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Stormwater Management

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San Diego International Airport is responsible for administering approximately 661 acres of public lands on the shore of San Diego Bay. The Storm Water Management Plan is a major element of the Airport's commitment to preventing, eliminating, and reducing the discharge of polluted storm water into the surrounding environment and San Diego Bay. The Stormwater Management Plan is directed at those activities of the Airport Authority itself, as well as those of the airlines and other airport tenants, that have the potential to cause stormwater pollution.

The Storm Water Management Plan is designed to control the pollutants generated by everyday operation of the airport, including: trash, litter and debris; petroleum products that might leak from aircraft and motor vehicles; heavy metals potentially contained in the dust from brake pads, rubber tires, engine exhaust; and the fertilizers and pesticides used to maintain the airport's landscape and facilities.

The Environmental Affairs Department is responsible for ensuring implementation of the Storm Water Management Plan. The Environmental Affairs Department also works with the Airport Facilities Maintenance Department and the Facilities Development Department to make sure that the airport stormwater conveyance system is clean and operational. The Environmental Affairs Department is responsible for monitoring the quality of stormwater runoff from the Airport. In addition, the Department is responsible for the preparation of the Annual Reports.

Development and Construction

Recently, the regulations and permits related to stormwater management and control have required that best management practices (BMPs) be designed into new development and redevelopment projects. Throughout San Diego County, new development and redevelopment projects of particular types and sizes must be designed in accordance with what are known of locally as the “SUSMP” (Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plan) requirements. At the San Diego International Airport, Airport Authority and tenant projects that meet the project type and size criteria must be developed in accordance with the Airport Authority's SUSMP.

To discuss the applicability of these requirements to your project, please call 619-400-2782 or email the Environmental Affairs department at environmental@san.org.

Watershed Issues

Federal and state stormwater regulations have recently begun to focus on fostering more coordinated efforts among permitted entities to control regional impacts on local water bodies. Sitting on the shore of San Diego Bay, with stormwater runoff from the San Diego International Airport flowing into the Bay, the Airport Authority is working with the Port of San Diego, the County of San Diego, and the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, and San Diego to control the stormwater pollutants being generated daily within the 415 square mile San Diego Bay watershed. For additional information on these regional efforts, please visit the Project Clean Water web page for the San Diego Bay watershed.

  Industrial Activities Annual Reports
  Municipal Activities Annual Reports
  Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Annual Reports
Storm Water Annual Reports

The Industrial Activities Annual Report is submitted by July 1 of each year and describes the activities conducted to control stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities. The Municipal Activities Annual Report is submitted by January 31 of each year and describes the activities conducted to control stormwater discharges associated with municipal activities.

On January 1, 2003, the Authority became the new owner and operator of SDIA, a role previously held by the Port of San Diego. Due to this transfer of responsibility, the Airport Authority was required to obtain it's own coverage under the appropriate permits and prepare the associated documentation required as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program of the Clean Water Act.

This Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) was prepared by the Airport Authority in accordance with the requirements of two NPDES storm water permits:

  1. State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Water Quality Order No. 97-03-DWQ, NPDES General Permit No. CAS000001, Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activities Excluding Construction Activities, referred to in this document as the General Industrial Storm Water Permit; and
  2. California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region (RWQCB), Order No. 2001-01, NPDES No. CAS0108758, Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Urban Runoff from the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) Draining the Watersheds of the County of San Diego (County), the Incorporated Cities of San Diego County, and the Port, referred to in this document as the San Diego Municipal Permit.

Pursuant to these permits, the Storm Water Management Plan serves as a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) in terms of the General Industrial Storm Water Permit and a Jurisdictional Urban Runoff Management Program (URMP) Document in terms of the San Diego Municipal Permit. In general, this document is a written account of the overall program to be conducted by the Airport Authority to comply with the requirements of these storm water permits.

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