KIRKLAND, Wash – The City of Kirkland is in the process of adopting new low impact development (LID) stormwater design regulations and revisions to the zoning code and now invites the public to an open house on October 24 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Kirkland City Hall to share information about the proposed regulations. Following the open house, there will be a joint hearing for the Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council to hear comments from the public.
This open house is part of the City’s process to implement lower impact stormwater techniques as the preferred and commonly-used approach to site development, as required by new State and Federal regulations. The low impact process minimizes the effects of stormwater runoff using vegetation, porous concrete and other green infrastructure techniques to disperse water naturally instead of relying on traditional underground pipes, tanks, and vaults. More information about the new stormwater development regulations and stormwater LID code revisions can be found on the City website. Comments on the proposed regulations can also be submitted in the following ways:
• Via email to Stormwater@kirklandwa.gov
• Mail addressed to City of Kirkland, PW-Stormwater, 123 Fifth Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires government and private entities to obtain a permit through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program in order to discharge stormwater to surface waters regulated by the State and Federal Government. For Kirkland, its NPDES permit allows for the City to discharge stormwater from impervious surfaces (like buildings and roads) into rivers, lakes, and streams, as long as the City implements programs to reduce pollutants in stormwater. The City’s reduction efforts must occur through public education, outreach and involvement, maintenance programs that detect illicit discharge, control of runoff from development, pollution prevention, and monitoring water quality.
Stormwater is a significant pollutant source, and the NPDES program and the City’s Stormwater Management Program Plan are designed to improve the quality of water in lakes and streams. Kirkland’s NPDES permit is issued by Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) which has permitting authority through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As part of its cleanup strategy for Puget Sound, DOE has used its NPDES permitting authority to issue stormwater discharge permits to over 100 municipalities in Western Washington. Kirkland developed the Stormwater Management Program Plan to meet permit requirements.
Stormwater pollution results from everyday activities such as driving, land development, and even yard care. Cleaning up stormwater will involve both reducing the amount of pollution that we put onto the landscape (source control), and removing contaminants from runoff before it reaches local waters (treatment). For more information about the City’s Storm and Surface Water Management Programs, search “surface water” at www.kirklandwa.gov or contact Jenny Gaus, Kirkland Public Works Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 425-587-3850; or Stacey Rush at email@example.com or at 425-587-3854. To learn more about the State Department of Ecology stormwater permit, search “Phase II Western WA Stormwater Permit” at www.ecy.wa.gov