To remain in compliance with State mandates, the City of La Verne Public Works Department will be conducting inspections related to stormwater as well as organic waste recycling in accordance with Senate Bill 1838 (SB 1383). Businesses can expect SB 1383 inspections on an annual basis, and stormwater inspections will be conducted biennially.

“Regular inspections are not only essential to remaining compliant with State mandates, but are critical in preserving La Verne’s water quality and environment,” said Mayor Tim Hepburn. “We understand these statewide requirements can be inconvenient at times, and we appreciate the community’s patience and cooperation as staff conducts them.”

The storm drain system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from City streets out to the ocean through a drainage system, consisting of curbs and gutters, catch basins or curbside openings, drain pipes and open flood control channels. Since the storm drain system does not contain a filter, nor is it treated, it carries pollutants like trash, debris, metals, household chemicals and bacteria directly into the ocean. This urban runoff is a major cause of stormwater pollution that leads to beach closures and other negative environmental impacts.

The City of La Verne partners with the cities of Claremont, Pomona and San Dimas to make up the East San Gabriel Valley Watershed Management Group, which collaborates through a Watershed Management Program (WMP) and Coordinated Integrated Monitoring Plan (CIMP) for stormwater compliance. WMPs and CIMPs are programs that implement water quality monitoring, watershed-level requirements strategies, control measures and best management practices (BMPs). Part of these best practices include stormwater inspections, which are required by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Order No. R4-2021-0105, also known as an MS4 (Municipal Separate Sewer Systems) permit.

As stated in the City’s MS4 permit, the City is required to inspect properties that are more likely to contribute to runoff pollution. The Street Maintenance Division and Administration within the Public Works Department are tasked with maintaining La Verne’s storm drain system. They review businesses within the City and determine which of them meet the criteria for mandated inspection. The City will then hire a consultant to perform the inspections, which includes an on-site meeting with a business representative before a tour of the site to check on how equipment and potential pollutants are stored. If there is evidence of bad housekeeping practices or pollutant discharge, the consultant will leave a list of requirements to be brought into compliance before reinspection.

Under SB 1383, all California cities, including La Verne, are required to reduce organic material waste in landfills and assist in rescuing surplus food from commercial establishments to feed Californians facing food insecurity. Residents and businesses will be required to separate their organic waste, such as food scraps and yard trimmings, from their recyclables and other household waste products so these materials can be repurposed into products that help our environment, such as mulch and compost.

The City has been working with Waste Management, the City’s waste hauler, to implement this program and maintain compliance with State legislation. To comply with SB 1383 this year, the City is required to inspect Tier 1 Generators, which are businesses that have potential for high food waste, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, food service providers, food distributors and wholesale food vendors. In 2024, the City will be required to inspect Tier 2 Generators, which include large restaurants, hotels, large venues and events, state facilities and education facilities.

These inspections ensure that the generators are complying with their requirements to recycle organic waste, rescue the maximum amount of edible food possible, train their employees on organics and recycling programs and document these activities. The generators are also required to have appropriate recycling containers available at the property, which is included in the inspection process.

The last stormwater inspection was conducted in 2016 and is required to be conducted every two years under the current permit. However, with subsequent permits, the time frame could change. The City will conduct its annual SB 1383 inspection by the end of this year.