Urban stormwater runoff has been identified as a major source of pollutants to the waters of the United States including San Francisco Bay. As a result, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency established regulations governing stormwater pollution on November 16, 1990. In California, the Regional Water Quality Control Board through its nine regional boards, enforce the federal regulations. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) requires the Contra Costa Cities and County submit a joint application for a stormwater permit on an annual basis through a Municipal Regional Stormwater NPDES Permit (MRP). New permit requirements are typically updated every five years. The current permit was issued on July 21, 1999 and subsequently amended on July 21, 2004 to extend the expiration date until the new permit is adopted.
The City Council adopted Resolution No. 93-116 approving the formation of a stormwater utility area within San Ramon and establishing a Program Group Costs Payment Agreement with the Flood Control District. This Agreement allows the District to collect the annual assessment from San Ramon properties by the County Assessor's Office and for the disbursement of funds. Per this Agreement, the City must determine annually by May 1st the assessment per Equivalent Runoff Unit (ERU) for the forthcoming fiscal year and shall, by City Council resolution, request the Flood Control District to adopt Stormwater Utility Assessments based on the unit assessments. The County Board of Supervisors conducts the countywide public hearing for the adoption of stormwater assessments in June. The established stormwater assessment is then collected by the County on the County property tax rolls.
In 1993, the City Council of San Ramon adopted Resolution No. 93-15 authorizing the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to direct the Flood Control District to form a Stormwater Utility Area (SUA) for San Ramon and establish a $23 per ERU annual assessment for FY 1993/94. In addition, a maximum limit of $35 per ERU was set.
The City of San Ramon Stormwater Program is comprised of two components, the Countywide Program and the San Ramon Stormwater Management Plan. The Stormwater Program was originally focused on storm drain and creek cleaning, street sweeping, public education, and inspection of private development construction sites. Starting in FY 1996/97, the program expanded into a business inspection program, as required by the RWQCB. On February 19, 2003, the RWQCB amended the Contra Costa Countywide NPDES Permit. The major revision to the permit is contained in Provision C.3. stating that all new development and significant redevelopment that creates or replaces 10,000 square feet or more of impervious surface must treat stormwater runoff on-site. The provision became effective in 2005. Exempt from this requirement are single-family homes and road reconstruction within existing right-of-way (i.e. pavement management).