SUBJECT: Acceptance of Settlement Agreement, Revision of Waste Discharge Requirements Order No. 93-156 for Stone Land Company, Inc., and Revision of Board Order WQ 96-07. SWRCB/OCC Files A-858, A-858(a), and A-858(b).
DISCUSSION: In 1993 several parties, including the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), petitioned the State Water Board for review of waste discharge requirements, and accompanying environmental impact reports (EIRs), adopted by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region (Regional Water Board), for several agricultural drainage pond operators in the Tulare Lake Basin. After conducting hearings, the Board eventually adopted Order WQ 96-07, remanding five sets of waste discharge requirements and EIRs to the Regional Water Board for reconsideration. Stone Land Company, Inc. (Stone) was included among the operators covered by Order WQ 96-07.
The State Water Board excluded from the remand several operators who had previously settled with the Service. Stone recently settled with the Service and requests similar treatment.
The proposed order would grant Stone's request. The proposed order accepts the Stone settlement agreement, modifies Stone's waste discharge requirements in accordance with the agreement, and revises Order WQ 96-07 to exclude Stone from its coverage.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the State Water Board accept the Stone settlement agreement, modify Stone's waste discharge requirements and revise Order WQ 96-07 accordingly?
FISCAL IMPACT: This activity is budgeted within existing resources and no additional fiscal demands will occur as a result of approving this item.
RWQCB IMPACT: Yes, Central Valley Regional Water Board.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approve the proposed order.
DRAFT November 7, 1997
In the Matter of the Petitions of
LLOYD CARTER AND PATRICK PORGANS,
BAY INSTITUTE OF SAN FRANCISCO, ET AL.
UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
for Review of Waste Discharge Requirements Adopted by and Environmental Impact Reports Certified by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region, for 14 Tulare Lake Basin Agricultural Drainage Dischargers. SWRCB/OCC Files A-858, A-858(a) and A-858(b)
BY THE BOARD:
Stone Land Company, Inc. (Stone) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently signed a settlement agreement covering Stone's operation of an agricultural drainage evaporation pond in the Tulare Lake Basin. Stone has requested that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) modify a previous Board order, remanding the waste discharge requirements issued to Stone by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region (Regional Water Board), to conform with the settlement agreement. This order grants Stone's request.
In 1993 Patrick Porgans and Lloyd Carter, the Bay Institute of San Francisco and other environmental groups, and the Service filed petitions with the State Water Board for review of the waste discharge requirements, and related environmental impact reports (EIRs), adopted by the Regional Water Board for a number of agricultural drainage evaporation pond operators in the Tulare Lake Basin. These operators included Stone. After holding several days of evidentiary hearings in 1995, the Board eventually adopted Order WQ 96-07 remanding the waste discharge requirements and EIRs for five operators, including Stone, to the Regional Water Board for reconsideration.
The State Water Board excluded a number of operators from Order WQ 96-07 because they had previously entered into settlement agreements with the Service covering operation of their evaporation ponds. At the request of both the Service and the affected operators, the State Water Board had accepted these agreements, made conforming revisions to the operators' waste discharge requirements, and declined further review of their requirements and associated EIRs. Footnote1 Stone has recently entered into a similar agreement with the Service and requests that this Board, likewise, accept the agreement and exclude Stone's operation from further Regional Water Board reconsideration under Order WQ 96-07.
The Board has previously stated its desire to support the voluntary resolution of differences between parties before the Board. Consistent with this desire, the Board has decided to treat Stone like the other settling parties in this case. The Board will, therefore, grant Stone's request to accept the settlement agreement, revise Order 93-156, and revise our previous order remanding this matter to the Regional Water Board.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the State Water Board accepts the Stone settlement agreement, which is attached to this Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Regional Water Board Order 93-156 is hereby modified in accordance with the Stone settlement agreement.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Order WQ 96-07 is hereby revised to delete Stone from the list of operators whose waste discharge requirements and EIRs were remanded to the Regional Water Board for reconsideration.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of an order duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on November 18, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board
See State Water Board Resolutions 95-37 and 95-46, as amended by Resolution 96-020.