Bellingham places a high value on protecting groundwater, stormwater and surface water, which ultimately flow into nearby streams, lakes, and Bellingham Bay. To help protect these resources, the City signed an agreement in 2008 with the State Department of Ecology to fund two Local Source Control Specialist staff positions in the Public Works Department. “Source Control” refers to controlling or stopping pollution at its source, before it enters the environment.
Many routine business activities can pollute stormwater runoff or groundwater. Since the start of this program, specialists have completed hundreds of site visits to businesses in the following sectors; veterinarians, photo processors, painters, landscapers and nurseries, gas stations, e-waste facilities, dry cleaners, dentists, city facilities, boat building and repair facilities, auto repair and auto body shops, golf courses, pharmacies, printers, screen printers, and department stores. Business sectors are continually added.
The Local Source Control Program seeks business cooperation while providing education and technical assistance. During a site visit, the Specialists check the following activities, among others, to make sure they are being carried out responsibly:
This program helps meet the City’s requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit that the City is obligated to implement.
Contact the Whatcom County Disposal of Toxics. Call ahead for authorization and prices or contact a local source control specialist for more disposal options: (360)778-7961.
On April 22, 2010, the EPA issued a lead-safe work practices rule for contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities, and schools. Contractors are required to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. This rule affects paid renovators, maintenance workers, painters and other specialty trades, and excludes repairs that disturb less than six square feet of interior, or less than 20 square feet of exterior lead-based paint.
For certification in Bellingham, contact:
Building Performance Center, 3406 Redwood Ave, Bellingham, Washington 98225, (360) 734-5121
To learn more or schedule a site visit, contact the Source Control Specialist at the Operations Division of the Public Works Department.