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A Spill Kit Program Success Story

Washington Stormwater Center Internal Cooperation to Meet Permit Requirements

According to section S5.A.5.b of the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit, Permittee’s Storm Water Management Plans shall include coordination mechanisms among departments within each jurisdiction to eliminate barriers to compliance with the terms of the Permit. At the City of Kent, we are always looking for ways that we can collaborate with other departments within our jurisdiction. One way that we are partnering with our Public Works Operations Department is through our Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program (IDDE). Using funds from our Department of Ecology Capacity Grant, we purchased spill kits to be placed in our fieldwork vehicles. Our staff has been trained to respond to spills and illicit discharges. After our staff has used their kits to respond to a spill they are responsible for restocking their kits. Supplies can be found in a clearly marked area at our Public Works Operations Facility, or they can obtain them from our warehouse.

During one of our training meetings, our mechanics volunteered to inspect the spill kits in the vehicles during their regular maintenance checks to ensure that they are fully stocked. We took them up on this offer! Our warehouse staff also stepped up and offered to work with the mechanics to develop a spill kit inspection/restock program. In the new program, if the mechanics find a spill kit that needs to be restocked, they simply send it to the warehouse next door, and the warehouse staff restock it and return it to our supply. In the meantime, our mechanics take one from our stocked supply to put back in the vehicle. The inspection of the kits includes making sure that they are all labeled and contain spill response instructions and a spill reporting flow chart with contact numbers.

This spill kit program has not only ensured that our internal staff is always prepared to respond to spills and illicit discharges, it also provides additional education and outreach to broaden their perspective of the program. This program has been very successful and has inspired us to branch out and meet routinely with other departments within our jurisdiction and present to them our objective to meet Permit requirements. Through this informative communication process, we have learned how to help assist one another, while all working towards a common goal. Because of this outreach and education, our Police Department has agreed to carry spill kits in their vehicles as well. This is a great support to our IDDE Program since they are oftentimes the first to respond to spills such as vehicle accidents and illegal dumping.

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