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State Water Boards Bacterial Objectives
The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is proposing a statewide control program to protect recreational users from the effects of pathogens in California water bodies. The program would be adopted as amendments to both the Inland Surface Water, Enclosed Bays and Estuaries Plan and the California Ocean Plan. Significant proposed program elements may include: new water quality objectives for both fresh and marine waters based on newly released United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) criteria; a reference beach/natural source exclusion process and high flow exemptions; and revised beach notification requirements.
Official Documents and Timeline
- The proposed Bacteria Provisions and Variance Policy are undergoing the public review process. Project documents are available for review once released to the public.
- Project Timeline
June - August
Meetings on Variance Policy
Comment and staff workshop on Draft Staff Report
Board Hearing for Public Comment Response to Comments Board Adoption
- Phase currently in progress: Draft Staff Report under development.
- NEW Notice of Variance Policy Scoping Meeting
- NEW Variance Policy Scoping Document
- NEW Variance Policy Scoping Meeting Power Point Presentation
- Scoping Document - 2015
- Scoping Notice - 2015
- Scoping Meeting PowerPoint Presentation
- CDPH Uniform Guidelines for Sewage Disinfection
Focus Group Outreach
Focus Group Meeting were held to obtain early input on the scope of the proposed bactieria objectives.
Existing statutes and regulations
- Ocean Beaches AB 411, Chaptered into law in 1997 added Sections 115880-115915 to the California Health and Safety Code.
These statutes (AB411 is the shorthand) are for the California beach water quality monitoring program that samples fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and provides public notification if it is safe to swim based at 476 California coastal and San Francisco Bay saltwater beaches.
- U.S. EPA Recreational Water Quality Criteria
U.S. EPA's nationally recommended Recreational Water Quality Criteria (RWQC) protect human health in inland and coastal waters. The criteria are designed to protect primary contact recreation, such as swimming, surfing, and diving.
- CDPH Beaches and Recreational Waters
The California Department of Public Health provides links to the Regulations (based on AB411 statutes) and guidance material to assist local health agencies in addressing microbiological contamination of fresh and saltwater beaches and recreational waters.
- US EPA Nationwide Bacteria Standards Protect Swimmers at Beaches
A 2004 US EPA overview of the implementation of Beach safety programs nationwide based on the 2000 BEACH Act.
|Stephanie Rose (Inland Waters)
phone: (916) 341-5574
|Michael Gjerde (Ocean Waters)
phone (916) 341-5283
|Rik Rasmussen, Program Manager
phone: (916) 341-5549
|Nick Martorano, Unit Chief
phone (916) 341-5290
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