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El Niño and Stormwater Management

February 8, 2024

The El Niño of 2016 is upon us and it looks like it will be staying a while.  According to the latest NOAA daily sea-surface temperatures, the area highlighted by the black rectangle below El Niño looks to be strengthening.  This continued energy is likely to push the rainy season well into spring.

Map

With this extended rainy season, it is important to maintain compliance and avoid fines associated with the Clean Water Act (CWA),  more precisely the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), municipal separate storm systems) (MS4s), Construction General Permit (CGP), Industrial General Permit (IGP),  and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP).

For the most recent and first of many El Niño storm events, Twining Stormwater was on hand at multiple sites across Southern California from San Diego to Santa Barbara serving as the Qualified SWPPP Practitioner (QSP).

For one site in particular, a 40 story high-rise project in the heart of Century City,  Twining Stormwater was onsite to maintain compliance to the CGP.

In accordance with the CGP, in the capacity of QSP, we provided the Rain Event Action Plan (REAP), preparing of the site for the storm event.  This included scheduling changes, moving supplies and materials out of the stormwater path, preparing BMPs, and updating site staff first hand on SWPPP applicable responses to the storm.  We continued site compliance with, Weekly Site Monitoring, During Storm Monitoring, Stormwater Sampling and Analysis, Post-Storm Site Monitoring and uploading of ad hoc reports to Storm Water Multiple Application and Report Tracking System (SMARTs) database as required by the CGP.

For all involved, this first true El Niño storm event served as an excellent opportunity to implement site specific SWPPP, learn first hand of the strength of this years El Niño and prepare for what is likely to continue.

Milas E. Smith, M.B.A., CPESC, QSD, QSP, is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, Qualified SWPPP Developer, and Qualified SWPPP Practitioner.  His education includes degrees from Cal State Northridge College of Science and Mathematics and Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business Management.  As Manger of Twining Stormwater, Mr. Smith oversees a team of Project Manger QSPs on projects ranging from Risk level 1-3, for Linear Underground, Construction General Permit and Industrial General Permit sites.