Ventura County Stormwater Manager to Join National Task Force
The federal government has invited 20 specialists from across the United States to share their expertise on stormwater management as part of the national Stormwater Infrastructure Financing Task Force. Among them: the Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Stormwater Program Manager, Ewelina Mutkowska.
Mutkowska and the 19 other consultants will advise on the EPA’s response to the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, Section 4101, according to a Ventura County Public Works Agency press release. The task force will prepare and submit a report to Congress by April 2020.
The Task Force group will focus on three key areas:
1. identify available funding for stormwater/flood control infrastructure,
2. identify how the sources of funding affect the affordability of the infrastructure, and
3. evaluate whether funding sources are sufficient to support capital expenditures and long-term operation and maintenance costs.
Like a number of cities and counties, Ventura lacks dedicated sources of funding for regulating stormwater. Jurisdictions have been subjected to costly regulations and third-party lawsuits over stormwater management. In fact, this was the argument made in favor of L.A. County’s Measure W in 2018, which levied a special tax on parcels in the Flood Control District to fund programs that capture, treat, and recycle water from rains.
Mutkowska has vowed to bring the concerns of local governments like hers to the attention of Congress.
“Because our Ventura County needs for stormwater quality and flood control are significant, I hope that by bringing our local needs and concerns to the U.S. Congress’ attention, we will receive support for our flood protection improvements and stormwater regulatory requirements through more grant programs, low interest loans, or other financial programs or incentives that will help our county residents and watersheds remain protected,” she said.
Mutkowska has served VCPWA for a decade, according to the press release.
As a Stormwater Program Manager with VCPWA for 10 years, Mutkowska career includes implementation of Municipal Stormwater Permit and Total Maximum Daily Loads, managing stormwater program budget and grant funded stormwater treatment projects. In addition, she’s currently developing a long-term cost estimates for future funding needs for the County of Ventura to meet all applicable stormwater quality regulations.
“VCPWA has set the standard to being one of the best public works agencies in California,” said Jeff Pratt, Director of VCPWA. “We have an amazing group of professionals within each our five departments; Central Services, Watershed Protection, Water and Sanitation, Transportation and Engineering Services, that work very hard to maintain the infrastructure of the county. It’s no surprise that Ewelina’s hard work is being recognized and she will represent not only the agency but our county well in Washington.”