Laws and Regulations
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Service of Process During the COVID-19 Emergency
In lieu of personal service, the State Water Resources Control Board and the nine California Regional Water Quality Control Boards commit to accepting service of summons via a notice of acknowledgment and receipt (Code of Civil Procedure section 415.30) for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency if the notice and the papers being served are emailed to the following agency email address: OCC-Service-Of-Process@waterboards.ca.gov.
For questions related to service of subpoenas and other legal papers during the COVID-19 emergency, please send an email to the address above.
Laws and Regulations Relevant to Current Public Proceedings
- California Water Code
The official Water Code on the California Legislative Counsel Website
- California Health & Safety Code
The official Health & Safety Code on the California Legislative Counsel Website, which contains provisions relating to drinking water and underground storage tanks.
The State Water Board also maintains compilations of various laws relevant to different areas of the water boards’ responsibilities. While every effort is made to ensure these compilations are accurate and up-to-date, you should consult the official version of the California Code or the United States Code if in doubt.
- Statutory Water Rights Laws - effective January 1, 2023
California Water Code (particularly Division 2) and other California Code sections relevant to water rights
- Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act - effective January 1, 2023
Excerpts of California Water Code, Division 7 (Water Quality)
- California Safe Drinking Water Laws - effective July 22, 2021
Excerpts of California Health & Safety Code applicable to safe drinking water and environmental laboratory accreditation.
- Federal Clean Water Act - Title 33, U.S.C. sections 1251 and following
- Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations - Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40 (Protection of the Environment) maintained by the Government Printing Office
- Human Right to Water - effective January 1, 2013 California Water Code (Division 1, Section 106.3)
Establishes that every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.
The State Water Board’s Division of Drinking Water (DDW) has a compilation of statutes related to drinking water and recycled water. These are included in DDW’s Drinking Water Lawbook.
California Code of Regulations
- California Code of Regulations
The entire California Code of Regulations maintained by the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL)
- Title 27. Environmental Protection
Title 27 (Environmental Protection), Division 2, Subdivision 1 (Consolidated Regulations or Treatment, Storage, Processing or Disposal of Solid Waste) of the California Code of Regulations on the OAL Website
- Plans and Policies
Water Quality Control Plans (Basin Plans) and State Policies for Water Quality Control have the legal force and effect of regulation.
The State Water Board also maintains compilations of regulations in different areas of the water boards’ responsibilities. While every effort is made to ensure these compilations are accurate and up-to-date, you should consult the official California Code of Regulations if in doubt.
- Title 23. Waters (Division 3) - Portions Pertaining to SMGA and Water Rights - effective January 1, 2021
Excerpts of the portions of Title 23 (Waters) of the California Code of Regulations pertaining to water rights laws and proceedings.
- Title 23. Waters (Division 3) - Meeting Regulations
Excerpts of the portions of Title 23 (Waters) of the California Code of Regulations pertaining to meetings before the water boards.
- Title 27. Environmental Protection (Division 2) - Solid Waste
Excerpts of the portions of Title 27 (Environmental Protection) of the California Code of Regulations pertaining to Consolidated Regulations or Treatment, Storage, Processing or Disposal of Solid Waste.
DDW has a compilation of regulations related to drinking water and recycled water. These are included in DDW’s Drinking Water Lawbook.
- Full Text of Final Amendments. Approved by State Water Boards on October 7, 2014. Approved by Office of Administrative Law on November 25, 2014. Effective January 1, 2015.
- Public Notice of October 7, 2014 Hearing To Consider Adoption of Proposed Amendments to Water Quality Petition Regulations
- Transmittal Letter to Interested Parties Re: Regulations - March 7, 2014
- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - February 2014
- Initial Statement of Reasons - February 2014
- Full Text of Proposed Amendments to California Code of Regulations, Title 23. Waters. Division 3. State Water Resources Control Board. Chapter 6. Rules Governing Review By State Board of Action or Failure to Act By Regional Board - February 2014
Laws and Regulations Applicable to the Conduct of Board Meetings and Adjudicative Proceedings
- Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act - effective January 1, 2021
- Administrative Adjudication Statutes - effective January 1, 2021
- Water Boards' Meeting Regulations - effective January 1, 2008
- Question and Answer Document on Adjudicative Proceedings
Water Quality Petitions
- Water Quality Petitions Web Page
Includes instructions for filing water quality petitions and opportunity to download electronic versions of water quality petitions are now available at the Water Quality Petitions webpage.
Ex Parte Communications
- Ex Parte Communications Questions and Answers
- Ex Parte Communication Disclosure Form for General Orders [Fill-In PDF Form and Instructions]
- If possible, please download the form, complete it electronically, then email it to the referenced email inbox. This will help us to distribute and post the forms to the State Board’s website.
Note: This form is for ex parte communications to State Water Board members only. For Regional Water Board communications, please go to the respective board’s website (www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterboards_map.shtml).
- Pending General Orders Subject to Water Code Section 13287 Ex Parte Disclosure Requirements
Below is a list of matters pending before the State Water Board subject to the disclosure requirements of Water Code section 13287. Other pending orders or water quality petitions, not in abeyance, before the State Water Board are subject to the prohibition on ex parte communications.
|General Order||Scheduled Adoption Meeting||Ex Parte Prohibition in Effect|
|General Waste Discharge Requirements for Winery Process Water||January 20, 2021||January 13, 2021|
|General NPDES Permit for Discharges from Utility Vaults and Underground Structures||October 21, 2014||October 7, 2014|
|Amendments to Aquatic Animal Invasive Species Control Permit||October 21, 2014||October 7, 2014|
|General NPDES Permit for Discharges from Drinking Water Systems||November 4, 2014||October 21, 2014|
|Recycled Water Waste Discharge Requirements||June 3, 2014||May 26, 2014|
|Compost General Waste Discharge Requirements||N/A||N/A|
|Petitions A-2209(a)-(e) (Central Coast Water Board, Conditional Waiver for Irrigated Lands)||N/A||N/A|
|Petitions A-2239(a)-(c) (Central Valley Water Board, General Waste Discharge Requirements for Irrigated Agriculture in the East San Joaquin Watershed)||N/A||N/A|
|Petition A-2269 (Central Valley Water Board, General Waste Discharge Requirements for Irrigated Agriculture for Discharges Not Participating in Third-Party Groups)||N/A||N/A|
|Petitions A-2278(a)-(c) (Central Valley Water Board, General Waste Discharge Requirements for Irrigated Agriculture in the Tulare Lake Basin for Dischargers Participating in a Third-Party Group)||N/A||N/A|
|Petitions A-2283(a)-(b) (Central Valley Water Board, General Waste Discharge Requirements for Existing Milk Cow Dairies)||N/A||N/A|
|Petitions A-2751(a)–(b) (Central Coast Water Board, General Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges from Irrigated Lands)||N/A||N/A|
- Incompatible Activities Statement
- Regulated Local Agencies
- Waste Discharge Fee Schedules - Amended California Code of Regulations Title 23