Tuesday Aug 16 2011
State regs could hurt local businesses, city says
By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
New proposed state regulations regarding stormwater runoff could potentially have a negative impact on local businesses, the city of Roseville says. A new permit for commercial businesses and industrial facilities is currently under review by the State Water Resources Control Board and will go into effect in February, according to Kelye McKinney, engineering manager with the city of Roseville’s Environmental Utilities Department. Many of the proposed new regulations are practical and will be fairly easy for most businesses to implement, McKinney said, such as good housekeeping, maintenance and erosion control. Some of the provisions, however, could potentially result in increased operating costs, not only for the businesses, but for the city as well, McKinney said. McKinney was speaking at a workshop the city held Monday to educate local business owners about the new regulations and inform the public on how to get involved before the regulations are finalized. According to McKinney, the city of Roseville is concerned about new standards that would require commercial businesses and industrial facilities to undergo major structural changes in order to comply with strict regulations regarding waste management and stormwater runoff. Businesses that would be affected by the new regulations include restaurants, auto body shops, golf courses, building material retailers, pet groomers, pest control services, nurseries, car washes and several more. “I would estimate that there are more than 1,000 businesses just in Roseville alone that fall under these new standards,” McKinney said. Under the proposed new permit, the city of Roseville would be required to identify all the commercial businesses and industrial facilities that fall under the regulations by 2013. Those businesses and facilities must then implement all structural changes and best management practices by May 2014, and the city must inspect these facilities by May 15, 2016. “All of this costs money,” McKinney said. “Roseville sees this as bad for business in our community, particularly in the economic climate we find ourselves in today.” McKinney said the city does not currently have the staff or resources to conduct these kinds of programs and the fees to offset the costs of the new requirements will likely be passed down to businesses. “This could be costly to many businesses, especially small businesses,” she said. Ron Dumas is the owner of Auto Gator, an auto dismantling business on PFE Road that will be subject to the proposed regulations. “The way the regulations are, what we’ve read and what we’ve been told, I expect that they will put any business like ours out of business within five years,” Dumas said. “I don’t see how we comply if they don’t make substantial changes to the way they appear to be written.” McKinney said the city of Roseville is encouraging business owners and residents to get involved and voice their concerns to the State Water Resources Control Board before the board votes on the permit in December. The board is holding a workshop beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Coastal Hearing Room on the second floor of the California Environmental Protection Agency building, located at 1001 I St. in Sacramento. The workshop will last all day as the board hears comments from concerned citizens, McKinney said. Written comments must be submitted to the board by noon on Sept. 8. The city of Roseville has posted a template letter as well as information about the permit and how concerned businesses can get involved at www.stormwatercosts.com. Toby Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.