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    Local stormwater expert chosen to join national task force

    Stormwater Program Manager Ewelina Mutkowska

    Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Stormwater Program Manager, Ewelina Mutkowska was invited by the federal government’s Stormwater Infrastructure Financing Task Force to be an expert consultant to the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB). 

    Joining a total of 20 selected task force members from around the United States, Mutkowska will prepare recommendations to the U.S. EPA’s response to the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, Section 4101. Their report, as approved by EFAB, is due to U.S. Congress in April 2020.

    The Task Force is comprised of elected officials, stormwater managers, financial advisers, and representatives from Federal, State, and local governments and private (including nonprofit) entities from across the country.

    “By leading stormwater quality improvement efforts in Ventura County, I am able to provide our unique situations to the nationwide discussion of funding needs,” said Mutkowska. “It’s a great opportunity to share my experience, provide feedback and contribute to this Congressional Report. I’ll also be engaging with other expert consultants on the Task Force to expand my knowledge and utilize it locally.”

    The Task Force group will focus on three key areas:

    identify available funding for stormwater/flood control infrastructure,

    1. identify how the sources of funding affect the affordability of the infrastructure, and
    2. evaluate whether funding sources are sufficient to support capital expenditures and long-term operation and maintenance costs.

    As one of the counties and municipalities that does not have dedicated funding sources for compliance with stormwater quality regulations, Ventura County is faced with costly regulations and fast approaching timelines, which provides a unique opportunity for Mutkowska to bring the county’s concerns to the federal level.

    “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,” states Mutkowska.

    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.”

    Photo cutline (Left to Right): Lindsay Darjany, Senior Research Technician for Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP); Racine Rangel, Laboratory Assistant for SCCWRP; and Ewelina Mutkowska, Stormwater Program Manager prepare to collect stormwater samples.

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