Overview of Board Programs

Note that the Board accounts for staff resources in PY's, or "Person Years", which represent a single full-time employee of the Regional Board

Administrative Support

Administrative Support Team

Program Manager: Kelli Garver

Overview of the Administrative Support Team

The Regional Board employs approximately 250 permanent employees and 40 temporary or part-time employees. Of those staff, 18 serve as our Administrative Support team. The Administrative Support Program provides administrative/operational support for the management of 18 other technical and regulatory programs across three offices (Rancho Cordova, Redding, and Fresno).

Our administrative program staff play a key role in our infrastructure, not only in the day-to-day operations, but also working within the regulatory programs to ensure that our staffing resources are used efficiently. Our team is responsible for activities that are related to budget projection and tracking, contract/grant development and management, procurement, managing laboratory services, record keeping, billing, personnel/human resources, recruitment, physical distribution of mail/electronic content management, vehicle fleet management, data management, and logistics.

Program Goals

The Administrative Support Program serves to support the Region's mission, initiatives, and priorities by providing constant, reliable administrative assistance to our customers, both internally and externally, while applying the highest standards and ethics. We value and respect our organizational diversity and strive for the best for our customers.


A total of 18 personnel years (PYs) has been allocated between all three offices in the Central Valley Region for Fiscal Year 21/22: 6 PY in Fresno, 2 in Redding and 10 in the Rancho Cordova office.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Updated the Office Procedure Manual and the Administrative Support intranet web pages to provide a roadmap for day-to-day business operations, to ensure compliance with the State Administrative Manual, and to offer guidance and support.
  • Evaluated, standardized, and developed numerous data entry procedures for the California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS) Data Management Support Project.
  • Program staff created a repository for guidance resources and materials to assist Board staff with efficient and consistent data entry to achieve quality data, effective searches, and to avoid duplicate records.
  • Successfully initiated and processed approximately 100 Requests for Personnel Action (RPAs) through the Board's electronic system even with reduced administrative resources.
  • Efficiently processed and reconciled 916 employee training requests, ensuring timely course registrations for external training courses and conferences.
  • Assisted technical programs in the production and remediation of over 900 web accessible documents.

Priorities 22/23

Continue outreach and collaboration with State Board Division of Administrative Services (DAS) and the Department of General Services (DGS) to adjust space utilization in our Region in response to telework. Program staff will coordinate with these entities to comply with DGS’s space reduction/consolidation effort to reduce over 5,000 square feet of leased space in the Rancho Cordova office. We will also utilize the State Water Board’s recently updated Records Retention Schedules to apply records management best practices for compliance, retention, and disposal of paper records in support of this effort.

Permitting Programs

NPDES Program

Program Manager: Anne Walters

For more information visit the
NPDES Program web page

Overview of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program

The Clean Water Act’s NPDES program is a federal program delegated to the State of California. This program protects beneficial uses by regulating point source discharges of pollutants to surface waters. Point sources are discrete conveyances, such as pipes and outfalls, and include wastewater treatment facilities, fish hatcheries, and industrial facilities. General NPDES permits can regulate numerous facilities with similar types of discharges. NPDES permits are updated every five years per federal regulations.

Program Goals

  • Regulate all point source discharges to waters of the United States to ensure protection of beneficial uses;
  • Permits are renewed every five years; and
  • Where appropriate, the cost of compliance is considered when developing permit conditions.


Staff resources for the NPDES Program (25.7 PYs) is allocated for permitting (15.4 PYs), compliance/enforcement (7.8 PYs), and management/support (2.5 PYs).

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Due to declining permitting resources, permitting efficiency is a high priority. Program staff focused on developing tools to streamline, increase quality, and consistency of permits. The tools include mid-permit reviews, templates, calculation tools, and use of general permits. Mid-permit reviews and use of general permits have helped staff adaptively prioritize sampling and permitting requirements.
  • To ensure availability of quality data for permitting decisions, staff developed tools to help review methods and sampling requirements. These tools will help with permitting efficiency and help staff advise communities on data collection for permitting.

Priorities 22/23

  • Maintain focus on increasing permitting Efficiencies, Quality, and Consistency to reduce time needed to develop permits and improve permit consistency and quality.
  • Conduct mid-permit reviews to identify data issues early, and so that permittees may resolve data quality issues prior to submitting permit renewal applications.
  • Implement new Statewide Toxicity Provisions efficiently and effectively to ensure permit renewals are not delayed.

Waste Discharge to Land Program

Program Manager: Alex Mushegan

For more information visit the
Waste Discharge to Land Program web page

Overview of the Waste Discharge to Land Program

The Waste Discharge to Land Program protects groundwater quality by regulating facilities whose discharges do not fall within the jurisdiction of the federal NPDES Program or other special permitting programs. The Waste Discharge to Land Program is the oldest state water quality control program, covering wastewater (sewage) treatment facilities, food processing industries (including wineries), wastewater recycling, sand and gravel mines, and other industries that discharge non-hazardous wastes. The Program currently regulates over 1,400 facilities in the Central Valley.

Program Goals

The Program’s core activities include expediting the completion of new or revised individual waste discharge requirements, the identification and enrollment of dischargers under existing general orders or waivers, and the development additional general orders to regulate classes of dischargers in a consistent manner.

The Program will continue to coordinate with and support CV SALTS program staff to review Notices of Intent and regulatory proposals from dischargers under the Nitrate and Salt Control Programs and to implement these programs via the revision of existing permits. This Program is also responsible for implementing the state-wide Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Policy and the wastewater consolidation program.


There are currently 25 PYs in the Program. Approximately 7 PYs are dedicated for compliance and enforcement program and miscellaneous cleanups, 2 PYs are dedicated to the wastewater consolidation program, leaving a little over 15 PYs for general permitting obligations.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • 10 individual non-15 waste discharge requirements developed and adopted by the Board.
  • 64 discharges were enrolled under existing general orders or waivers.
  • Issued numerous monitoring and reporting programs and 13260/13267 letters requesting Reports of Waste Discharge to dischargers not currently being regulated.
  • Reviewed many proposals submitted by dischargers under the Salt and Nitrate Control Programs to ensure that all eligible facilities were enrolling under the appropriate programs.

Priorities 22/23

  • Continue to prioritize CV-SALTS implementation.
  • Maintain high standards for permitting efficiency, consistency, and quality.
  • Conduct stakeholder outreach and include underserved and underrepresented communities during the permitting process and implementation of the WWC program.
  • Develop new region-wide general orders to reduce backlog
    • Large domestic WWTF (Redding)
    • Nut drying and hulling (Sacramento)
    • Food processors (Fresno)

Water Quality Certification Program

Program Manager: Lynn Coster

For more information visit the
Water Quality Certification Program web page

Overview of the Water Quality Certifications Program

The Water Quality Certification program regulates removal or placement of materials in wetlands and waterways in the state. Examples of such projects include navigational dredging, flood control channelization, levee construction, channel clearing, fill of wetlands for development, bridge piers, docks, habitat restoration, etc. These projects generally require a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and the state’s Water Quality Certification certifies that the projects will also meet state water quality requirements. Projects involving discharges to non-federal waters of the state are regulated under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act through the issuance of Waste Discharge Requirements. The program also implements State Water Board’s Dredge/Fill Procedures that became effective in 2020.

Program Goals

The goal of the Water Quality Certification Program is to protect the integrity of all surface waters, with a special focus on high-quality waters, such as wetlands, riparian areas, and headwaters. These waterbodies have high resource value, are vulnerable to filling, and are not systematically protected by other programs. The program also implements the State and Federal Wetlands No Net Loss Policies, which requires the Board to take steps to avoid project impacts and minimize and compensate for unavoidable impacts. Additional program goals include the protection of special-status species and regulation of hydromodification impacts.


The Central Valley Water Board has approximately 13 PYs to implement the program, with resources distributed between the region’s three offices.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Reviewed applications for 220 projects, issued 222 actions, and conducted 30 inspections. Regulated approximately 1,100 active projects.
  • Engaged underrepresented communities (tribal members) to explain application and permitting process.
  • Participated on the Inter-Agency Review Team for the Central Valley In-Lieu Fee Program sponsored by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
  • Participated in ongoing development of Utility Wildfire Mitigation General Order.
  • Caltrans liaison worked to develop ongoing improvements to streamline permitting for Caltrans projects and participated in statewide and regional coordination meetings.
  • Developed a general permit to regulate maintenance dredging activities that is proposed for adoption at the Board’s August 2022 meeting.
  • Staff participated in program-related training, including wetland delineation training offered to a select number of staff. Additional training for new staff was conducted.

Priorities 22/23

  • Improve on timely issuance of certifications includes adaptively prioritizing staff time on projects with the highest potential for water quality impacts; streamlining the permitting process; engaging with underserved and underrepresented communities to explain processes; and workload sharing across the region.
  • Conduct targeted inspections on 10% of water quality certification projects and allocate remaining resources to other compliance/enforcement actions, as needed.
  • Coordinate with State Board in the development and implementation of a new Utility Wildfire General Order.
  • Implement process improvements and utilize Caltrans liaison position to streamline permitting of Caltrans projects.
  • Adapt to ongoing federal changes, to include U.S. EPA’s 401 Certification Rule, and implement new General Orders adopted by State Board.
  • Staff training to implement federal and state changes, as well as extra program-related training for the influx of new staff. The development of internal process improvements to streamline workflow, attain higher employee and stakeholder engagement, and to achieve racial equity will be a priority.

Storm Water Program

Program Manager: Bryan Smith

For more information visit the
Storm Water Program web page

Overview of the Storm Water Program

The Storm Water Program implements National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to regulate the discharge of pollutants in storm water to waters of the U.S. The program is divided into three main areas of activity: construction (including Caltrans projects), industrial, and municipal. The permits require implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and other program elements and controls to minimize the discharge of pollutants and requires visual and chemical monitoring. Board staff review monitoring and other program reports, conduct compliance inspections and audits, and conduct enforcement activities as needed.

Program Goals

The goal of the Storm Water Program is to prevent discharges of pollutants in storm water and non-storm water running off construction, industrial, and municipal areas. Pollutants frequently associated with storm water discharges include sediment, petroleum products, pesticides/herbicides, metals, bacteria, trash, and other debris. Program staff review individual projects, make site specific recommendations, and ensure compliance with pertinent regulations and policies through inspections and enforcement. Staff pursue water quality protection at construction and industrial sites through a strong field presence and through the review of reports and monitoring data. Staff pursue water quality protection associated with MS4 discharges by ensuring approved management plans are being implemented and are effective.


The Central Valley Water Board has 12.75 PYs to implement the program.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Maintained a strong field presence and conducted 411 Construction inspections, 255 Industrial inspections, and 56 Municipal inspections/audits. Industrial facilities are often located in communities with environmental justice concerns. Many of the industrial inspections, and related compliance/enforcement activities, were performed in these areas.
  • Worked with MS4 permittees on development of Storm Water Management Plan elements.
  • Participated in a multi-agency trash cleanups in waterways.
  • Supported implementation of sediment and erosion control measures and water quality monitoring and assessment in areas impacted by wildfires.
  • Implemented internal process improvements, such as the development of inspection report templates, to provide greater efficiency and consistency.
  • Coordinated with the Planning section on implementation of the Pyrethroids Control Program.
  • Conducted scoping and drafted revisions for renewal of the Regionwide Municipal Storm Water General Order. Consistent with the Regional Board’s Strategic Plan, this general order provides flexibility to permittees to focus limited resources on addressing the highest priority water quality concerns.

Priorities 22/23

  • Maintain a strong field presence and conduct at least 385 Construction inspections, 195 Industrial inspections, and inspect/audit Municipal programs as projects come up for review and as program elements are developed. Consider environmental justice concerns as a factor when selecting facilities for inspections and related compliance/enforcement activities.
  • Continue working with MS4 permittees on development, review, and approval of Storm Water Management Plan elements.
  • Continue work on renewal of the Regionwide Municipal Storm Water General Order, including stakeholder engagement, and present at a Regional Board meeting for consideration of adoption.
  • Review and approve plans for capture of municipal trash, and support development of strategies to promote watershed-level trash cleanups.
  • Continue support for implementation of the Pyrethroids Control Program by reviewing and approving monitoring and management plans.

Planning, Monitoring and Assessment

Basin Planning Program

Program Manager: Meredith Howard

For more information visit the
Basin Planning Program web page

Overview of the Basin Planning Program

Water Quality Control Plans or “Basin Plans” provide the foundation for all Central Valley Water Board regulatory actions. Basin Plans identify beneficial uses of surface and ground waters, water quality objectives to protect those uses, implementation actions to achieve objectives and a monitoring and surveillance program to ensure implementation actions are effective. The TMDL, Delta, and CV-SALTS factsheets capture many aspects of the basin planning program and additional details on those programs. There are two Basin Plans for the Central Valley Region, one for the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins, and one for the Tulare Lake Basin.

Program Goals

The goals of the Basin Planning Program are to establish regulatory policies, frameworks and programs that will preserve and enhance water quality and protect beneficial uses of water. Ultimately, many Basin Planning Program projects result in amendments to the Basin Plans that provide the foundation for all the Board’s regulatory actions. The Basin Plans identify the beneficial uses of waters of the state, and the water quality objectives necessary to protect these waters. The Triennial Review is a public process conducted every three years to ensure that the Basin Plans address public concerns and continue to be effective at meeting program goals in a reasonable and transparent manner.


The resources for this program are 9 PYs, 5 PYs of which are allocated to the Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS), 1 PY for the Tribal Beneficial Uses project, 1 PY for biostimulatory projects and assessments, and the remaining for program management, permitting support, and other projects.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Continued implementation of priority projects including CV-SALTS, Tribal Beneficial Use (TBU) Designations, and beneficial use de-designations where designations were made without considering background conditions.
  • Developed Basin Plan Amendment to add Tribal Beneficial Use definitions to the Basin Plans, TBU Primer to assist Tribes with understanding the regulatory process, and mentored CivicSpark Fellow to assist with the TBU efforts.
  • Developed region-wide assessment workplan focused on evaluation of biostimulatory and biointegrity impacts and coordinated efforts with State Water Board.
  • Completed the 2021 Triennial Review Process.

Priorities 22/23

  • Continue to allocate resources to implement the CV-SALTS Program.
  • Continue implementation of prioritized Triennial Review projects including Tribal Beneficial Use designations.
  • Develop basin plan amendments to address beneficial use de-designations, where appropriate.
  • Implement region-wide assessment workplan to evaluate biostimulatory and biointegrity impacts and continue participation in State Water Board development of the Biostimulatory Biointegrity Policy.
  • Continue regulatory process to add Tribal Beneficial Uses definitions to the Basin Plans and develop basin plan amendment to designate waterbodies for TBUs.

Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Program

Program Manager: Meredith Howard

For more information visit the
TMDL Program web page

Overview of the TMDL Program

Clean Water Act section 303(d) requires States to develop a list of surface water bodies that do not meet water quality standards (called the 303(d) list), and to establish pollutant load reduction targets (total maximum daily loads, or TMDLs) or equivalent alternative control programs necessary to attain water quality standards. TMDLs establish numeric targets to attain applicable water quality standards, establish waterbodies' maximum allowable pollutant loads consistent with those targets, and allocate allowable loads among the pollutant sources. In California, TMDLs must include implementation plans to achieve pollutant load reductions.

Program Goals

The goal of the TMDL program is to protect and restore surface waters through water quality assessments to identify impairments and through the development of implementation plans to address those impairments. This goal is accomplished through the development and implementation of TMDLs and control programs that address 303(d) impairment listings. The program has focused on the highest priority pollutants and stressors including pesticides, mercury, salt, selenium, low dissolved oxygen, and nutrients. The TMDL program addresses and updates 303(d) listings, develops programs that prevent potential future 303(d) listings and address current listings, and documents when existing control programs preclude the need for TMDLs.


The TMDL Program has 9.5 PYs allocated that include 3 PYs for Integrated Report, 3 PYs and 2 PYs for Mercury and Pesticide TMDLs, respectively. The remaining PYs are allocated to program management, permitting support, staff training and implementation of existing TMDLs.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Supported State Board’s public process for the 2020/2022 Integrated Report and initiated region-wide water quality assessment for the 2024 and 2026 Integrated Reports.
  • Continued implementation of existing priority TMDL and related control programs including Pyrethroids in the Central Valley, Mercury in the Delta, Dissolved Oxygen, and Salt and Boron TMDLs in the San Joaquin River.
  • Continued data analysis and reconsideration of the Delta Methylmercury TMDL; revised permits to ensure compliance; drafted a strategy for the mercury program.
  • Continued implementation of the Pyrethroid TMDL, including review of baseline monitoring and management plans and provided guidance to stakeholders.
  • Implemented Strategic Plan objective of adaptive prioritization through the Integrated Report process.

Priorities 22/23

  • Continued implementation of existing priority TMDLs and related control programs including those for Pyrethroids in the Central Valley, Mercury in the Delta, Nutrients in Clear Lake, Dissolved Oxygen and Salt and Boron TMDLs in the San Joaquin River.
  • Continue to develop decisions for the 2024 Integrated Report, update the 303(d) list of impaired waterbodies, and prepare for the 2026 Integrated Report.
  • Continue reconsideration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Methylmercury TMDL.
  • Continue implementation of the Pyrethroid Pesticide TMDL And Control Program including review management plans and draft Pyrethroids Research Plan.
  • Revise the Clear Lake Nutrient TMDL based on current state of scientific knowledge and updated information received by the Board.

The Delta Program

Program Manager: Meredith Howard

For more information visit the
Delta Program web page

Overview of the Delta Program

The objectives of the Delta Program are to improve and protect water quality in the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta through Central Valley Water Board actions and coordination with other agencies that include development and implementation of total maximum daily load control programs and assessment of data relative to water quality objectives. Actions are guided by the Central Valley Water Board’s 2014 Delta Strategic Work Plan and the Delta Nutrient Research Plan.

The Delta Program includes the Delta Regional Monitoring Program, a stakeholder program formed to collect and evaluate data to improve understanding of Delta water quality issues.

Program Goals

  • Coordinate with State and San Francisco Bay Water Boards regarding planning and permits affecting the Delta.
  • Work with other agencies and entities that have jurisdiction over various actions in the Delta to ensure improvement and protection of Delta water quality.
  • Manage Delta Regional Monitoring Program, including communication of management needs, participation on program committees, and development and implementation of monitoring studies.
  • Implement monitoring, research, and assessments to determine water quality conditions and impacts, including pesticides, metals, and eutrophication; and apply understanding of current status to forecast future conditions and impacts.
  • Implement the 2014 Delta Strategic Work Plan and the Delta Nutrient Research Plan.


There are 3 PYs allocated to the Delta Program, mostly allocated to the Delta Regional Monitoring Program and the Delta Nutrient Research Plan.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Continued implementation of the Central Valley Water Board Strategic Plan objective to engage with underserved and underrepresented communities through development of collaborative projects in Stockton.
  • Delta Nutrient Research Plan
    • Continued field monitoring efforts for harmful algal bloom projects in the Delta.
    • Completed nutrient mass load estimates and developed summary report.
    • Coordinated with other programs in the Delta and began planning harmful algal bloom workshop
  • Delta Regional Monitoring Program (RMP)
    • Continued to manage and implement RMP, developed monitoring plans for mercury, nutrients, contaminants of emerging concern, harmful algal blooms, and pesticides.
    • Reviewed technical reports on monitoring data.
    • Assessed program governance, developed new program structure based on current program needs, and developed Board Resolution approving new structure

Priorities 22/23

  • Continue to manage the Delta RMP and develop monitoring workplans
  • Continue to implement the new Delta RMP structure and update permits and orders accordingly.
  • Continue to implement the Delta Nutrient Research Plan, including data analysis of existing studies and development of new studies on nutrients, harmful algal blooms (HAB), and HAB toxins.
  • Continue to implement the Strategic Plan objectives through continued collaborative partnerships with underserved and underrepresented communities.

CV-SALTS Program

Program Manager: Angela Cleaver

For more information visit the
CV-SALTS Program web page

Overview of the CV-SALTS Program

The Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS) initiative is a stakeholder-driven effort that developed a regulatory framework to address legacy and ongoing salt and nitrate accumulation. In 2018, the Board established the Salt and Nitrate Control Programs. Implementation of the new nitrate regulations began in May 2020 and implementation of the new salinity regulations began in January 2021.

Program Goals

The overarching management goals and priorities of the Salt and Nitrate Control Program are:

  1. Ensure safe drinking water supply
  2. Reduce salt and nitrate loading so that ongoing discharges neither threaten to degrade high quality waters nor cause or contribute to exceedances of water quality objectives
  3. Implement long-term, managed restoration of impaired water bodies

To meet these prioritized goals, the Salt and Nitrate Control Program has been phased with specific implementation activities required for salt and another set of implementation activities required for nitrate. Both implementation approaches provide permittees the option to select their means of compliance: either through a conservative permitting approach focused on individual source control or through an alternative coordinated, multi-discharger management approach.


In 21/22, the CV-SALTS program had approximately 5 PY shared between 6 staff in the Rancho Cordova office and 1 staff in the Fresno office.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Completed the final steps in the basin planning process for the CV-SALTS Basin Plan Amendment that included targeted revisions to several aspects of the program’s longer-term implementation plan. These revisions became effective in November 2021.
  • Continued to support program implementation and compliance activities which include responding to inquiries, reviewing document submittals, updating permits, and taking enforcement action as required by the program.
  • Provided oversight of Early Action Plan and other Management Zone activities intended to provide well testing and replacement drinking water in Priority 1 areas impacted by nitrate pollution. Management Zone outreach efforts focused on many underserved and underrepresented communities in the Central Valley.
  • Participated in Prioritization and Optimization Study activities for the Salt Control Program.
  • Engaged in stakeholder activities including regular meetings with Environmental Justice advocates and CV-SALTS members, as well as public workshops and educational outreach events.

Priorities 22/23

  • Implementation activities will be focused on ensuring that CV-SALTS program requirements, such as the provision of replacement drinking water to impacted communities, are met. Tasks include tracking program due dates, reviewing document submittals, evaluating community outreach efforts, and assessing well-testing and replacement water metrics.
  • Continue to support program administrative tasks, tracking permittee information, preparing for the Nitrate Control Program Priority 2 Notice to Comply mail-outs, and answering questions from internal and external stakeholders.
  • Serve as Central Valley Water Board liaisons at stakeholder implementation meetings, including Nitrate Control Program Management Zone support meetings and Salt Control Program Prioritization and Optimization meetings.
  • Continue to support enforcement efforts directed at permittees who do not comply with program requirements.
  • Continue to coordinate and participate in ongoing stakeholder meetings and public outreach events.

Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP)

Program Manager: Meredith Howard

For more information visit the
SWAMP web page

Overview of the SWAMP Program

The California Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) was created to fulfill the legislative mandate for a unifying program that would coordinate all surface water quality monitoring conducted by the State and Regional Water Boards. The SWAMP program conducts water quality monitoring directly and through collaborative partnerships, and provides numerous reports, fact sheets and tools, all designed to support water resource management in California. SWAMP monitoring projects assess overall water quality status and trends, identify water quality problems and potential sources, and evaluate program effectiveness.

Program Goals

The Central Valley Water Board has four overarching goals for its SWAMP efforts; 1) evaluate ambient water quality, beneficial use protection, and potential sources of impairment; 2) evaluate effectiveness of the Water Board water quality improvement policies; 3) coordinate internal and external monitoring efforts to leverage limited resources; and 4) ensure timely availability of monitoring results.


In 21/22, the SWAMP program had 5 PY shared between 7 staff in the Rancho Cordova office, 1 staff in the Redding office, and 3 staff in the Fresno office.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Completed Phase 1 of the bacteria source identification monitoring in the Lower American River.
  • Conducted summer recreational beneficial use assessments in the Delta and the Upper San Joaquin River and Lower Kings River watersheds.
  • Continued to support monitoring efforts with the Delta Regional Monitoring Program and the Delta Nutrient Research Plan.
  • Continued to statewide Harmful Algal Bloom Program activities and the development of partnership monitoring programs, especially in underrepresented and underserved communities.
  • Conducted post-fire water quality monitoring in the Caldor Fire burn areas.
  • Supported the long-term coordinated trend monitoring project in the Sacramento River Watershed in collaboration with the Department of Water Resources.
  • Collected information from continuous temperature loggers at areas upstream of the Pine Flat dam in the Upper Kings River Watershed to support Central Valley Water Board’s Climate Change Work Plan.

Priorities 22/23

  • Continue collaborating with stakeholders to complete Phase 2 of the bacteria source identification monitoring in the Lower American River, in an area that serves a disadvantaged community. Initiate a new bacteria source identification monitoring study in the Squirrel and Wolf Creek watersheds.
  • Support statewide Harmful Algal Bloom Program efforts and continue developing partner monitoring opportunities.
  • Complete a provenance study on the regular harmful algal blooms in the Hensley and Eastman Lakes.
  • Continue summer recreational beneficial use assessments in the Upper San Joaquin River, Lower Kaweah River, and Lower Kings River watersheds.
  • Provide lab contract support for Delta Regional Monitoring Program efforts.
  • Continue to support the long-term coordinated trend monitoring project in the Sacramento River Watershed.
  • Update online monitoring maps and data portals weekly for the public.
  • Submit surface water quality data to the California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN).

Nonpoint Source Program

Program Manager: Jennifer LaBay

For more information visit the
Nonpoint Source web page

Overview of the Nonpoint Source Program

Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water quality impairments in California. The primary nonpoint sources in the Central Valley include runoff and percolation from land use activities related to agriculture, timber harvests, cannabis cultivation, abandoned mines, recreation, and urban and rural development.

Program Goals

The goal of the Central Valley Nonpoint Source Program (NPS Program) is to restore waters impacted by NPS pollution and protect unimpaired water bodies by assessing problem sources and implementing management programs.

The Central Valley NPS Program implements the statewide California Nonpoint Source Program Implementation Plan for 2020-2025 (Six-Year Implementation Plan), which was approved by US EPA in November 2020. The purpose of this plan is to improve the State’s ability to effectively manage NPS pollution and conform to the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act and, where applicable, the federal Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments. The Six-Year Implementation Plan focuses on impaired water bodies and water bodies that face immediate water quality threats from new and expanding development.


NPS Program activities funded by federal 319(h) resources are implemented by six different units spread across all three offices in the Region. For FY22/23, 3.3 PY are allocated amongst eleven staff positions. No staff position is fully funded by the federal 319(h) resources; PY allocations per person range from 0.10 PY to 0.7 PY.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Efficiently utilize NPS resources across programs. By utilizing NPS resources to fund other programs, we free up resources for other high priority water quality efforts. An assessment of how we best utilize NPS funds occurs yearly through the Portfolio Management process.
  • Continued to participate in the Clear Lake Blue Ribbon Committee and helped identify funding for watershed projects.
  • Completed Clear Lake Harmful Algal Bloom Environmental Driver’s Study.
  • Developed North Complex Wildfire post-fire report and summary report on potential effects of prescribed fire on water quality
  • Reviewed, commented, and approved Pyrethroid Management Plans
  • Completed annual updates to the list of surface waters with Surface Water Quality Management Plans (SQMPs) and their status for Pesticide TMDLs, Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) Pesticide Management Plans, and for the San Joaquin River Selenium TMDL.

Priorities 22/23

  • TMDL Implementation
    • Review management plans and baseline monitoring reports associated with Central Valley Pesticide TMDLs and Control Programs
    • Assist with CV-SALTS implementation and oversee the San Joaquin River (SJR) Salt and Boron TMDL implementation
    • Oversee dissolved oxygen aeration activities in the Stockton Deep Water Ship Channel per the SJR Dissolved Oxygen TMDL
    • Review semi-annual data submittals, annual monitoring reports, and SQMPs for pesticides and selenium
  • Post-fire Erosion & Sediment Control
    • Data gathering associated with the Dixie Fire
    • Oversee Watershed Based Plan implementation for Battle Creek watershed
  • Manage 319(h) Grants
    • Manage three 319(h) grants
    • Outreach to stakeholders for the 2023 solicitation

Special Permitting Programs

Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program

Program Manager: Sue McConnell

For more information visit the
Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program web page

Overview of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program

In the Central Valley region, there are approximately 30,000 irrigated agricultural operations on over 6 million acres of land. The Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) regulates these operations to protect beneficial uses of surface and groundwater.

Growers who are part of a third-party group (coalitions) are regulated under one commodity-specific and seven geographic General Orders. There are 14 coalitions assisting growers comply with the General Orders. There is also a General Order for growers who choose to be regulated individually.

Coalitions monitor waters of the State and develop management plans to address water quality problems, while growers implement practices to protect water quality.

Program Goals

The goal of the ILRP is to prevent discharges from irrigated lands from causing adverse impacts to beneficial uses in surface and groundwater through Order implementation, appropriate compliance, outreach, enforcement, and coordination with all interested parties. This includes working to implement the human right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water while also acknowledging the value of a healthy and sustainable irrigated agricultural industry in the Central Valley.

Implementation of the General Orders includes oversight of coalition and grower activities and management of water quality data. Compliance and outreach activities include maximizing grower enrollment and Order compliance. Coordination is facilitated through regular stakeholder meetings and other venues.


Resources capable of funding 18.3 full-time staff are dedicated to this program and distributed between the three offices of the Central Valley Water Board. About 60% of the resources fund planning, monitoring and implementation activities as well as program management. This includes implementation of the Salt and Nitrate Control Program requirements and development of alternative regulatory frameworks for low threat irrigated agricultural activities. About 40% of the resources fund compliance and outreach activities which include oversight of the on-farm drinking water well monitoring requirements.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Expanded on-farm drinking water well monitoring program to include members of all (14) agricultural coalitions, resulting in over 10,600 wells monitored, with data publicly available on GeoTracker.
  • Approved 10 surface water quality management plan completions, based on water quality data documenting compliance, coalition outreach and grower implementation of management practices.
  • Approved Groundwater Protection Values for the Region.
  • Approved ILRP exemptions for the Goose Lake Subwatershed and solely managed wetlands.
  • Conducted in-person listening session for small, highly diversified farmers.
  • Worked with the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program to achieve accreditation of imidacloprid analytical methods that meet a lower, more environmentally meaningful detection level.

Priority Projects 22/23

  • Continue on-farm drinking water well monitoring program for members of all agricultural coalitions.
  • Review and approve of Groundwater Protection Targets and updated Groundwater Quality Management Plans.
  • Implement Salt and Nitrate Control Program requirements.
  • Initiate contract to fund UC Extension Small Farm Advisor for outreach to small, highly diversified farms (many defined as socially disadvantaged farmers by the USDA).
  • Approve specific INMP for small, highly diversified farms.
  • Continue work on alternative ILRP regulatory frameworks for low-risk commodity types.

Oil Field Program

Program Manager: Alex Olsen

For more information visit the
Oil Field Program web page

Overview of the Oil Field Program

Most California oil production occurs in the Central Valley. Formation water produced with the oil, known as produced wastewater, comprises the largest volume of wastes generated by oil production. Produced wastewater is typically saline, and disposed of by land application, primarily ponds, or by underground injection. Some is recycled on crops. Other oil field (OF) wastes include drilling muds and solids and sludges generated when tanks and equipment are cleaned.

The Oil Field Program employs 23 staff to regulate produced wastewater disposal and reuse, underground injection control (UIC) practices, and well stimulation practices (SB4) to ensure the protection of water quality.

Program Goals

Oil Field produced wastewater is often high in salts and boron and can contain significant amounts of organic compounds. Discharges to land have the potential to adversely impact beneficial use waters. Similarly, improperly sited underground injection control wells and stimulated wells have the potential to adversely impact beneficial use waters. The goal of the Oil Field Program is to properly regulate oil field discharges and oversee monitoring activities to ensure the protection of surface and groundwaters and human health. This includes issuing effective regulatory orders for discharges to land and reviewing proposed aquifer exemption applications, UIC permits, and SB4 related groundwater monitoring programs to ensure permitted activities are protective of water quality.


The Central Valley Water Board has approximately 18 PY dedicated to oilfield regulatory activities. 9 PY regulate discharges to land, primarily ponds. 10 PY regulate underground injection activities, and 4 PY regulate groundwater monitoring efforts to ensure enhanced oil recovery projects (fracking, acidification, steam injection) do not impact usable water sources.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • The adoption and implementation of the three Oil Field General Orders for Discharges to Land (GOs) allows the Oil Field Program to engage in the process of adaptive prioritization; an objective of the Strategic Plan. Resources are focused on projects that may be a greater threat to beneficial use waters versus those projects where potential impact to beneficial use waters is much less. During FY 21/22, issued 2 Notice of Applicability (NOAs) for coverage under one of the GOs, and a notice of termination for 1 existing NOA.
  • Approved 5 pond closure plans.
  • Conducted 67 inspections.
  • Issued various orders requiring, among other things, operators to assess whether injected fluids have migrated outside approved boundaries and potential impacts of planned use of oil field solid waste as road mix.
  • Issued 4 “No Further Action” letters regarding 13267 Orders issued in 2015.
  • Reviewed 5 aquifer exemptions.
  • Issued 65 UIC project review letters.
  • Reviewed 6 SB4 applications.
  • Reviewed 1 SB4 groundwater monitoring exclusion application.
  • Reviewed 17 SB4 groundwater monitoring reports.

Priorities 22/23

  • Enrolling dischargers under one of the three GOs.
  • Closing inactive ponds in a manner that is protective of water quality.
  • Pursuing appropriate enforcement for oil field-related violations of the Water Code, including, but not limited to, violations of the Basin Plans, waste discharge requirement and GOs, and spills/leaks and other illicit discharges.
  • Reviewing for enforcement pond facilities that threaten beneficial use waters.
  • Reviewing aquifer exemptions and proposed UIC projects to ensure the protection of water quality.
  • Reviewing well stimulation permit applications, requests for monitoring exclusions, groundwater monitoring programs, and monitoring reports to protect water quality.
  • Continue to work with entities to identify beneficial use waters that may be used to support municipal and agricultural supply. Focusing efforts in protecting groundwater that many disadvantaged communities rely upon.

Land Disposal Program

Program Manager: John Murphy

For more information visit the
Land Disposal Program web page

Overview of the Land Disposal Program

The Land Disposal Program regulates the land discharge of solid and liquid wastes to prevent water quality impacts. These wastes include municipal solid waste, hazardous wastes, designated wastes (such as petroleum-impacted soils), and nonhazardous and inert solid wastes. In general, these wastes cannot be discharged directly to the ground surface without impacting groundwater or surface water and, therefore, they must be contained at facilities that prohibit the wastes from migrating to groundwater. The facilities are regulated pursuant to Title 27 (nonhazardous wastes) or Chapter 15 of Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations (hazardous wastes).

Program Goals

The primary goal of the program is to protect groundwater and surface water quality from contaminants associated with landfills, liquid waste surface impoundments and other waste containment units. The program achieves this goal by ensuring permits are kept up to date with applicable regulations and by implementing timely enforcement where necessary.


A total of 14.26 PYs are allocated to the program with 6.00 PYs directed to compliance and enforcement activities and 8.26 to permitting.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Completed three internal workshops for the region to facilitate staff interaction and consistency across all three offices. The subject matter addressed re-occurring programmatic issues and implemented the 2021 Strategic Plan objective of internal process improvements to achieve greater efficiency and higher employee engagement.
  • Developed Standard Operating Procedures for permit revisions and design review process for new waste management units to implement the 2021 Strategic Plan objective of internal process improvements to achieve greater efficiency and higher employee engagement. Both will be attached to the existing program manual.
  • 12 individual permits adopted.
  • Performed 32 permitting and construction-related inspections.

Priorities 22/23

  • Enhance Cross-unit and Cross-Program Collaboration and Coordination by hold additional internal workshops, identifying additional SOPs to enhance consistency, and by participate in updated financial assurances and technical training.
  • Continue coordination with CV-SALTS program staff to review Notices of Intent for the Composting General Order enrollment and requested exemptions.
  • Revise permit requirements for permitted facilities based on threat and complexity and compliance status.
  • Use available data, including CalEnviroScreen, to increase outreach during the permit revision process.
  • Adopt 15 individual permits
  • Conduct 27 permitting and construction-related inspections

Confined Animal Facilities Program

Program Manager: Scott Hatton

For more information visit the
Confined Animal Facilities Program web page

Overview of the Confined Animal Facilities Program

The Central Valley is home to a variety of agricultural operations that rely on animals (cows, steers, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry). Confined Animal Facilities (CAFs) are ranches where livestock are held and provided food for a significant part of the time, as opposed to grazing, where livestock eat forage that grows in pastures or rangeland. Federally defined Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are a subset of CAFs that may threaten to discharge wastes to waters that are under Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Most CAFs in the Central Valley do not discharge to surface waters and are therefore regulated under the Water Code, not federal authority. Most CAFs in the Central Valley are dairies. There are also a significant number of feedlots (beef cattle and support stock for dairies) and poultry facilities.

Program Goals

The goal of the CAF Program is to ensure the human right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water by protecting waters potentially affected by discharges from CAFs while preserving the benefits of a healthy and sustainable livestock industry. To achieve this, our objective is to protect surface water and groundwater resources by regulating discharges from CAFs.

Discharges from CAFs include manure, wastewater, and storm water runoff that may contain waste constituents. The primary constituents of concern in these discharges are salts and nitrogen (particularly nitrate leaching to groundwater). Permits regulating CAFs typically include requirements for animal housing and corrals, production areas, ponds or lagoons, and land application areas (cropland).


There are 12 staff working full time in the CAF Program, supplemented by 3 other staff with a percentage of their time dedicated to the Program, for a total of about 14 PYs. Most Program staff generally spend about 70 percent of their time on compliance and enforcement activities, and about 30 percent on permitting activities. Permitting activities include drafting or amending orders and enrolling facilities under general orders.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Worked with CV-SALTS management zone and Salinity Coalition representatives to develop a process and fees for confined animal facilities to participate as members of third-party industry groups. Met with industry representatives to facilitate outreach to assist individual dischargers in complying with CV-SALTS notices to comply.
  • Conducted 321 inspections, exceeding the FY2021/2022 performance target of 275.
  • Issued three formal enforcement orders for off-property discharges from dairies or for overapplying to land application areas and began two additional similar investigations.
  • Reviewed and commented on several remediation work plans from dairies in areas of shallow groundwater.
  • Participated in the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s grant program for dairy digesters and other manure management practices that reduce short-lived climate pollutants and to streamline the permitting of manure digesters and co-digesters. Participated in the planning and permitting of several dairy digester projects.

Priorities 22/23

  • Conduct at least 275 CAF inspections, including dairies, poultry facilities, and feedlots.
  • Participate in the State Water Board's petition review of the current Dairy General Order.
  • Prioritize enforcement against unpermitted off-site discharges of waste, as well as enforcement of the requirements for groundwater monitoring and nitrogen management planning at dairies, full-coverage poultry facilities, and full-coverage bovine feedlots.
  • Prioritize compliance with previously issued directives to dairies in areas of shallow groundwater to determine separation between pond bottom and highest anticipated level of groundwater. Issue directives to dairies in additional areas of potentially shallow groundwater.
  • Conduct outreach and enforcement, if necessary, for notices to comply and participation in the CV-SALTS Nitrogen and Salt Management Programs.
  • Continue to coordinate with California Department of Food and Agriculture's on their grant program to promote digesters and alternative manure management technologies.

Mines Program

Program Manager: George Low

For more information visit the
Mines Program web page

Overview of the Mines Program

Central Valley Water Board staff regulate 106 mine sites with known or potential water quality impacts. This is a subset of the 47,000 abandoned mine sites with physical and/or environmental hazards identified throughout California by the Department of Conservation. Most mine sites regulated by the Central Valley Water Board are closed and abandoned mines that have not operated for decades, at a minimum, with some mines inactive for more than 100 years. Discharges of waste from these mine sites can have devastating effects on receiving waters and can significantly limit or obliterate beneficial uses for miles downstream. Primary pollutants from mine sites include low pH and heavy metals.

Program Goals

The Mines Program oversees the discharges of waste from active and inactive mines. Discharges from active mines, or mines that are closing or under post-closure care, are regulated through the issuance of various permits. The ultimate programmatic goal for inactive mines (including abandoned mines) is to eliminate surface water and groundwater impacts from past mining and prevent further degradation of waters of the State. Mines are regulated primarily by Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, State Water Resources Control Board Resolution 92-49, and other laws and regulations for the closure of mine sites and cleanup. Cleanup actions may be facilitated using voluntary agreements, permitting mechanisms or via enforcement orders.


During FY 22/23, a total of 6.8 PY has been allocated towards Mines Program oversight, of which 5.25 PY is directed towards permitting, compliance and enforcement.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Staff inspected 23 mines within the Central Valley Region to assess site conditions and compliance, assist with permit development, and monitor construction activities. The status of four mines was changed from “unknown” to “needs attention, lower priority”.
  • Staff continued using Central Valley Water Board’s updated approach to rank the water quality threat posed by mines it regulates. Since 2021, staff have used the updated approach to rank 44 of 105 mines. Staff will use the rankings to direct available resources to sites posing the greatest water quality threat.
  • The Central Valley Water Board issued a NPDES permit for Sliger Mine and an order amending the Title 27 Permit for Royal Mountain King Mine.
  • Staff continued engaging with interested persons, the county, and project proponent on the proposed project to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine. Staff commented on the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Priorities 22/23

  • For Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, work with USEPA, other agencies, and Tribal government to select protective remedies to address the mercury flux to Clear Lake from the mine site.
  • At Bully Hill/Rising Star Mines, implement projects to stabilize the sites with remaining trust funds.
  • For the proposed re-opening of Idaho-Maryland Mine, continue engagement with interested parties, the county, and project proponent to gain understanding of the proposed project and interested party perspectives, and, if project moves forward, ensure clear communication of Board requirements.
  • Continue ranking Central Valley Water Board mine sites using the updated water quality threat prioritization scheme.
  • Renew four NPDES permits and revise two Title 27 permits.
  • Conduct 25 site assessment, compliance, permit development and construction inspections.

Cannabis Program

Program Manager: Jason Schroeder, PG

For more information visit the
Cannabis Program web page

Overview of the Cannabis Program

The Central Valley Water Board’s Cannabis Regulatory Program regulates waste discharges associated with cannabis cultivation and related ground disturbance activities. The Program is implemented through the Principals and Guidelines for Cannabis Cultivation (Policy) and the statewide Cannabis Cultivation General Order. Board staff engage in coordinated multi-agency for permitting actions, compliance inspections, and if necessary, targeted enforcement actions against cultivators who fail to comply with permitting requirements. Cannabis Regulatory Program staff regularly coordinate with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, state cannabis licensing agencies, local regulatory agencies, and state and local law enforcement agencies.

Program Goals

The Cannabis Regulatory Program focuses on four core objectives:

  • Increase enrollments in the General Order
  • Perform targeted enforcement in high value watersheds
  • Continue education and outreach to cultivators
  • Coordinate with other agencies at the state and local level

Through implementation of these objectives, the Program strives to prevent cultivation activities from negatively impacting water quality. Impacts stem from: erosion and sediment discharge associated with ground disturbing activities including cultivation pads, access roads, and dam construction; use and improper storage of fertilizers, pesticides, and fuels; improper septage disposal, and poor housekeeping. Through implementation of the statewide Policy and General Order, and the Program’s core objectives and proper best management practices, impacts to water quality can be prevented.


The Central Valley Water Board’s Cannabis Regulatory Program is currently supported by 7 PY in technical staff and 1.5 PY managerial staff.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

Throughout Fiscal Year 21/22 the Cannabis Regulatory Program was successful in meeting most of its goals and objectives. These include:

  • Enrollment of 157 cultivators under the statewide General Order,
  • 56 enforcement inspections,
  • 6 virtual regionwide outreach events,
  • Initiated 2 enrollment enforcement batches, which included the issuance of 31 directives under water code 13260,
  • 21 voluntary cleanup cases at illegal cultivation sites.

Priorities 22/23

The Central Valley Water Board approved three priority projects for FY 22/23:

  1. 1) increase enrollment of potential legal cultivation sites in the General Order,
  2. 2) pursue enforcement of sites identified with the most egregious water quality violations in high value watersheds, and
  3. 3) create efficiencies, improve workflow, and reduce backlog of historical sites.

Illegal cannabis sites are generally found in rural communities and sensitive watersheds often effecting disadvantaged communities. Focused enforcement on illegal cultivation sites in priority watersheds is critical to protecting water quality and aquatic habitat in these areas and aligns with the Strategic Plan’s Adaptive Prioritization objective. Continuing to improve workflow, including coordination with allied agencies, and expanding upon efficiencies gained through technology, will allow us to optimize performance with the limited resources we have and accomplishes the Strategic Plan’s Internal Process Improvements objective.

Forest Activities Program

Program Manager: Angela Wilson

For more information visit the
Forest Activities Program web page

Overview of the Forest Activities Program

California's forested lands produce the highest quality waters and provide most of the state's water, but activities in forested lands threaten to produce nonpoint source pollution, which is the leading cause of water quality impairments in California. The Forest Activities Program focuses regulatory efforts and grant funding on land use and restoration activities related to historic and current forestland management across 16 million acres of federal and non-federal lands within the Central Valley Region.

Program Goals

The goal of the Central Valley Water Board’s Forest Activities Program (Program) is to prevent impacts to surface waters due to discharges of pollutants related to forestland management: sediment, petroleum products, pesticides/herbicides, and other waste materials, in accordance with the state’s 2004 Nonpoint Source Implementation Policy. Through regulatory oversight of commercial timber harvesting, fuels management, post-fire salvage and other forestland management activities with the potential to affect waters of the state on private, state and federal lands, the program aims to restore access to habitat for fish, reduce anthropogenic stream channel modifications, and reduce surface water and infrastructure impacts from problematic legacy roads and watercourse crossings, post-fire utility related activities, and timber salvage operations.

Program staff review individual projects, make site-specific recommendations, and ensure compliance with pertinent regulations and policies through inspections and enforcement.


The Forest Activities Program has 17 PY across all three offices.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Conducted 287 inspections where the target was 267. Most additional inspections were for post-fire salvage logging and post-fire utility activities after the many large fires of 2020 and 2021.
  • Executed and provided technical expertise for several grants and contracts aimed at improving forestlands in watersheds where legacy logging impacts exist, furthering our capacity to accurately detect pesticides in remote forested watersheds, and building an online training and certification system for USFS and BLM staff to increase awareness and selection of appropriate water quality management practices.
  • Collaborated with a contractor specializing in CEQA for the development of a new permit for nonpoint source discharges from activities conducted by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to thoroughly evaluate potential impacts from the project in an EIR.

Priorities 22/23

  • Oversight of timber harvesting activities across federal and non-federal lands for compliance with the Timberland General Order.
  • Internal and interagency coordination, inspections, compliance and enforcement activities will be the focus for staff addressing utility corridor vegetation management activities.
  • Federal Nonpoint Source Permit Development
    • Continue tribal outreach
    • Continue engagement with the leadership of both federal agencies during permit development and implementation
    • Release proposed draft of the permit and draft EIR to the public for comment early in FY 22/23
    • Present final proposed permit to the Board for consideration in 2023

Enforcement and Cleanup

Compliance and Enforcement Program

Program Manager: Kari Holmes

For more information visit the
Compliance & Enforcement Program web page

Overview of the Compliance and Enforcement Program

The State Water Resources Control Board and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards protect the waters of the state by ensuring compliance with clean water laws and taking enforcement actions when violations occur. The Water Boards have authority under the Water Code to regulate and enforce any activity or factor that may affect the quality of the waters of the state. The Water Boards’ compliance and enforcement actions are guided by the State Water Board’s 5 October 2017 Enforcement Policy.

Program Goals

The Compliance and Enforcement (CE) Program aims to protect water quality, regulate facilities which have the potential to pollute water, and enforce state and federal laws and policies. To assess compliance with waste discharge and other requirements, staff document and track violations of the requirements in various databases. Where violations occur, staff are responsible for taking swift and fair enforcement actions. To do this, CE staff must conduct inspections, respond to complaints, identify sites requiring a permit, provide technical and regulatory oversight, issue enforcement actions consistent with the Enforcement Policy to ensure compliance and protection of human health, the environment, and water quality.


For the Central Valley Region, there are 275 employees across all three offices representing 57 PYs working in C/E (14 PYs in Fresno; 12 PYs in Redding; and 31 PYs in Sacramento). These resource allocations do not include the Underground Storage Tank and Site Cleanup Programs.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Inspections – Staff performed 1,570 inspections under the NPDES, Discharge to Land, Stormwater, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, Timber Harvest, Site Cleanup, and Underground Storage Tank programs.
  • Enforcement Actions – Staff performed 1,414 enforcement actions including Notices to Comply, Notices of Violation, Notices of Stormwater Noncompliance, Technical Reports, Cleanup and Abatement Orders, Time Schedule Orders, Cease and Desist Orders, and Administrative Civil Liabilities.
  • Steelhead Creek – Collaborated with the City of Sacramento Parks and Park Rangers, Department of Water Resources, American River Flood Control agency, RD-1000, Dr. Brady, and Crystal Tobias to clean up 38,500 lbs. of trash and debris from the riparian areas around the creek. This is the fourth year that the same area has been cleaned-up and a total of 238,000 lbs. of trash and debris have been removed from the area.

Priorities 22/23

  • Inspections – CE staff are scheduled to perform 1,292 inspections under the NPDES, Discharge to Land, Stormwater, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, Timber Harvest, Site Cleanup, and Underground Storage Tank programs.
  • CE & Enforcement Communication – Program staff meet regularly to discuss compliance issues and permit language prior to permit adoption. Direction will be provided by management and the Executive Sponsor.
  • Compliance with CV-SALTS Program – CE staff will track 1000+ facilities’ notice to comply responses, which will be distributed among permitting and CE staff to review, evaluate, approve, and follow-up.
  • Environmental Justice (EJ) – Focus on CE actions that improve water quality in EJ and disadvantaged communities. Support EPA’s EJ Initiative, increased stormwater enrollment/enforcement, illegal dumping, and water quality impacts surrounding homeless encampments.

Site Cleanup Program

Program Manager: Christopher Flower

For more information visit the
Site Cleanup Program web page

Overview of the Site Cleanup Program

The Site Cleanup Program (SCP) regulates and oversees the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Staff overseeing investigation and cleanup actions at sites that have been impacted by releases of pollutants to soil, soil gas, groundwater, surface water, sediments, and indoor air. SCP sites include large industrial facilities, military bases, oil refineries, factories, and smaller facilities such as dry cleaners and plating shops. Many properties are in urban areas and environmental justice communities and cleanup often results in contaminant removal, reduced impact to water and economic growth. The types of pollutants encountered at SCP sites are diverse and include fertilizers, heavy metals, solvents, and many others.

Program Goals

The primary mission of the SCP is to protect water quality, regulate practices which have the potential to pollute water, and enforce state and federal laws and policies. To do this SCP staff must identify contaminated sites, provide technical and regulatory oversight of cleanup activities, and ensure that remedies result in site restoration and protection of human health, the environment and water quality.


30 PY are divided amongst the regulatory oversight of Private, Military, and Department of Energy (D.O.E.) sites. Some sites, such as Aerojet, are very large multifaceted investigation and cleanup sites that require significant staff hours.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

Staff provided technical review and regulatory oversight on over 1,000 site investigation, remediation, and remedial design documents. This work has allowed 19 sites to be moved from investigation to active remediation, resulted in closure of 34 sites and removed of over 15 million pounds of contaminated soil, soil gas, free product (gasoline, diesel, solvents, etc.) and contaminated groundwater.

Staff continued efforts to identify sites eligible for grants through the Site Cleanup Subaccount Program (including SB170) and to reduce our site backlog in GeoTracker. Staff are now in the process of evaluating the remaining cases identified as requiring additional work and have assigned staff to work on 56 of these inactive cases to reduce the backlog cases even further. Staff also continue to improve our Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tools.

Priority Projects FY 22/23

The Site Cleanup Program will achieve the performance goals contained in our Programmatic Work Plan. In addition, we will focus on the following:

  • Staff will continue to concentrate on major brownfield redevelopment projects and other significant sites to return contaminated properties to productive use, including Aerojet, McClellan Business Park, the Sacramento Rail Yards, DOE Elk Hills, Bakersfield Refinery, Kern County, Shasta Pulp and Paper Mill, Shasta County, Union Pacific Railroad, Dunsmuir facility, Siskiyou County, and Modern Cleaners in Corning.
  • Environmental Measures – SCP staff will track the number of pounds of contamination removed from the environment in 22/23 and will develop new measures to demonstrate the impact our work is having on water quality.
  • Emerging Contaminant Issues – SCP will continue to monitor perfluorinated Chemicals (PFAS) in groundwater in our region based on 13267 PFAS orders recently sent out to former metal plating facilities, airports, POTWs, and landfills. SCP will continue to evaluate the groundwater impacts from
    1,2,3-Trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP).
  • Identifying and Enrolling Underfunded Projects – Through the recent State Board adopted SB170 funding program, staff will work to identify projects eligible to receive funding support. Selected projects typically have elevated Cal EnviroScreen scores, present a unique human health risk due to vapor intrusion, or present an immediate threat to human health or receptors. SCP staff will also collaborate with State Board to identify mechanisms to address cleanup projects in disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities.
  • Continue Stakeholder Outreach – SCP will continue to proactively engage communities affected by or in the vicinity of cleanup projects.

Underground Storage Tank (UST) / Above Ground Storage Tank (AGT) Program

Program Manager: John Baum

For more information visit the
UST / AGT Program web page

Overview of the UST/AGT Program

The Underground Storage Tank (UST) and Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Program address leak prevention, oversight of leaking underground tank cleanups, and reimbursement to responsible parties conducting cleanups. Board staff is primarily involved with the oversight of cleanups. Currently, Board staff is actively directing the cleanup work at approximately 289 leaking underground tank sites. Since inception of the program, over 3,000 UST releases have been investigated, remediated, and closed at the direction of the Board.

We also work closely with the State Water Board's Cleanup Fund, which provides funding to responsible parties for investigation and remediation of leaking underground storage tank sites.

Program Goals

The highest priority for the UST Program is to protect the public and environment from the effects of unauthorized releases from UST through the investigation and mitigation of the released constituents typically from fueling stations. These constituents are mainly BTEX, MtBE and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Staff will continue to work with Responsible Parties to close active UST cases in as short of time needed to complete the work. When applicable, we will implement the State’s Low Threat Closure Policy for USTs and concentrate work on the remaining high-threat cases. For all open cases, we have identified the remaining impediments to closure and posted the findings on GeoTracker so they are available for public viewing.


In Fiscal Year 2022/23 approximately 13.4 PYs of technical staff time and 1.9 PYs of management and support staff will be spent on the UST Program. All technical staff time will be spent managing individual caseloads.

FY 21/22 Accomplishments

  • Moved 11 cases into remediation.
  • Reviewed all our open cases for possible closure (324 cases).
  • Closed 47 cases.

Priority Projects 22/23

The Site Cleanup Program will achieve the performance goals contained in our Programmatic Work Plan. In addition, we will focus on the following:

  • Address priority cases, including:
    • Frank’s One Stop
    • Pleasant Valley Store
    • Woody’s Gas/Poppie Family Living Trust
    • Strawberry Valley General Store
    • Ed Staub and Sons Alturas Bulk Plant, Alturas
    • Tay Van Car Wash, Redding
    • Former Gil’s Shell SS
    • Gas-N-Save, 1081 E. El Monte Way
    • Countryside Market
    • Auto King #3
    • East Nicolaus Market
  • Review all open case for possible case closure.
  • Ensure when possible and practical each open case receives at least one case review and written directive/correspondence during the year.
  • Update the Path to Closure fields in GeoTracker for all open cases so that all Responsible Parties are aware of the steps remaining for case closure.