .
Under the ordinance, builders would be required to use rainwater storage tanks, permeable pavement, infiltration swales or curb bump-outs to manage the water where it falls. Builders unable to manage 100% of a project's runoff on site would be required to pay a penalty of $13 a gallon of runoff not handled there -- a requirement the Building Industry Assn. has been fighting.
"The Building Industry Assn. is supportive of the concept of low-impact development and has invested a lot of time and energy in educating our members on those techniques and advancing those technologies," said Holly Schroeder, executive officer of the L.A.-Ventura County chapter of the association.
"But when we now start talking about using LIDs as a regulatory tool, we need to make sure we devise a regulation that can be implemented successfully."
Schroeder said that some building projects, such as those in downtown L.A. or areas where the soil is high in clay, would have difficulty with the 100% retention rule and that the $13-a-gallon mitigation fee is too high. A one-acre building on ground where runoff could not be managed on site, Schroeder said, could pay a fee as high as $238,000.
"We're seeking flexibility to reflect the site circumstance," she said.
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Heavy rainfall would be more useful and less disastrous if villages would build sufficient water tanks to collect them as water supply. Also, water basins should be rehabilitated through tree replanting and drainage repairs.
Posted by: Richelle Loughney | Jan 11, 2012 5:26:33 AM