Announcing the North Coast Basin Plan 2023 Triennial Review

The Draft Staff Report for 2023 Triennial Review of the Water Quality Control Plan for the North Coast Region (Basin Plan) and Planning Program Workplan for Fiscal Years 2024 through 2027 is now available for public comment.

Persons wishing to comment on the draft staff report and proposed workplan must submit comments in writing to the Regional Water Board not later than 5:00pm on October 30, 2023. Electronically submitted comments in pdf text format (if less than 15 megabytes in total size) can be sent to If the file is greater than 15 megabytes in total size, then the comment letter may be submitted by fax at (707) 523-0135 or mailed to Regional Water Board, Attention: Planning Unit, 5550 Skylane Blvd, Ste. A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Written comments received after the above date will not be accepted, except at the discretion of the Regional Water Board Chair. Staff request that comments on the Triennial Review be submitted with the subject line “Comments on Triennial Review.”
The Regional Water Board will conduct a public hearing to consider adoption of the Draft Staff Report and Workplan. The public hearing is scheduled for February 8th or 9th, 2024, at 9:00am in the Regional Water Board Hearing Room, 5550 Skylane Blvd, Suite A, in Santa Rosa, California. This meeting is scheduled to occur with both a physical meeting location and an option for remote participation via video and teleconference. Live video and audio broadcasts of the public workshop will be available via the internet and can be accessed at the CalEPA Public meeting live webcasts webpage ( The meeting will be recorded.

Triennial Review of the Basin Plan

Section 13240 of the Porter-Cologne and Section 303(c)(1) of the Clean Water Act require a review of basin plans at least once each three-year period to keep pace with changes in regulation, new technologies, policies, and physical changes within the region. The Regional Water Board is responsible for reviewing the Basin Plan, and is required to: 1) identify those portions of the Basin Plan, which are in need of modification or new additions; 2) adopt standards as appropriate; and 3) recognize those portions of the Basin Plan, which are appropriate as written.  The Regional Water Board solicits written and oral public input, which it considers prior to adopting by resolution a prioritized list of basin planning projects.  The highest priority projects establish the workplan of the Regional Water Board’s Planning Program for the next 3 year period.

2023 Triennial Review

The Regional Water Board’s 2023 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan is now underway. Over the next several months Planning Unit staff will be reviewing the Basin Plan, crafting a staff report, soliciting public input, and presenting a recommended list of priority planning projects to the Regional Water Board for consideration. Once adopted, the list of priority projects establishes the workplan of the Regional Water Board’s Planning Unit for the next cycle.

Invitation for Proposals
There is an online Form to propose amendments to the Basin Plan. Basin Plan amendment proposals can be submitted to the Planning Unit any time, but for consideration during the 2023 Triennial Review, proposals should be submitted by May 5, 2023. Many of the high priority projects identified in the 2018 Triennial Review are still underway and staff resources are committed to complete those projects. Staff recommendations for newly proposed projects will need to consider the necessary expertise, funding, and other resources available in the next planning cycle.

Triennial Review Process
To initiate the Triennial Review process, planning staff are reviewing the Basin Plan and changes to regulations since the last update, while Basin Plan amendment proposals are being accepted and reviewed. Proposals received will be prioritized based on factors like: statutory or regulatory requirements, existing commitments, importance to implementation of other Regional Water Board programs, opportunities to improve clarity or consistency within the Basin Plan, stated priorities of the Regional or State Water Boards and US EPA, and the availability of staff and external resources to support the project.

The full list of proposals including staff’s recommendations for the high priority list will be summarized in a staff report published for public review and comment received. Staff will update this report and recommendations if appropriate based upon public comment. The Regional Board will review the final draft staff report and consider adoption of the high priority list during a regularly scheduled Board hearing.

Public Engagement Opportunities

Estimated Timeframe

Basin Plan amendment proposal submittals

March 7 - May 5, 2023

Public review of draft Staff Report

Fall 2023

Board hearing adopting project list

Early 2024

To receive future notice of the public review draft Triennial Review staff report and other Basin Planning updates please subscribe to our email list:

For assistance with the proposal submission Form, or more information about the Triennial Review, please contact Michelle Fuller, Environmental Scientist in the Planning Unit:  or (707) 576-2350.

2018 Triennial Review

The 2018 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan was adopted by the Regional Water Board at a public hearing September 6, 2018.

Adopted Documents

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  (Page last updated 9/15/23)