“Blue” is the New Green: Storm water Regulations in California

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The number and complexity of issues related to water and development in California continue to proliferate. While water scarcity and efficiency are at the forefront of the policy discussion, other entities are focusing on conservation efforts. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are two agencies that work together to regulate the runoff and treatment of storm water in industrial, municipal and residential areas of California. As part of the AIACC’s advocacy efforts, SALC volunteers and staff monitor these agencies to identify barriers to practice and participate in discussions to create positive solutions.

Recently, the effect of restrictive regulations related to storm water permits was discussed at an informational hearing held by the Select Committee on Job Creation and Retention. The hearing addressed the implications resulting from restrictive regulations for businesses, municipalities, and taxpayers, and the net effect on jobs in California. Because much of the discussion focused on the effect these regulations have on development, their suspect benefit to the environment, and the resultant negative impact on the design and construction industry, the AIACC was an active participant in the discussion.

These issues will continue to confront growth and development in California and the AIACC will, as part of its 2012 Advocacy Agenda, continue to look for opportunities to seek sensible regulations and promote the power of design as solutions to these problems.


Kurt Cooknick, Assoc. AIA

Kurt T. Cooknick, Assoc. AIA, is the Director of Regulation and Practice. With experience in the profession and over 15 years as an advocate on behalf of the architectural profession in California, he is passionate about protecting and advancing the profession.

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