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  1. USA Gas Station, El Dorado County - Lisa Dernbach

    I issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to USA Petroleum in July for non-compliance with their cleanup and abatement order. USA has failed to operate a dual vacuum extraction and dewatering system (DVEDS) according to performance goals listed in the CAO. Less operation of the DVEDS means less remediation of hydrocarbons in soil beneath the gas station. The NOV required USA to achieve performance goals by August 18 or be potentially subject to enforcement actions. If the goals are not achieved by that date, USA must submit a workplan for expanded remediation by August 25.

    The CAO also required USA to fully contain the off-site MTBE plume so that the South Tahoe Public Utility District could begin operating, by August 1, five of its seven drinking water wells that are currently not operating. USA submitted a document stating its efforts have fully contained the MTBE plume by the deadline and the District could commence pumping the municipal wells. District staff, however, is not confident MTBE is contained and is unwilling to risk operating the municipal wells. District staff fears pumping the municipal wells will pull the plume in at concentrations >5 mg/l, the taste and order threshold, and MTBE will be distributed to District customers.

  2. Tahoe Toms Gas Station, El Dorado County - Lisa Dernbach

    In July, one of the responsible parties filed a petition with the State Board for review of ACL Order No. 6-00-60. While the petition is being reviewed, the responsible parties are complying with most of the directives in the Order for staying part of the ACL amount of $131,000. The parties are operating the remediation systems, conducting ground water monitoring, submitting monthly technical reports, and have submitted a workplan for installing additional monitoring wells. The parties, however, did not submit by July 31 a final design and schedule for dewatering the site and expanding soil vapor extraction. Board staff is scheduled to meet with the parties and their consultant on August 15 to discuss this matter.

  3. Update on Small Communities Grant (SCG) Program, Regional Project List - Jason Churchill

    The SCG program is administered by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), to provide grants for the construction of publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities in small, needy communities. Regional Board Staff solicited project proposals from interested parties in May (see Executive Officer's Report, May 2000), and the Executive Officer subsequently prepared a list of eligible projects in the Lahontan Region that was transmitted to the SWRCB in June 2000. The SWRCB is scheduled to consider adoption of a statewide SCG Project Priority List on August 17, 2000, based on the proposals submitted by the nine Regional Boards.

    Three project proposals were on the Lahontan Region's list. These included: 1) a proposal from Spalding Community Services District (Lassen County) for the collection and treatment of clarified effluent from residential and commercial septic tanks; 2) a proposal from the Markleeville Public Utility District (Alpine County) to stabilize an embankment of Markleeville Creek in order to prevent further erosion that threatens the District's sewage force main and access road; and 3) a proposal from Susanville Consolidated Sanitary District (Lassen County) for the expansion and improvement of the existing sewage treatment facility.

    Under the SCG Implementation Policy, each project is ranked and assigned to one of three Project Priority Classes. SWRCB Division of Clean Water Programs staff is recommending that the State Board consider only projects in Class A (Existing or Potential Public Health Problems) or Class B (Pollution Problems) for funding. The Spalding CSD project has been assigned to Class A. The Markleeville PUD project will be assigned to Class B upon issuance of a Time Schedule Order (TSO). I intend to issue a TSO prior to the August 17, 2000 meeting of the SWRCB. The Susanville CSD project is currently assigned to Class C ("other projects"), and is not recommended for funding. However, the District has recently obtained a declaration from the Lassen County Health Officer that a potential pollution problem exists. Regional Board staff is preparing a Resolution concurring with the declaration, for Regional Board consideration at the October 2000 Board meeting. If the Resolution is adopted by the Board, the Susanville CSD project may be reassigned to Class B and become eligible for SCG funding.

  4. Status of the Tahoe Basin Interagency Road Runoff Collection and Treatment Subcommittee (TIRS) BMP Manual - Robert Larsen

    Road operations and maintenance procedures are identified as everyday practices that impact the environment in the Lake Tahoe Basin. In efforts to minimize these impacts, local governments, California and Nevada Departments of Transportation, The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, US Forest Service, Federal Highway Administration, California Tahoe Conservancy, and the Lahontan Regional Board have collaborated to create an Executive Committee called the Tahoe
    Basin Interagency Roadway Operations and Maintenance Committee. The Executive Committee has formed working subcommittees. These subcommittees address issues of aesthetics, maintenance, bikeways, mile markers, and road runoff.

    The Tahoe Basin Interagency Road Runoff Collection and Treatment Subcommittee (TIRS) is sponsored by staff from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board-Lahontan Region. Members of TIRS consists of the Lahontan RWQCB, TRPA, NDOT, Caltrans, City of South Lake Tahoe, Placer Co., El Dorado Co., Washoe Co., and the U.S. Forest Service. The group has been meeting regularly since January 1999. The focus of the group is to identify the most effective Best Management Practices (BMPs) and design standards to minimize the impacts resulting from current and past road operations.

    Efforts of the group have been directed towards the development of a BMP Manual to provide guidelines for road departments. The manual is intended to streamline the permitting process and help achieve BMP alignment among the road departments. During monthly meetings, the subcommittee discussed the most effective techniques, designs, and practices to include in the BMP Manual.

    In July of this year, Robert Larsen joined the Regional Board Staff and was given the assignment of drafting the proposed BMP manual. The first chapters of the manual provide general recommendations regarding individual BMPs currently in use and include information about new and innovative techniques that may prove effective for treating urban runoff.

    Emphasis is being placed on the unique challenges facing Lake Tahoe and the need to focus treatment efforts on controlling fine sediments and bioavailable nutrients. The manual is following the general outline completed by TIRS with guidelines for slope stabilization, revegetation, conveyance, pretreatment, infiltration, and the use of stream environment zones for stormwater treatment. A section for each BMP entitled "Field Experience" will summarize comments provided by various local agencies regarding the success of individual BMPs for specific projects. The manual will also include a chapter on current stormwater regulations and methods for streamlining the permitting process. Due to the scarcity of definitive research regarding BMP effectiveness in the Tahoe Basin, the manual is designed to be a working document, open to revision as new information and innovative technologies offer a more complete picture of the best methods to prevent fine sediment and bioavailable nutrients from reaching Lake Tahoe. Manual drafts will be subject to active review by staff of the other TIRS members.

  5. Municipal Storm Water NPDES Permit - Dale Payne

    The Municipal Storm Water NPDES Permit which covers the jurisdictions of the City of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County and Placer County (Permittees), is being revised for purposes of renewal. This permit was presented to the Regional Board at its April 13, 2000 Meeting. At this meeting, the Regional Board continued this item for a 90-day period, after the Permittees requested additional time to present the permit to their respective boards and counsels.

    I have delayed this item until the October 11 and 12, 2000 Board Meeting in South Lake Tahoe to allow us to include requirements and standards from the recently promulgated California Toxics Rule (CTR). Though there are no CTR implementation procedures for NPDES Storm Water permits, the Regional Board staff is investigating inclusion of requirements needed to be consistent with CTR. In addition, staff has proposed changes to the permit regarding compliance dates for completed projects to further encourage monitoring of Best Management Practice effectiveness. Staff is also considering changes to make implementation dates in the Municipal Storm Water NPDES permit and the Statewide Caltrans Storm Water NPDES permit more clear and consistent. The revised permit will be circulated for public comment prior to the October 11 and 12, 2000 Board Meeting.

  6. Community Meeting Regarding the Meyers Beacon Gas Station Pollution and the Regional Board's Remediation Efforts - Chuck Curtis

    The Regional Board will be holding a community meeting on August 30, 2000 in Meyers, in the South Lake Tahoe area, to inform the public on the Regional Board's investigation and cleanup activities at the Meyers Beacon Gas Station. The Regional Board has been conducting investigation and cleanup activities at this leaking underground storage tank site since July 1998 due to recalcitrance by the owner and operator to conduct the needed work. The Regional Board's cleanup efforts are funded by the Emergency, Abandoned, and Recalcitrant Account of the State Water Resources Control Board. Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) from the gas station impacted two municipal drinking water wells owned by the South Tahoe Public Utility District, and the wells were subsequently destroyed by the District.

    The Regional Board will be conducting a major well drilling and sampling effort, including constructing monitoring wells in four water-bearing zones at each of 15 locations in this residential/commercial area.

    The MTBE plume potentially threatens another municipal well, a private recreation lake, and the Upper Truckee River. Cleanup efforts by the Regional Board have resulted in restoration of beneficial uses of the shallow ground water on the gas station property. The additional investigation efforts will assess deeper ground water quality at the gas station property and is expected to define the complete lateral and vertical extent of offsite contamination resulting from the release at the gas station.

  7. Bodie Hills RV Park CAO - Bud Amorfini

    A Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) was issued to the developers of the Bodie Hills RV Park site located on Bodie Hills Road in Mono County. The site is located adjacent to Clearwater Creek, a 303(d)-listed stream for sedimentation/siltation. A request for Report of Waste Discharge was issued in April 2000, requiring the discharger to address potential impacts from planned septic systems, sedimentation, and other waste discharges associated with the development. A Report of Waste Discharge was not submitted and in July 2000, Regional Board staff found that an area covering approximately 10,000 square feet had been stripped of vegetation and graded. Unstable waste earthen materials were deposited adjacent to and within an ephemeral natural drainage that flows to Clearwater Creek and no erosion controls were in place. The CAO requires the discharger to remove the material from the drainage, stabilize disturbed soils from erosion, and collect storm water runoff samples from the next three runoff-producing storm events. Regional Board staff will be inspecting the site for compliance with the CAO. No further work is authorized until a complete Report of Waste Discharge is submitted and processed.

    A Report of Waste Discharge was submitted in August 2000, but initial review by staff indicates that the report is incomplete. The discharger indicates that they intend only to conduct project scoping work (test septic pits and well) at this time and will decide at a later date whether to proceed with the project. Regional Board staff will work with the developers to obtain the information needed to evaluate the project scoping work and determine whether waste discharge requirements for this limited work should be issued or waived. A separate Report of Waste Discharge will be required to address waste discharges from project development and construction if the developers intend to proceed with the project.

  8. Lancaster Car Wash, Response to Complaint that Clarifier Water/Sludge was Pumped into Storm Drain - Hisam Baqai

    On July 12, 2000, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board staff (Board staff) received a phone call from the City of Lancaster's Code Enforcement Office regarding complaints that the Lancaster Car Wash, in Lancaster, was illegally discharging clarifier water and sludge at the corner of Avenue J and 8th Street East. Board staff inspected the site to document the incident and served the owner with a Notice to Comply (NTC).

    The NTC requested that the owner prepare a report detailing the cause of the incident, as well as amounts of discharge and pollutants discharged. The NTC also requested that the owner prepare a written training procedure that will be taken to prevent future re-occurrences. Board staff also requested that the owner identify the total distance traveled by the discharge and its outfall point. A written report was provided to the Regional Board office within 20 days of the incident.

    Board staff has received all the items requested in a timely manner. No further action is proposed at this time.

  9. IMC Chemicals Inc., Petroleum Contamination on Searles Lake - Greg Cash

    IMC Chemicals Inc. (IMCC) submitted a petition on July 13, 2000 to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for review of the Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) and a Cease and Desist Order (CDO), that were
    issued to them at the Regional Board meeting in June, 2000. The WDRs were revised for the Trona, Argus and Westend Facilities in Searles Valley to incorporate the more restrictive effluent discharge limits that are protective of the beneficial uses as outlined in the Basin Plan. The CDO was issued for violations of these adopted WDRs.

    IMCC also submitted a petition on August 3, 2000 to the SWRCB for review of the Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) that was issued to them by the Executive Officer on July 7, 2000. The CAO required IMCC to continue the cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbons on Searles Lake as well as submittal of technical reports documenting the cleanup progress. IMCC claims that effluent limits were not supported by evidence, time schedules for compliance are unreasonable and Basin Plan amendments should be finalized before WDRs and enforcement actions are issued.

  10. Notice to Comply Issued to Intrawest Mammoth Lakes - Cindi Mitton

    On July 11, 2000, a joint inspection by Regional Board staff (Board staff) and staff of the Town of Mammoth Lakes was conducted at the Mammoth Green/Lodestar condominium construction site. As a result of that inspection, the Intrawest Mammoth Corporation was issued a Notice to Comply (NTC) for lack of implementation of proper erosion control Best Management Practices (BMPs). Intrawest repaired its erosion control fencing in compliance with the requirements of the NTC. Subsequent staff inspections verified compliance; however, during the inspection it appeared that work along a portion of the property may be in a wetland area. Intrawest voluntarily agreed to stop construction in the area in question until a site-specific wetland delineation is performed. Intrawest has hired a company to perform the requested delineation that will be reviewed by Board staff upon completion.

  11. Future of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Workshop - Kai Dunn

    Regional board staff (Board staff) attended a workshop titled the "Future of Onsite Wastewater Treatment" on July 31, 2000. The workshop covered four topics: 1) overview of current regulation, 2) onsite sewage disposal technology, 3) draft EPA guidelines for management of onsite/decentralized wastewater systems and 4) sustainable communities and onsite wastewater disposal. The workshop was attended by federal, state, and local regulators and vendors.

    The Regional Boards establish criteria and guidelines for onsite sewage disposal in the basin plans. U.S. EPA is preparing draft guidelines for management of onsite wastewater systems. Board Staff will comment on U.S. EPA onsite system guidelines and regulations as they become available. Conventional systems can provide adequate treatment under any conditions by removing or reducing pollutants, although nitrates are typically not reduced significantly and can move into the groundwater. Alternative systems can remove most bacteriological pollutants and some nitrates. Proper operation and maintenance is the key to keeping these systems functioning properly.

    Speakers at this workshop indicated that onsite disposal systems are well suited for rural communities if subsurface soil conditions are satisfactory for their operation.

    For all areas of the Lahontan Region, onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems are overseen by local agencies such as County Health Departments. The Counties implement requirements of the Lahontan Basin Plan.

  12. Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) Wastewater Disposal - Michele Ochs

    MCWD discharges treated domestic wastewater to Laurel Pond, an ephemeral surface water, under waste discharge requirements. Regional Board staff (Board staff) informed MCWD that the discharge is more appropriately regulated by a NPDES permit. During a meeting held earlier this year, MCWD indicated it might consider moving the discharge location from Laurel Pond and discharge its treated wastewater to land. Board staff requested that MCWD prepare a strategy and schedule for making a decision.

    Staff has received the strategy and agrees conceptually with the process outlined. MCWD proposes to evaluate the feasibility and associated costs of continued discharge to Laurel Pond under requirements of a NPDES permit (which would likely require an upgrade of its treatment plant) or moving the discharge to a land disposal location such as an evaporation/percolation pond. One issue that must be considered is any requirement by either the Forest Service or Department of Fish and Game to maintain a minimum amount of water in Laurel Pond. Based on their evaluation, MCWD would prepare to construct the necessary facilities.

    The strategy contemplates that by May 15, 2001, MCWD will submit an NPDES permit application for its continued discharge and/or submit the appropriate application if it proposes a new discharge location. Board staff is requesting MCWD provide quarterly reports to evaluate satisfactory progress. If MCWD does not make satisfactory progress or submit the requested application by May 15, 2001, Regional Board staff will recommend that the Board consider revising MCWD's waste discharge requirements at an earlier date and incorporate appropriate receiving water receiving limits to provide additional protection for the beneficial uses of Laurel Pond.

    MCWD has worked cooperatively with the Board staff and has demonstrated a commitment to addressing this situation.

  13. Mojave River Sampling - Mike Plaziak

    On August 7, 2000, Regional Board staff completed the fourth of an eight-quarter sampling and analysis program of the Mojave River. The program entails sampling 22 ground water monitoring wells and four surface water locations from near the Mojave Forks Dam to Afton Canyon. The sampling is being conducted to determine ambient water quality of the River. Samples are analyzed for nitrate, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, TDS, and MBAS each quarter. Annually, the samples are also analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, metals, and radon. No trends are discernable from the date collected thus far.

  14. Janesville Payless Gas Station, Janesville, Lassen County - Anne Sutherland

    I have issued a Cleanup and Abatement Order to the owners of the Janesville Payless Gas Station in Janesville, Lassen County. The site has been an active Regional Board underground storage tank case since 1989, and in the 1990's three domestic drinking water wells were impacted by contaminants emanating from the site. On-site remediation has been ongoing since 1995; however, the petroleum plume boundaries are no longer defined, and consistently high levels of contaminants continue to pose a threat to water quality and beneficial uses. Due to the site's proximity to numerous domestic drinking water wells and irrigation supply water, additional cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater (vadose and saturated zones) is necessary. Because the extent of groundwater contamination is not defined, additional investigation is necessary. The CAO lists tasks and compliance dates to remediate vadose/saturated zone contamination, to restore the beneficial uses of the aquifer, and to conduct an additional site investigation to fully define the extent of contamination associated with the Payless Gas station.

  15. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Interstate 80 Rehabilitation - Greg Zentner

    Caltrans is rehabilitating Interstate 80 (I-80) between Donner Summit and the California-Nevada border. Over the next three to four years, Caltrans will lay new asphalt and a new concrete base over the existing roadbed. Caltrans will also demolish and replace several bridges over the Truckee River. Caltrans is working on an early phase of the project involving roadbed reconstruction through the Town of Truckee, as part of the Highway 267 Truckee Bypass project. Next year, Caltrans will begin I-80 Phase I rehabilitation between Fibreboard and Floriston east of the Town of Truckee.

    Highway re-construction will impact floodplains and wetlands and Caltran's use of sand and salt during winter months can impact streams and wetlands in the area. As a result, Regional Board staff is working with Caltrans to minimize future construction impacts to floodplains and wetlands, identifying mitigation sites for unavoidable impacts, and design controls for highway runoff to reduce impacts to receiving waters. Caltrans and Regional Board staff recently met with the Truckee River Coordinated Resource Management Planning Group (CRMP) to review potential mitigation sites.

    The Regional Board must approve projects that potentially threaten water quality or disturb floodplains and wetlands before work can begin. Earlier this year, the Regional Board adopted a resolution that granted an exemption to a Basin Plan prohibition on floodplain disturbance for Phase I work between Fibreboard and Floriston. As authorized by the resolution, the Executive Officer waived waste discharge requirements and water quality certification for this phase of the project. The resolution and waiver require mitigation for unavoidable project impacts and installation of controls for stormwater run-off. Regional Board staff anticipate bringing several more similar resolutions granting exemptions to Basin Plan prohibitions to the Regional Board during the next one to two years. These resolutions will address the unavoidable impacts to wetlands and 100-year flood plains associated with Phases II and III of the I-80 Rehabilitation Project, and the Donner Park Overpass Project.