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RE: [greenyes] Promoting good environmental practices > > >


Some of our staff are working closely with water agencies on related issues,
such as landscape maintenance and water quality. I respectfully disagree
with most of the statements below (in quotes).

"Studies are a waste of $$$$$."
Studies on water pollution help to determine what the pollution is, where it
is coming from, and what methods are the most effective in correcting the
problem. This is a moving target, as water quality changes with time due to
new controls and new sources of pollution.

"Ask the guy that lives 6 houses away from the storm water drain if he
cares. The stenciling projects are "Feel Good Efforts" at best."

Apathy about water pollution comes from a lack of knowledge about the
problem. Many people are still unaware that the storm water systems lead to
rivers, streams, and the ocean and think they lead to the wastewater
treatment plant. Stenciling projects are one method of educating the public
of this fact.

"Go for the mercury and toxics. A little fertilizer and weed killer are not
the big problem."

Yes, we need to continue to identify and prevent improper disposal of
mercury and toxics. While it is true that agricultural runoff is a problem
that must also be addressed, industrial discharges are generally regulated
with penalties in place for non-compliance. Enforcement of these penalties
is vital.

Many people are unaware of the cumulative impact from suburban non-point
source pollution. Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and
improperly disposed oil and antifreeze from millions of homes is a large
part of the big problem, and common sense would dictate that is an area that
needs to be addressed. We don't have to rely on common sense alone,

Below is a link to presentations from a recent conference of the Association
of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Agencies (ASIWPCA). Some of
the presentations were on performance measures. While it is difficult to
directly link ed/outreach to water quality, before and after testing of
water quality do provide an indication of overall changes.

Terry S. Brennan
Integrated Waste Management Specialist
California Integrated Waste Management Board
phone (916) 341-6578
fax (916) 319-7474
e-mail tbrennan@no.address

Zero Waste - You make it happen!

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