Things just got a lot better for our oceans, waves and beaches! Yesterday, the Regional Water Quality Control Board UNANIMOUSLY approved the new regional MS4 stormwater permit without the “safe harbor” clause!!! The safe harbor clause was a major sticking point for Surfrider San Diego and the other environmental groups, and would have let co-permittees who have not yet achieved clean water standards off the hook as long as they were trying. At the two day hearing in April more than 35 Surfrider activists demonstrated their desire for clean water and distain for a “get-out-of jail-free-card” in the safe harbor clause.
The new permit takes on a watershed based perspective and moves from an “action oriented” approach to an “outcome oriented” approach; with an increased reliance on Low Impact Development (LID). The new regulations are a big step forward in actually achieving clean water standards. In the coming years, hopefully surfers and swimmers will have to worry less about ear infections, and will be able surf after it rains. Check out this article in the Union Tribune for more information.
A huge thank you to all of you who came out last month to show your support, it made a big difference! Furthermore, we appreciate the Regional Board’s strong leadership on this crucial issue.