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City of San Diego As-Needed Environmental Services for Storm Water Maintenance

City of SD Stormwater MaintenanceHELIX Environmental Planning has provided a broad range of as-needed environmental services to the City of San Diego Transportation and Storm Water Department. These services are associated with annual maintenance of the city’s storm water facilities pursuant to their Master Maintenance Program (MMP) for storm water maintenance which was developed by HELIX in cooperation with city staff. The MMP covers approximately 30 miles of storm water facilities and includes procedures to guide maintenance and protect environmental resources. The MMP also includes a Substantial Conformance Review (SCR) process to minimize California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and wetland permit requirements for subsequent annual maintenance activities. HELIX prepared an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) addressing potential impacts associated with the MMP and establishing a series of protocols and mitigation to minimize water quality impacts and compensate for biological impacts.


Currently, HELIX is assisting the City of San Diego in carrying out maintenance pursuant to the MMP including preparation of technical studies, permitting, mitigation planning, and maintenance monitoring. HELIX is conducting vegetation mapping, jurisdictional delineations, and focused surveys for plant and wildlife species. HELIX is also conducting cultural resource studies including records searches, site surveys, historic background research, and Native American coordination. Noise studies include acoustical modeling, and noise control planning.


To compensate for wetland impacts, HELIX biologists work closely with city staff to plan and implement habitat restoration plans to provide the compensatory mitigation for maintenance activities. Planning activities include developing plant palettes, planting specifications, and maintenance and monitoring programs. HELIX is also overseeing site preparation and planting as well was conducting long-term monitoring and maintenance.


HELIX processes the permits required to conduct storm water maintenance including: Section 404 Permits and 401 Certifications, pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act; Streambed Alteration Agreements, pursuant to Section 1600 of the California Fish and Game Code; Substantial Conformance Reviews and Site Development Permits, pursuant to Chapter 14, Article 3, Division 1 of the City’s Municipal Code; and Coastal Development Permits, pursuant to the California Coastal Act.


HELIX provides monitoring support during and after maintenance. Our biologists, archaeologists, and noise monitors work in collaboration with Transportation and Storm Water Department staff to ensure compliance with the Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program (MMRP), permit conditions, and MMP requirements. In addition to monitoring maintenance, HELIX prepares post-maintenance reports to fulfill permit requirements.