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Nicole Hall

Senior Communications Specialist

T: 619.400.2859
M: 858.531.2863

After hours and weekends please email or call the Airport Communications Center at 858.531.2863


San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Receives Environmental Excellence Award

Industrial Environmental Association Recognizes SAN for Northside Stormwater Capture Cistern

Thursday, September 3, 2020

SAN DIEGO September 3, 2020 – The Industrial Environmental Association (IEA) has selected the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport Authority) as a 2020 Environmental Excellence Award winner for the Northside Stormwater Capture Cistern. This year’s award winners were evaluated by a panel of industry experts from the IEA and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) on projects that demonstrate science driven environmental leadership and best practices.

“We live in a region that depends on imported supplies for more than 80 percent of its drinking water,” said Kimberly J. Becker, President and CEO. “Water stewardship is a key part of the airport’s sustainability efforts. We are honored to receive this award and we are proud to see continued development of our Stormwater Capture and Reuse System contribute to conserving our region’s natural resources.”

The Northside Stormwater Capture Cistern is the first element of the Stormwater Capture and Reuse System to come from the Airport Authority Water Stewardship Plan. The storage capacity for the Stormwater Capture and Reuse System was conceived as three separate elements of approximately 3 million gallons each. The first of these three elements to be constructed is the Northside Stormwater Capture Cistern.

The Northside Stormwater Capture Cistern has been constructed to capture stormwater runoff from 80 acres of airport property on the north side of the airport runway. The cistern is designed to capture and reuse approximately 16 million gallons annually. The captured stormwater will be used to wash cars at the nearby Rental Car Center where an average of 4,000 cars are washed daily.

Development of the Northside Cistern is driven by scientific analysis and provides an innovative response to regional permit requirements for both stormwater pollution prevention and post-construction requirements for development/redevelopment, while creating a new source of water in San Diego’s drought-prone arid environment.

Environmental stewardship is a hallmark of operations at the San Diego International Airport (SAN). The Airport Authority instituted one of the first sustainability policies for a major airport in the United States. The Airport Authority is committed to building and operating sustainably, and strives to protect the wide variety of natural resources that exist at SAN’s location.

“The entire group of nominees for Environmental Excellence Awards were the most impressive group I have seen in a long time,” said Jack Monger, CEO of IEA.  “This year, we selected five winners, and one of the standouts was the Northside Stormwater Capture Cistern at SAN because it easily satisfied the award criteria for initiative, creativity and reliance on scientific data.”

The winners will be introduced during the IEA’s 36th Annual Environmental Training Symposium and first virtual conference on Wednesday, September 30 and Thursday, October 1, 2020.


San Diego International Airport (SAN) offers nonstop service to more than 70 destinations in the continental U.S., Europe, Asia, Mexico and Canada. In operation since 1928, the airport celebrated more than 90 years of service to the San Diego region in 2018. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has managed the airport since 2003. The Airport Authority plans for and provides air transportation services to the region with safe, effective facilities that exceed customer expectations. For more information, please visit

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