Environmental Commons  [Printer-friendly version]
October 12, 2006


[Rachel's introduction: Mendocino County, California, will apply
precaution to stormwater runoff.]

By Britt Bailey

The precautionary principle was adopted as county-wide policy in
Mendocino County, California June 28, 2006. The county has now
identified two departments to begin implementing a pilot project
incorporating the principle in decision-making.

The County Executive's Office has chosen the Water Agency and the
Environmental Health deoartments. The project proposed as a pilot is
the Stormwater Discharge Program. This offers a very exciting prospect
because the Plan has a clearly precautionary intent-- to decrease the
amount of toxins, pesticides, fertilizers, pathogens, metals, etc...
getting into untreated waters, including streams and rivers receiving
runoff from impervious surfaces and land uses.

We believe that applying the Precautionary Principle to this existing
and required program will result in reducing untreated discharges that
contribute high levels of pollutants to receiving water bodies.
Pollutant levels from these illicit discharges have been shown in EPA
studies to be high enough to significantly degrade water quality and
threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health.

The Mendocino Partnership for the Precautionary Principle invites
the public to get involved as we move forward with incorporating the
Precautionary Principle into the Stormwater Discharge Plan. A key
piece of the Precautionary Principle involves public participation.
Public meetings will be announced on our website. The next meeting
will be held in November. We will be sending an announcement when the
date and time is finalized.

Please see latest update to the website: