ITEM 10: CONSIDERATION OF APPROVAL OF A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OR HIS DESIGNEE, TO ACCEPT A CLEAN WATER ACT (CWA) SECTION 104(b)(3) GRANT FOR $338,750 TO FUND ONE STATEWIDE AND TWO REGIONAL WETLANDS PROTECTION PROGRAMS
DISCUSSION: On August 23, 1994 Governor Pete Wilson issued Executive Order W-59-93: policy on wetlands conservation, planning, and regulation. Goals and objectives of the policy included long-term increase in the quantity and quality of the State's wetlands, primarily through the implementation of regional wetlands protection programs. The Order also discusses the need to investigate State assumption of the CWA Section 404 Dredge/Fill Permit program.
In the years following release of this policy, the San Francisco Bay (Region 2) and Lahontan (Region 6) Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB) competed successfully for annual Federal wetlands protection grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). Over the past three years wetlands water quality planning and regulatory programs have been developed in each Region, and staff have explored the means for the State to assume, in part, Federal wetlands regulatory responsibilities. Building on this regional experience, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is now ready to begin work to investigate possible assumption of the Section 404 regulatory program statewide.
Attachment 1 outlines tasks and estimated costs for the SWRCB component of the grant. This work will involve $100,000 for review of nationwide state and Federal wetlands regulatory programs.
An additional $100,000 will fund work by the Region 2 RWQCB to continue development and implementation of its regional pilot program to assume wetlands regulatory authorities for the San Francisco Bay area. Region 2 staff is currently preparing a final workplan incorporating changes suggested by the U.S.EPA Region 9 office. Upon completion a copy of the revised Region 2 workplan will be made available to the SWRCB's Executive Director.
The third and final component of the 1997 wetlands grant, $138,750, has been requested to fund the regional wetlands planning and regulatory program in the Lahontan Region. Attachment 2 is the workplan for the proposed grant work in Region 6.
The SWRCB has not received a wetlands grant since 1992. The two RWQCBs (Regions 2, 6) have together annually received grants with a combined total of approximately $300,000 per year from 1993 to 1996. The State is required to contribute at least a 25 percent funding match for these Federal wetlands grants.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB authorize the Executive Director, or his designee, to: (1) accept a CWA Section 104(b)(3) grant in the amount of $338,750 from U.S. EPA for one statewide and two regional wetlands protection programs; (2) negotiate subsequent amendments to the three grant workplans not affecting the total grant amount; and (3) negotiate and execute contracts and amendments in accordance with the three program workplans?
FISCAL IMPACT: The SWRCB will match the award with $25,000 worth of wetlands grant management/administration and wetlands regulatory activities to satisfy the required 25 percent State match. Both RWQCBs are committing budgeted, in-kind activities for their portion of the State match. Region 2 is committing 404 Regional Wetlands Management Plans (Task 406, General Fund) activities and Region 6 is committing Basin Planning (Task 402, General Funds) activities. U.S. EPA is accepting these for the required State match.
RWQCB IMPACT: Region 2 and Region 6 will be impacted by their portions of the grant. All Regions may be impacted to some degree by the SWRCB portion of the grant.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: That the SWRCB approves a resolution authorizing the Executive Director, or his designee, to: (1) accept a CWA Section 104(b)(3) grant in the amount of $338,750 from U.S. EPA for one statewide and two regional wetlands protection programs; (2) negotiate subsequent amendments to the three workplans not affecting the total grant amount; and (3) negotiate and execute contracts and amendments in accordance with the three program workplans.
Note: Attachments 1 and 2 are not available electronically. For copies, contact
Division of Water Quality
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 944213
Sacramento, CA 94244-2130
(916) 657-1022 or FAX (916) 657-2127
SEPTEMBER 9, 1997 DRAFT
1. Wetlands serve an increasingly vital role in insuring achievement of water quality standards and bolstering the overall environmental and economic health of State watersheds through nutrient production, natural flood and erosion control, ground water recharge, reduction and removal of toxic components, improvement of aesthetics, and maintenance of habitats for fish, wildlife, and recreation and commercial activities.
2. Governor Wilson issued Executive Order W-59-93, including the goal of achieving no overall net loss and the long-term gain in the quantity and quality of State wetlands.
3. The State Policy initially recognized regional efforts to (a) coordinate wetlands protection with economic activities and (b) specifically investigate the substitution of an effective and timely State regulatory program for the CWA Section 404 Dredge/Fill Permit Program in the San Francisco Bay area.
4. With pilot programs underway in two regions, the State must begin to investigate effective means to develop and implement a statewide wetlands regulatory program incorporating existing State authorities in combination with Federal mandates for wetlands protection.
5. Congress has appropriated wetlands protection funds in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 1997 to help states develop or enhance regional wetland protection programs. Funds will be disbursed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) under CWA Section 104(b)(3).
6. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staff, acting for the San Francisco Bay and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Boards' staffs, has submitted proposals to the U.S. EPA for one statewide and two regional wetlands protection programs to be funded by a FFY 1997 CWA Section 104(b)(3) grant.
7. A notice of intent has been submitted to the State Clearinghouse advising it of the SWRCB's application for the FFY 1997 CWA Section 104(b)(3) funds.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The SWRCB authorizes the Executive Director, or his designee, to:
1. Accept a CWA Section 104(b)(3) grant in the amount of $338,750 from U.S. EPA for one statewide and two regional wetlands protection programs, if offered;
2. Negotiate subsequent amendments to the three workplans not affecting the total grant amount; and
3. Negotiate and execute contracts and amendments in accordance with the three program workplans.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the SWRCB, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on September 18, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board