Welcome to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board - Lahontan Welcome to the California Environmental Protection Agency
Governor's Website
My Water Quality
Performance Report


  1. Herbicide Use for Weed Control - Tom Suk

    Due to increasing concerns over the spread of exotic and invasive plants (weeds), herbicide use for weed control has been on the increase in many parts of the State. At least three national forests in the Lahontan Region are preparing programmatic environmental documents for weed control, including proposals to use herbicides near and sometimes even within watercourses. Such treatments are in many cases likely to conflict with the Basin Plan's objectives for pesticides. Staff have been attempting to work with United States Forest Service (USFS) staff to ensure that herbicides are not used where the Basin Plan's objectives may be violated, and to require adequate monitoring where it is believed that the objectives can be met but validation monitoring is needed. USFS staff have resisted RWQCB staff recommendations in some cases, and substantial staff time has been necessary to track USFS plans in order to ensure compliance with the Basin Plan. Staff recognizes that weed control and abatement programs are necessary to protect aquatic habitat, habitat for rare and endangered species, sportfishing and other beneficial uses of water such as freshwater replenishment, and ground water recharge. Alternatives to chemical use such as applications of superheated water (steam) and mechanical removal are being explored as alternatives in some cases and Regional Board staff is beginning to incorporate measures to reduce or halt the introduction or spread of weeds in conjunction with permitting activities.

  2. Status of the SWRCB's Policy for Implementation of Toxics Standards for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries of California (Policy) and the U.S. EPA's California Toxics Rule (CTR) May 2, 2000 - Bob Dodds

    On April 28, the State Office of Administrative Law approved the SWRCB's Policy for Implementation of Toxics Standards for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays and Estuaries of California. (Policy) The adopted policy will be submitted to U.S.EPA for approval. Meanwhile, U.S.EPA signed the California Toxics Rule (CTR), which will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register in mid-May. Because the Policy and the CTR will become effective prior to the May 30 effective date of the Alaska Rule, the Policy can be implemented before U.S. EPA approval.

    What this means for the Regional Boards is that priority pollutant criteria and objectives must be implemented immediately in applicable, upcoming NPDES permits. The CTR provided guidance on which basin plan objectives will continue to apply and which will be replaced by CTR criteria. State Board staff will work with Regional Board staff toward full and effective implementation of these water quality standards and the Policy.

    The final Policy will be distributed to the Regional Boards and the public in May. Regional Board staff training on the CTR and the Policy is being scheduled for late-June through late-July in Sacramento and Riverside.

  3. Proposition 13 Funds Administered Through Small Community Grant (SCG) Program - Jason Churchill

    The March 2000 passage of Proposition 13 has provided $34 million in new grant monies for the construction of publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities in small, needy communities (populations of 10,000 people or less). Under current SCG Policy, a needy community is defined as one where the 1996 Median Household Income within the community is less than $32,000. The funds are being administered by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Division of Clean Water Programs, under the SCG program. Grants may be applied to pollution studies, planning, design, and construction of such facilities. Currently, the maximum SCG grant that may be awarded is $3 million.

    The SWRCB is compiling a statewide SCG funding Priority List. Staff at each Regional Board was asked to solicit projects for placement on the list and Lahontan Regional Board staff notified interested parties about the program in early May. Interested parties were to submit proposals to the Regional Board by June 8, 2000. The Executive Officers have been asked to prepare lists of eligible projects, with a priority ranking based on existing criteria, for submittal to the SWRCB by June 30, 2000. Lahontan Regional Board members will receive a copy of the Executive Officer's project list for the Lahontan Region at the time it is submitted to the State Board.

  4. Earth Day 2000 - Cindy Wise

    To help promote environmental awareness focusing on water quality protection, Regional Board staff participated in two South Lake Tahoe Earth Day 2000 activities. At the South Tahoe Middle School Earth Day Festival, staff demonstrated the link between land uses and water quality by using its watershed model. This is a table top plastic model of a typical watershed complete with several waterways and many types of lands uses such as roads, storm drains, timber harvests, residences, farms, rangeland, golf courses, waste water treatment facilities and industries. To represent potential pollutants from these land uses (i.e., sediment, animal wastes, fertilizers, pesticides), various items such as instant coffee or chocolate and powdered drink mixes (i.e. Kool Aid) are sprinkled on an associated land use. Then rain is simulated using spray bottles of water. This provides a very visual demonstration of how polluted runoff is created. Staff then wipes the model clean and repeats the demonstration with miniature best management practices (BMPs) in place to show how polluted runoff can be controlled. The model also includes a bottom layer component which illustrates how ground water can be impacted from surface activities. A 12-year-old student attending the Earth Day Festival was quoted in the local newspaper saying she enjoyed Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board's demonstration the best and that she learned not to "use too much fertilizer because it goes into our groundwater." Staff presented this same demonstration to the second grade classes at Meyers Elementary School. Before demonstrating the model, staff asked the second graders if anyone could give a definition of a watershed. One student raised his hand and answered that a watershed is the building that the Water Board is in.

  5. Bioassessment - Tom Suk

    Our regulatory and monitoring efforts have in the past relied largely on chemical and physical parameters. Given the federal Clean Water Act's goal to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters," and the USEPA's direction that states should give more attention to biological integrity, the SWRCB's 1997 Strategic Plan called for increased utilization of "bioassessment" techniques to gauge the biological integrity of California's waters. "Bioassessment" is the use of in-stream community assemblages to make inferences about the "health" or condition of a particular water body. Staff has executed contracts with the University of California's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL) to begin the development of bioassessment indices, based on benthic macroinvertebrates, for streams and rivers in the eastern Sierra. Benthic macroinvertebrates are bottom-dwelling organisms that can be seen (and identified and counted) without the aid of a high-powered microscope. The initial area of emphasis is the central portion of the Region, from the Truckee River watershed in the north, to the upper Owens watershed in the south. SNARL scientists will be collecting macroinvertebrate samples from a range of "minimally impaired" sites, as well as sites that are known to be impacted by various stressors (e.g., sediment, nutrients). An "index" will then be calculated to allow staff to judge the biological condition of sites throughout the area. It is expected that the development of a regional biological index will take several years at the current pace based on funding availability.

  6. Drinking water standard for MTBE - Chuck Curtis

    The California Department of Health Services will establish a drinking water standard of 13 parts per billion for MTBE, effective May 17, 2000. This will be a primary Maximum Contamination Level (or MCL) intended to protect human health. The Department earlier established a secondary MCL of 5 ppb, based on MTBE's taste and odor.

    This action will have little effect on our leaking fuel tank program, since we consider both primary and secondary MCLs when setting groundwater cleanup standards. As a practical matter, virtually all MTBE-release cases affecting groundwater will exceed one or both of these MCLs.

  7. Tahoe Tom's Gas Station, El Dorado County - Lisa Dernbach

    After being off for over two months, the pump and treat system was started up again in mid-April at the Tahoe Tom's Gas Station. The system went off-line after the South Tahoe Public Utility District revoked the Special Use Permit to discharge treated effluent to the sewer. Regional Board staff had extensive negotiations with the gas station owner before being allowed access to install three 6,000-gallon storage tanks at the site. Treated ground water is now being stored and trucked daily to the Beacon Gas Station in Meyers, another EAR site, where it is discharged to a subsurface infiltration gallery.

    During the period the pump and treat system was down, ground water samples showed MTBE concentrations in monitoring wells that previously had non-detect levels. This information indicates that the MTBE plume increased in size in the downgradient direction and is now beyond the capture zone of the pump and treat system. Water samples from the six drinking water wells, however, still show non-detect levels of gasoline constituents. The Regional Board's consultant is working on a report that will evaluate alternatives for expanding plume capture. The report is due on June 15, 2000.

  8. Presentation at Lake Tahoe Community College Tahoe Governments and Agencies - Lauri Kemper

    On May 8, 2000 Regional Board staff gave a presentation to a new class called Tahoe Basin Governments and Agencies. Staff presented an overview of the Lahontan Region, the Regional Board's authorities and programs. Strategies were discussed for controlling sediment and nutrients discharges to Lake Tahoe. Staff encouraged class members to get involved in public meetings, citizen monitoring and installing Best Management Practices on their own properties. Students asked questions regarding fertilizer management, Caltrans compliance and Regional Board Member appointments.

  9. Caltrans Partnering Workshop for Lake Tahoe's Master Plan - Lauri Kemper

    On April 14, 2000, Regional Board staff attended an all day partnering session which focused on Caltrans efforts to complete a Master Plan for Environmental Improvements for Caltrans facilities in the Lake Tahoe Basin. This Master Plan will also serve as the June submittal required by the Time Schedule Order adopted by the Regional Board against Caltrans on January 12, 2000. Part of the day was spent on tools to improve cooperation and communication. The remainder of the day focused on developing prioritization criteria, prioritizing Caltrans proposed project areas, and identifying unresolved issues. Over one hundred people attended the meeting representing the public, various departments of Caltrans, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, utilities, local governments, business community, environmental groups, and recreation providers. The majority opinion of the group was to prioritize project areas based on water quality impact to Lake Tahoe. Projects located closest to the Lake or where significant untreated discharges reach surface water were identified as higher priority than project areas located further from the Lake.

  10. Echo Creek Biomonitoring to Determine Impact of Proposed Re-licensing of El Dorado Hydroelectric Project (No. 184) - Dale Payne

    On May 10, 2000, Regional Board staff met with representatives from the El Dorado Irrigation District, Resource Insights, California Department of Fish and Game, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, and USDA Forest Service El Dorado National Forest District to discuss the current monitoring and data compilation that is being conducted on Echo Creek. At this meeting, Resource Insights shared Echo Creek data. The data, in some cases did not meet established sampling protocols. There is a need for additional studies and data analyses before conclusions can be made regarding the impacts to Echo Creek from El Dorado Irrigation District Project No. 184. The El Dorado Irrigation District is the lead agency for the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed acquisition, permanent repair, and operation of the El Dorado Hydroelectric Project (Project No. 184) and acquisition of rights to 17, 000 acre-feet per year of consumptive water. Project No. 184 is located on the South Fork of the American River and an application has been submitted for re-licensing through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A Notice of Preparation has been circulated (Received May 1, 2000). Regional Board staff has submitted comments on the Notice of Preparation since water is diverted from Echo Creek (at Echo Lake dam), a tributary to the Upper Truckee River. Concerns of the Regional Board staff include impacts to aquatic habitat and the maintenance of minimum flows associated with Project 184. Staff will provide direction on future monitoring to assess potential water quality impacts from the project.

  11. Meek's Building Center, South Lake Tahoe - Kara Russell

    The Regional Board entered into a predevelopment agreement with Meek's Lumber Company, effective August 5, 1996, to facilitate the relocation of the Meek's Building Center from a stream environment zone to a suitable site with appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs). Pursuant to this agreement, staff postponed enforcement of deadlines contained in Waste Discharge requirements for erosion control and water quality improvements installation. Since this agreement was finalized, we have not received any formal information regarding the relocation, however, we are aware of extensive efforts on the part of city and State agencies to facilitate this relocation.

    Regional Board staff inspected Meek's Building Center, located at 2763 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, on February 29, 2000 to evaluate compliance with discharge requirements. Staff observed muddy runoff discharging from the property at several locations. Staff collected samples at discharge points from the property to Trout Creek, a nearby meadow, and Highway 50. The samples were analyzed for Total Nitrogen, Total Phosphorous, and Suspended Solids. Every sample result exceeded the effluent standard for each of the constituents tested.

    We issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) on April 7, 2000 to Cha-Dor Realty, the Discharger, for failing to develop and implement Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce pollutants and to prevent the discharge of pollutants from Meek's Building Center, as required by waste discharge requirements prescribed in Board Order No. 6-95-18. The NOV requires the Discharger to submit a status report regarding the planned relocation of Meek's Building and a detailed plan and schedule for the containment and treatment of stormwater runoff from Meek's current location. The NOV states that these items must be submitted to staff by May 15, 2000 and the stormwater runoff plan must be implemented by September 1, 2000.

    Staff met with Meek's Building Center staff on May 5, 2000 to discuss plans for the facility. A site for relocation has not been secured, and we agreed upon measures to be implemented at the existing Meek's site to control erosion and runoff. The consultant for Meek's Lumber submitted a report on May 10, 2000 confirming a BMP plan for the existing facility

  12. Lake Tahoe Airport Unauthorized Discharge to Storm Drain - Kara Russell

    On May 3, 2000 the Lake Tahoe Airport reported the discharge of wastewater from the Tailspin Restaurant's kitchen sinks and floor drain to the storm drain system at the airport. The airport discovered that a grease trap, installed on November 12, 1999 for the restaurant, had been connected to the storm sewer system instead of the sanitary sewer system. The Airport revealed that personnel had detected a faint odor on two separate occasions in the area of a stormwater drop inlet 100 feet downstream of the grease trap. In December 1999, after the first odor detection, the drain was cleaned with a vacuum truck. Following the second detection in April, the Airport requested that STPUD perform a dye test on the grease trap. On May 3, dye was flushed through the grease trap and daylighted in the storm drain. The Airport contacted El Dorado County Environmental Health and Lahontan upon the discovery. On May 3, County Health inspected the site and took samples, and the Airport corrected the connection. Regional Board staff inspected the site the following day and took photographs.

    The City of South Lake Tahoe submitted a report on May 11, 2000 documenting the discharge. Regional Board staff is developing an Administrative Civil Liability complaint for the unauthorized discharge.

  13. Squaw Valley Sediment TMDL Field Work for Summer 2000. - Cadie MacDonald

    Increased sedimentation from the Squaw Valley watershed is damaging beneficial uses within 303(d) listed Squaw Creek and 303(d) listed Truckee River. The purpose of developing a sediment TMDL for Squaw Creek is to identify locations of sediment sources; describe the storage and movement of the available sediment through the watershed; identify how much sediment transport is natural and how much is attributable to human activities; and to assign sediment load allocations to each land use in the watershed. Two types of assessment will be conducted in the 2000 and 2001 summer field seasons. The first is a biological assessment, conducted by Dr. David B. Herbst, of UC Santa Barbara's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL), which will evaluate the native macroinvertebrates (stone fly, caddis fly, may fly etc.) as an indicator sensitive to changes in sediment load. The second, led by Dr. Thomas F. Bullard of the Desert Research Institute (DRI), is a geomorphic process assessment that will result in a sediment budget for the Squaw Valley watershed.

    SNARL will collect macroinvertebrates from sites located within Squaw Creek and its two primary tributaries (North Fork Squaw Creek and South Fork Squaw Creek). Macroinvertebrates will also be collected on comparable creeks located outside of the Squaw Creek watershed for comparison. The physical features and habitat attributes of each site will be described. Samples will be sorted and identified the following winter in the lab.

    The bioassessment is useful because the community structure of macroinvertebrates changes in response to pollutants. The community structure in Squaw Creek will be compared to a creek that reflects the water quality Regional Board staff anticipates attaining through successful implementation of TMDL-generated pollution control strategies. Macroinvertebrates will be one of the indicators used to track change associated with reduced instream sediment loads over time.

    Sediment Budget
    DRI's will use geologic maps, historic air photos, and field observations, to describe quantify, and map sediment sources within the Squaw Creek watershed. DRI will focus on areas of greatest sediment source availability with the highest risk of short-term transport to stream channels. These locations may or may not coincide with the areas of highest land disturbance. All data will be captured in a Geographic Information System (GIS) format.

    The data collected during the 2000 and 2001 field seasons will be used to develop a sediment budget for the Squaw Creek watershed. DRI will use the sediment budget to develop sediment load allocations by land use.

    Community information exchange for the Squaw Creek TMDL is assisted by RWQCB staff's regular attendance and presentations at monthly Truckee River Coordinated Resource Management Planning Group (CRMP) and Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) meetings. A pre-field season coordination meeting between RWQCB, SNARL, DRI, USEPA, and Squaw Valley Ski Corp. (SVSC) is planned for June 5th. SVSQ has hired Tetra Tech to provide them with assistance and document review on the TMDL. Both SNARL and DRI have graduate research assistants that are responsible for the fieldwork under direction of the principal investigators. Prior to fieldwork, DRI and SNARL will prepare study plans for RWQCB staff to share with SVSC, CRMP, and MAC.

  14. Umetco Owens Lake Disposal Site Removal Nears Completion - Cindi Mitton

    On May 15, 2000 Umetco held a public meeting in Olancha to discuss progress on closure of its waste pile located on Owens (Dry) Lake near Keeler. Umetco is nearing the end of a two-year project to remove waste from the site as part of implementation of closure of the disposal site.

    Umetco has completed removal of the sodium sulfate waste and will begin verification sampling for determination of appropriate post closure actions. The waste material was removed to Waste Management's facility at Kettleman Hills. The waste received a variance from DTSC under Hazardous Waste Regulations and was regulated under Waste Discharge Requirements by the Regional Board. In September 1999, the Regional Board amended Waste Discharge Requirements to address actions associated with the closure activities.

    The project was has been well received by the public and Board staff is pleased with progress at the site. Board staff will continue to work with Umetco regarding post-removal sampling and throughout the closure process to ensure that conditions at the site are protective of water quality.

  15. Caltrans Statewide NPDES General Storm Water Permit No. 6-99-DWQ - Gene Rondash

    The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued the largest statewide storm water construction permit in the country to Caltrans for its construction, operations, and maintenance activities. This new permit, approved on July 15, 1999, is being implemented as an integrated program under one Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP). The SWMP is currently in the review cycle, and is scheduled for approval by June 2000. Meetings already completed for program management, project development, maintenance, training/education, monitoring/reporting, and region specific requirements have been held. FY99/00 on-going projects, currently under individual permits, are being converted to elements within the new permit. Projects that are scheduled to finish after June 2000 are also being established as elements under the new permit.

    Because of the diversity within Region 6, Board staff has participated in extensive reviews of Caltrans proposed concepts for projects within the mountain and high desert areas. In addition to these areas, Board staff has also been the SWRCB's technical advisors on South Lake Tahoe and Truckee River hydrologic unit road construction requirements. SLT Board staff was instrumental in including discrete language from the Lahontan Basin Plan for Tahoe/Truckee River activities.

    Overall, the Caltrans program allows a more rigorous process for Best Management Practices (BMP) selection, expands/improves BMPs, identifies new procedures/techniques through BMPs, and has developed new approaches for categorizing BMPs. With the coordinated assistance from Board staff, the Caltrans storm water program seeks to reduce the discharge of pollutants associated with drainage from highways and highway-related properties, facilities, and activities. Oversight of Caltrans highway-related planning, design, construction, maintenance and training activities will be accomplished, with assistance from Caltrans UC-Davis database, by designated Storm Water Coordinators from both the RWQCB and Caltrans Districts.

  16. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Non-Chapter 15 Inspection Course - Kai Dunn

    Several Regional Board staff recently attended a training course for conducting inspections at NPDES/Non-Chapter 15 Facilities. The State Water Resource Control Board coordinated with the Water Quality Control Institute, Regional Boards and U.S. EPA to provide this course. This was a three-part training program. Part I was a four-day course that provided technical information on the principles and practical applications of wastewater treatment methods. Part II consisted of two days of training on the entire process of performing compliance inspections. Part III consisted of two days of field training with the most experienced Regional Board inspectors. The training was well done and should be very valuable for Board staff in evaluating compliance at these facilities for water quality protection.

  17. Two Proposed Truck Stop Projects for Kern County - Lawrence C. Ware, Jr.

    Regional Board staff (Board staff) recently received requests (preliminary environmental documents) from Kern County Planning Department for two separate truck stop projects. Both facilities propose on-site package wastewater treatment plants for wastewater disposal. For this reason and the large scale of the projects, Board staff has requested that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) be prepared. Board staff requested that the EIR include a thorough analysis of ground receiving water impacts and discussion of mitigation measures.

    The first project is for a Flying J Travel Plaza and would include: 1) a 15,140 square foot commercial building containing a restaurant, fast food restaurant, market, and shower facility and 2) a fueling station for autos, trucks, and recreational vehicles. This proposed project is located 2.5 miles northeast of Mojave, on the north side of State Route 14 (SR 14).

    The second project is by the Heavenly Desert Resort and Development Corporation and would include 1) a 21,260 square foot commercial building, a fast food restaurant, sit down restaurant, mini-mart, saunas, laundry facilities, a truckers lounge and 37 bathrooms complete with showers and 2) gasoline and diesel re-fueling stations. This proposed project is seven miles south of California City, on the north side of State Highway 58 and the west side of California City Boulevard. This site lies three miles west of the community of North Edwards, and 14 miles east of Mojave. This project proposes that wastewater will be disposed in an on-site lake, to be used for fire protection, landscaping, and wash water for a car and truck wash. Information will need to be developed on quality of wastewater produced and its suitability for the proposed reuse.

  18. Mono County Collaborative Planning Team, Mining Subcommittee - Michele Ochs

    A subcommittee of the Mono County Collaborative Planning Team has been formed. This group consists of members representing several different agencies including: U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Lahontan RWQCB, Town of Mammoth Lakes, California Department of Fish and Game, and Mono County. The purpose of the subcommittee is for inter-agency input on coordinating environmental reviews and establishing a more streamlined permitting process for mining projects on federal land.

    The first meeting of the Mining Subcommittee was held on May 8th, 2000 and was attended by Regional Board staff. During this meeting comments and suggestions were made regarding a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Mono County and the BLM. This MOU will provide consistency in the application process, simplification of document processing, and uniformity in regulation of mining projects on federal land within Mono County. Further MOUs or other educational material may be developed by the subcommittee to assist in streamlining and provide consistency in the regulating process for mining facilities within Mono County. Regional Board staff will continue to attend future meetings to facilitate coordination and ensure water quality issues are addressed.

  19. Mammoth Community Water District - Michele Ochs

    On February 17, 2000, Regional Board staff met with Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) personnel and their consultants to discuss two items. These two items included: 1) appropriate permitting of the Districts discharge to Laurel Pond and: 2) use and permitting of recycled wastewater at the Sierra Star Golf Course. As a result of this meeting, Board staff requested a strategy concerning the discharge to Laurel Pond to be received May 1, 2000. This strategy was requested to outline the steps MCWD will take to address the feasibility and associated issues associated with either upgrading the treatment plant to meet surface water discharge standards, or constructing new ponds within its facility to be regulated under Waste Discharge Requirements.

    MCWD submitted the requested strategy concerning treated wastewater discharge to Laurel Pond. The first steps in this strategy include research and feasibility studies to be completed in 2001. Board staff is currently evaluating the strategy for timeliness and completeness and may bring a recommendation to the Regional Board at a future meeting.

  20. Rush Creek-Four-Lane Project, Lee Vining - Douglas Feay

    Construction of the Rush Creek four-lane Project started May 1, 2000. The project consists of road widening and construction of associated bridges. Possible adverse impacts to Walker Creek & Rush Creek due to construction were reported to Board staff via E-mail on May 10, 2000. Silt fences were not installed in some areas. Board staff contacted CalTrans and informed them of the complaint we had received. CalTrans notified the contractor who dispatched a crew on May 11 to correct the problems. Board staff is evaluating possible follow-up enforcement and will perform an inspection of the construction site to ensure that problems are satisfactorily corrected. Board staff will also be coordinating with concerned persons and interested parties, such as the Mono Lake Committee, during the duration of the Rush Creek Project.

  21. Public Outreach at the 4th Annual Mojave Air Quality Management District's "Clean Air Fair" - Joe Koutsky

    Victorville office staff conducted a public outreach effort by participating in the 4thAnnual Mojave Air Quality Management District's "Clean Air Fair" on Saturday, May 6, 2000, at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville. The Fair is designed to create interest and inform the community about air quality and other environmental issues in the High Desert. Participants at the Fair included governmental agencies, local businesses and other groups with an interest in environmental protection. The San Diego Regional Board contributed a display and other items. Regional Board staff distributed pamphlets, bookmarks, biannual reports, and posters to the public. Included in our display was a poster presentation of the geographic areas and watersheds in the Region and information about the Regional Board and the ways we help to oversee and protect water quality.

  22. State Board Cleanup Oversight Seminar - Tim Post

    From May 9 through May 11, 2000, The State Board DoD Program held a training seminar entitled: Cleanup Oversight at Federal Facilities. The previous seminar was held five years ago. The seminar was attended by 95 State and Regional Board remedial project managers (RPMs). Four RPMs from the Lahontan Region attended the Seminar and Stephen Niou presented a case study of the natural attenuation project at George AFB. The main topics presented were:

    • Federal Agency Responsibilities Under CERCLA

    • The Dispute Resolution Process

    • Regional Board Responsibilities at CERCLA Sites

    • MTBE Transport and Remediation

    • Applicable, Relevant, or Appropriate Requirements within the State's Regulatory Framework

    • Ground Water and Soil Cleanup Levels

    • Traditional and Innovative Cleanup Technologies

    • Risk Assessments and Risk Communication

    • Base Closure Process and Close Out Documentation

    • Natural Attenuation Case Studies

    The purpose of this seminar was twofold: to inform and educate Regional Board staff on the technical and legal aspects of cleanup oversight at DoD facilities; and to promote statewide consistency in the application of State requirements at Federal facilities.

  23. Status Report on Dairies - Mike Plaziak

    As agreed, Meadowbrook Dairy re-sampled the on-site production well that had been previously sampled by the U.S. Geological Survey. Meadowbrook Dairy subsequently submitted the data to Regional Board staff.

    Since the March Regional Board meeting, Board staff has:

    • Requested and received well location and well construction information from the Mojave Water Agency on several wells in El Mirage area. This information is under evaluation for possible sampling of the upper aquifer in the vicinity of the dairies in the El Mirage area.

    • Sampled the monitoring wells at the Aerochem facility, which is approximately one mile north of the Meadowbrook Dairy. The samples were analyzed for chloride, nitrate, and total dissolved solids.

    • Completed another round of sampling and analysis as part of the Mojave River Study; and

    • Prepared a dairy needs analysis for submission to the State Board. This needs analysis describes the specific tasks and level-of-effort necessary for the effective oversight and management of the dairies in the Region.

    Board staff plans to present a follow-up report containing its findings at the September Regional Board meeting in Barstow.

  24. Lower Owens River Project (LORP) Implementation Meetings - Joe Kenny

    Regional Board staff (Board staff) attended two meetings of the Lower Owens River Project (LORP) Signatory Group on March 27, 2000 and May 2, 2000. The meeting group was established as part of the 1997 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), between the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), the County of Inyo, the California Department of Fish and Game, the California State Lands Commission, the Sierra Club, and the Owens Valley Committee. The main goal of the LORP is the establishment of a healthy, functioning Lower Owens River riverine-riparian ecosystem for the benefit of bio-diversity and threatened and endangered species, while providing for the continuation of sustainable uses including recreation, livestock grazing, agriculture, and other activities. The LORP consists of releasing flows to the Lower Owens River and Owens Lake Delta.

    Items discussed at the meetings include the Draft Ecosystem Management Plan, and the LORP EIR/EIS, now scheduled to be released in September 2000. Most discussions were related to Adaptive Management procedures and Habitat Conservation Plans for the Lower Owens River, as pertaining to the river re-watering program.

    At the meeting a revised proposed schedule of flows for the River Delta Habitat Area was proposed by the LA Department of Water and Power. The new flow schedule is estimated to be sufficient to maintain an area of 1,160 acres in the delta area of Owens Lake. A draft outline of the EIR/EIS report was distributed at this meeting. Regional Board staff commented on the notice of preparation for the EIR/EIS. Regional Board staff will continue to follow this important project for the Lower Owens River and to ensure that Regional Board staff comments are addressed.

  25. MTBE Cleanup at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area - Kai Dunn

    Regional Board staff is monitoring progress regarding cleanup of petroleum contaminants from the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA) Maintenance Yard. MMSA is using a biologically activated granular activated carbon (Bio-GAC) system to treat MTBE and other petroleum products in ground water. The treatment system consists a traditional ground water pump and treat system with air stripping and granular activated carbon treatment, however microbes are added to the carbon filter to enhance removal of contaminants. Preliminary data indicate that the system is effectively removing MTBE, with system effluent concentrations non-detectable for constituents of concern. The bio-GAC appears to be a promising technology to treat MTBE-contaminated water and to increase the lifespan of the activated carbon. Board staff has informed the discharger of concerns that long-term operation of the system may lead to lower effectiveness of the treatment or discharge of biomass constituents. Staff has also indicated that winter temperatures may cause microbe mortality.

    The Regional Board regulates the treated water discharge under the General Permit for Treated Ground Water and has included site-specific monitoring of the discharge to evaluate the systems effectiveness. Board staff will continue to monitor progress at the site and sample results to ensure that the system continues to operate effectively.
  1. Shell Gas Station, Meyers - Douglas F. Smith 

    On April 14, 2000, I issued an amended Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) to Equilon Enterprises, LLC, and Equiva Services, LLC, the Responsible Parties for the Shell Gas Station in Meyers. The order requires investigation and cleanup of gasoline and MTBE contamination resulting from the gas station. The order was issued because the recent site characterization work failed to define the vertical and lateral extent of contamination in the ground water. The amended CAO requires the Responsible Parties to conduct additional investigation and to design and install an offsite system to capture and control the contamination that has migrated from the site. A municipal drinking water well lies approximately 2,800 feet downgradient of the site and is potentially threatened by the discharge.

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

    On April 17, 2000, I issued an amended cleanup and abatement order to USA Petroleum for continuing corrective actions at the former USA Gas Station, now called Unocal, in South Lake Tahoe. The amended order requires USA to implement expanded actions to remove hydrocarbon mass beneath the gas station, evaluate the off-site extraction system for preventing the MTBE plume from being pulled to South Tahoe Public Utility District municipal wells when they are pumping, and restore the aquifer to background conditions for future beneficial uses.Regional Board staff met with USA's consultant in early May and they stated USA's willingness and ability to meet all orders and deadlines in the amended order. By May 12, 2000, USA began operating a dual vapor extraction system to dewater the water the site to the depth of soil contamination. This action will better expose hydrocarbons to soil vapor extraction. Also on May 12, 2000, the Regional Board received USA's evaluation of the off-site extraction system. The evaluation concluded that the current off-site extraction well network is adequate to prevent the MTBE plume from being pulled to five of STPUD's municipal well when pumping at maximum capacity beginning on August 1, 2000. To account for a margin of error in this assessment, USA is evaluating the installation of recharge injection wells in the middle aquifer zone to act as barrier between the MTBE plume and the municipal wells.In response to my directives to investigate ethanol detections in groundwater, USA conducted a Tracer Test in mid-April 2000. The results, received on May 12, 2000, stated that tracer gases were detected in soil gas samples at the turbine pump sumps for two underground storage tanks. USA and El Dorado County will investigate the turbine pump sumps as being potential sources of releases at the site. In the meantime, ethanol impacts to groundwater appear to be remediated with the off-site extraction well network for the MTBE plume.

  3. Beacon Gas Station, Meyers - Chuck Curtis

    In July 1998, using funds from the Emergency, Abandoned, and Recalcitrant Account, the Regional Board took over remediation activities at the site. Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) from the site impacted two municipal drinking water wells owned by the South Tahoe Public Utility District. Remediation efforts conducted by the Regional Board's contractor continue to clean up contaminated ground water at the site. Additional investigation and clean up is required, and the Regional Board will be conducting the work with continued funding from the EAR Account. Results from a recent offsite investigation indicate groundwater is impacted by MTBE and gasoline-range petroleum hydrocarbons at least 1,000 feet downgradient of the site. The contamination threatens, but has not yet impacted, a private recreation lake (Lake Barron) and the Upper Truckee River. Regional Board staff have asked the Board's consultant to evaluate remediation options for the offsite contamination.

  4. Swiss Mart Gas Station, South Lake Tahoe - Chuck Curtis

    On April 11, 2000, I issued a Notice of Violation to the Responsible Parties for this site for failure to comply with Administrative Civil Liability (ACL) Order Nos. 6-99-46 and 6-99-47 that were imposed by the Regional Board at their October 13, 1999 meeting. These ACLs imposed liabilities and stayed portions of the liabilities based on completion of certain tasks by certain dates. The violations were for failure to fully operate the remediation system at the site by the required date. The Responsible Parties had petitioned the State Water Resources Control Board to review the ACLs, and on April 20, 2000, the State Board dismissed the petition. On May 8, 2000, I notified the Responsible Parties that payment was due for the originally imposed ACL amounts not stayed (totaling $40,000) and for the those portions of the stayed amounts that were now due for the violations (totaling $17,100). The Responsible Parties have submitted a schedule that indicates the remediation system should be fully operational by June 15, 2000.

  5. Swiss Mart Chevron Gas Station, Kings Beach - Chuck Curtis

    On September 9, 1999, the Regional Board imposed Administrative Civil Liability (ACL) Order No. 6-99-42, and on October 13, 1999, the Regional Board imposed ACL Order No. 6-99-48 on the Responsible Parties of this former gas station. The Responsible Parties petitioned the State Water Resources Control Board to void the ACLs, and on March 9, 2000 and April 20, 2000, the State Board dismissed the petitions. On January 10, 2000, I issued a Notice of Violation to the Responsible Parties for failure to comply with Administrative Civil Liability (ACL) Order No. 6-99-48. This ACL imposed liabilities and stayed portions of the liabilities based on completion of certain tasks by certain dates. The violation was for failure to fully operate the remediation system at the site by the required date. On May 9, 2000, I notified the Responsible Parties that payment was due for the originally imposed ACL amounts not stayed (totaling $54,600) and for the that portion of the stayed amount that was now due for the violation ($10,000). The Responsible Parties have indicated that the remediation system should be fully operational by May 17, 2000.30. 

  6. Notice to Comply, Sierra Springs Subdivision, Crowley Lake - Cindi Mitton

    Regional Board staff recently inspected the Sierra Springs subdivision project in the Lake Crowley area. The project was issued a 401 certification last year based on the project description and mitigation plans submitted. The project is nearing the completion of construction. During the inspection, areas were noted lacking proper erosion stabilization and reseeding efforts were ineffective in several areas. The project proponent was issued a Notice to Comply requiring compliance within 30 days. Regional Board staff will inspect the area again to verify if measures have been taken to come into compliance. Additionally staff will evaluate whether the wetland mitigation and monitoring plan is effectively being implemented.
  1. Closure of Tahoe Sanitary District Lift Station No. 3, Truckee, Nevada County - Tammy Lundquist

    The Tahoe Sanitary District had several underground storage tanks (USTs) at Lift Stations on Donner Pass Road along the north shore of Donner Lake. The USTs supplied fuel to the emergency generators. In September and October 1997, six USTs were removed from Lift Stations No. 1, 1B, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Of all the USTs that were removed, only Lift Station No. 3 found detectable concentration of hydrocarbons in soil. Soil samples taken from this Lift Station contained total petroleum hydrocarbons as diesel (TPH as diesel) and gasoline (TPH as gasoline). Four monitoring wells were installed to evaluate any impacts to water quality. Analytical results of ground water were below laboratory detection limits for TPH as gasoline and benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and MTBE for three ground water sampling events. However, TPH as diesel was detected one time at a concentration of 190 parts per billion (ppb) and total xylenes at 1.8 ppb during the second sampling event. Based on the information provided to this office, site conditions are protective of water quality and beneficial uses and human health and the environment. Case closure of this site was issued on May 4, 2000.