By The Log / Originally published September 15, 2011
SAN DIEGO — San Diego Coastkeeper has launched a new program to combat urban runoff in San Diego: Pollution Patrollers.
In the new initiative, a team of trained volunteers will search for sources of pollution in San Diego County that contribute to urban runoff. Commonly cited as the number one threat to water quality in San Diego, urban runoff contains pollutants such as oil, grease, pesticides, metals, bacteria and toxic chemicals that wash into the region’s waters during rainstorms and over-irrigation.
Volunteers who join Pollution Patrollers will be trained about the federal Clean Water Act and how its permitting process requires every city in San Diego County to ensure municipal, commercial, industrial and residential sites minimize urban runoff pollution. Volunteers will inspect various sites throughout the county to ensure that the cities meet their permit guidelines.
Coastkeeper’s Environmental Law and Policy Clinic plans to use the patroller-gathered data to identify problem areas around the county to assist local cities to change practices that lead to urban runoff pollution, according to the organization.
“Pollution Patrollers gets right at the heart of what San Diego Coastkeeper stands for: empowering citizens to enforce the Clean Water Act here in San Diego,” said Dylan Edwards, San Diego Coastkeeper’s volunteer coordinator. “With recent slashing of government budgets statewide, it’s more important than ever that volunteers help supplement the fight against urban runoff.”
Along with performing scheduled inspections of sites, Pollution Patrollers volunteers will gain the knowledge to identify pollution “hot spots” in their own neighborhoods, so that San Diego Coastkeeper can help find solutions to stop the pollution at the source, the organization said.
The next Pollution Patrollers formal patrol will take place Oct. 1. Prospective volunteers should call Dylan Edwards at (619) 758-7743, ext.131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hat tip to Groksurf’s San Diego