As discussed in the BAS Synthesis, runoff from areas influenced by human development is well characterized (National Research Council, 2008) and is often contaminated with an array of pollutants, including: those from lawn and garden chemicals (containing both active ingredients and surfactants that can negatively affect aquatic species); building materials including pressure treated lumber (containing copper chromated arsenate), zinc and copper impregnated shingles and roofing strips, and roofing materials containing phthalates (plastic gutters and downspouts, roofing felt, roof membranes); fertilizers; rodent poisons; termite spray and other insecticides; moss control products; deicers; contaminants associated with automobiles, including oil, antifreeze, rubber and metals from the wear of tires, brakes and other parts; and sediment from dirt and gravel driveways. Many of these contaminants are directly associated with the choices and practices of the property owner and are difficult or impossible to regulate. If they are allowed to enter surface water bodies, these pollutants can contaminate and become concentrated in the food web, negatively affecting aquatic habitats and species.
Let's suppose you have a friend who doesn't take very good care of herself. She drinks, smokes, does drugs, and is overweight. You, on the other hand, are fit. You exercise, eat right, and take vitamins. So imagine your friend becomes ill and goes to the doctor for a diagnosis. How applicable is that diagnosis (or the treatment) to you?
That's what our "Best Available Science" has done. It has borrowed a list of pollutants (stressors) found elsewhere, borrowed buffer sizes from elsewhere, borrowed transport processes and pathways, and borrowed exposure scenarios from elsewhere. The borrowed problems and solutions of our unfit urban neighbors have been applied to us, despite their situation being fundamentally different from ours. If you have seen the Hyde talk, for example, you have learned that our marine waters are exchanged on a frequent and regular basis, but it takes weeks for that to happen in lower Puget Sound. And the differences don't stop there. We cannot borrow someplace else's risk situation anymore than we can borrow someone else's diagnosis or health risk factors.
After all this borrowing, the County then tells us that they've developed a "site-specific" CAO process for us. That's politician's logic for ya. Borrowing has become such a way of life here, we don't even recognize when we do it anymore. Maybe, in addition to the pledge of allegiance, every Council meeting should begin with a recitation of Polonious' advice to Laertes, especially the bit about "neither a borrower nor a lender be."