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Comment Period Extended by SCWRCG to Aug. 1st for Bacteria Provisions of Water Quality

To All,

Please consider commenting on the State Water Board’s plan to protect state waters from bacteria pollution. Your comment can be a simple statement of concern or as detail as you want from reading the plan below or from other sources.

You can mail it by post to the address given below or by email, info@waterboards.ca.gov

Larry

PROPOSED PART 3 OF THE WATER QUALITY CONTROL PLAN FOR INLAND SURFACE WATERS, ENCLOSED BAYS, AND ESTUARIES OF CALIFORNIA—BACTERIA PROVISIONS AND A WATER QUALITY STANDARDS VARIANCE POLICY
AND
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE WATER QUALITY CONTROL PLAN FOR OCEAN WATERS OF CALIFORNIA—BACTERIA PROVISIONS AND A WATER QUALITY STANDARDS VARIANCE POLICY

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will receive public comments on the proposed Part 3 of the Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries of California—Bacteria Provisions and a Water Quality Standards Variance Policy and the Proposed Amendment to the Water Quality Control Plan for Ocean Waters of California—Bacteria Provisions and a Water Quality Standards Variance Policy (hereafter Bacteria Provisions), and the Draft Staff Report, including the Draft Substitute Environmental Documentation, for the Bacteria Provisions (hereafter Staff Report).

NOTICE IS ADDITIONALLY HEREBY GIVEN that State Water Board staff will hold a staff workshop to provide the public an opportunity to discuss the Bacteria Provisions and the Staff Report. Discussion of the Bacteria Provisions primary elements will assist the public with formulating written comments and assist staff in appreciating the public’s comments. A quorum of Board members may be present; however, no Board action will be taken. The staff workshop will be:

1 Notice of Filing submitted under California Code of Regulations, title 23, section 3779.

Monday, July 10, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Joe Serna Jr. – CalEPA Headquarters Bldg. Sierra Hearing Room
1001 I Street, Second Floor Sacramento, CA 95814

At the staff workshop, staff will present information related to the Bacteria Provisions.

NOTICE IS ADDITIONALLY HEREBY GIVEN that the State Water Board will hold a public hearing to receive public input and comments on the Bacteria Provisions and the Staff Report. A quorum of the State Water Board may be present; however, no Board action will be taken. The public hearing will be:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017August 1, 2017 9:30 a.m.
Joe Serna Jr. – CalEPA Headquarters Bldg. Coastal Hearing Room
1001 I Street, Second Floor Sacramento, CA 95814

Additional information on the hearing in Sacramento can be found at the State Water Board’s website at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_info/calendar/.

THE BACTERIA PROVISIONS

The Bacteria Provisions, if adopted, would apply to fresh, estuarine, and marine waters; include revised indicator organisms [Escherichia coli (E. coli) and enterococci]; establish a risk protection level; and include new bacteria water quality objectives for the protection of Water Contact Recreation (REC-1). The Bacteria Provisions also include elements necessary for bacteria control implementation including reference beach and natural source exclusion approaches, high flow suspensions, seasonal suspensions, and designation of Limited Water Contact Recreation (LREC-1). In addition, the Bacteria Provisions identify an existing mechanism for adopting water quality standards variances for pollutants and waterbodies.

Beneficial Use
A beneficial use definition for Limited Water Contact Recreation (LREC-1) waters is included in the Bacteria Provisions. This beneficial use definition recognizes that body contact is limited in a waterbody due to physical conditions, such as restricted access and very low water depths.

Water Quality Objectives
New statewide bacteria water quality objectives for REC-1 waters are needed to update the current bacteria objectives in Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) Basin Plans to be consistent with U.S. EPA’s 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria recommendations. The Bacteria Provisions will ensure that bacterial objectives for REC-1 waters are based on the most recent science and are consistently updated statewide.

The Program of Implementation
The Bacteria Provisions include the following implementation provisions within the context of a Total Maximum Daily Load:

  •   Reference System/Antidegradation approach.
  •   Natural Sources Exclusion approachThe Bacteria Provisions include policies supporting:
  •   High Flow Suspension of the REC-1 beneficial use.
  •   Seasonal Suspension of the REC-1 beneficial use.Water Quality Standards Variances
    The Bacteria Provisions identify the mechanism for adopting a variance to allow for additional implementation actions applicable to all pollutants and water segments consistent with 40 Code of Federal Regulations section 131.14.DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY

    The Bacteria Provisions, Staff Report, and other information will be available on the State Water Board’s website on June 26, 2017 June 30, 2017 at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/bacterialobjectives/.

    You may request a paper copy of the proposed Bacteria Provisions by calling Stephanie Rose at (916) 341-5574 or via email at Stephanie.Rose@waterboards.ca.gov, Michael Gjerde at (916) 341-5283 or via email at Michael.Gjerde@waterboards.ca.gov, or Nick Martorano at (916) 341-5290 or via email at Nicholas.Martorano@waterboards.ca.gov.

    PROCEDURAL MATTERS

    At the July 18th public hearing, there will be no sworn testimony or cross-examination of participants. However, the State Water Board and its staff may ask clarifying questions. At the hearing, participants will be given an opportunity to summarize and supplement their written materials with oral presentations. To ensure a productive and efficient hearing in which all participants have an opportunity to participate, oral presentations may be time-limited. For other presentation recommendations go to: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_info/meetings/board_presentations.shtml.

    The State Water Board will schedule a meeting subsequent to the public hearing at which it will consider adopting the Provisions.

    SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS

    State Water Board staff will also accept input and recommendations through written comments. Written comments must be received no later than 12:00 noon on Friday, August 11, 2017 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 and addressed to:

    Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board
    State Water Resources Control Board
    P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95812-2000 (mail)
    1001 I Street, 24th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 (hand-delivery)