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ALAMEDA, CA-New regulations by the San Francisco Regional Quality Control Board regarding new clean water requirements are expected to cost private and public developers up to $300 million annually, according to Alameda County and Contra Costa County officials.

These new regulations would apply to all new commercial and private developments, redevelopment projects and capital improvements that pave more than an acre of land in 2005. The developers would be required to build facilities to store and treat storm runoff water and then transfer the water into the ground.

The stated purpose of these regulations is to improve the quality of drinking water in the areas and maintain ground reserves for dry spells, but opponents say that the costs will cause many problems. For example, the new regulations could discourage affordable housing or force developers to increase the prices of homes.

The regional water board will vote on the permit changes for Alameda and Contra Costa counties in October.

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