Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach Bacteria TMDL
Since 2002, beaches in Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach near Half Moon Bay have been on the 303(d) list for impairment from elevated levels of indicator bacteria. Poor water quality due to bacteria has persisted over the years and bacteria densities in the waters of the beaches have exceeded the numeric water quality objectives for Enterococcus, which are types of bacteria that indicate the potential for fecal contamination in marine waters. High levels of Enterococcus suggest presence of pathogenic organisms that are found in the waste of humans and warm-blooded animals (e.g., cows, horses, dogs and wildlife). These pathogens pose potential health risks to people who swim in contaminated waters and may also adversely affect marine animals.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Approval
The U.S. EPA approved the TMDL on February 8, 2022. The TMDL is now fully approved and effective.
Office of Administrative Law Approval
California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved this basin plan amendment on November 15, 2021 (OAL File Number R2-2021-1001-02S).
State Water Board Approval Process
The State Water Board adopted Resolution No. 2021-0026 approving the Basin Plan amendment to establish the Bacteria TMDL and to update the bacteria objectives in the Basin Plan on July 20, 2021.
State Water Board Meeting Agenda and associated documents:
- State Water Board Meeting Agenda
- State Water Board Agenda Item
- State Water Board Draft Resolution
- Notice of Opportunity to Comment
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board Adoption Process
The Regional Water Board adopted a resolution approving the Basin Plan amendment for this TMDL on February 10, 2021. Regional Water Board adopted resolution and supporting documents are available below:
Final Regional Board Adopted Documents (February 10, 2021)
- Staff Summary Report
- Adopted Resolution No. R2-2021-0002 with Basin Plan amendment
- Revised Basin Plan amendment
- Final Staff Report (Includes Draft Substitute Environmental Document)
- Response to Comments For an electronic copy of the Comment Letters, please contact Barbara Baginska at Barbara.Baginska@waterboards.ca.gov
TMDL Development Process
Public review documents for a proposed Basin Plan amendment to establish a Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the beaches in Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach. The public comment period ended on December 1, 2020.
- Notice of Public Hearing and notice of filing a Draft Environmental Document for Bacteria TMDL in Pillar Point Harbor and Venice Beach
- Proposed Basin Plan Amendment to establish the TMDL and incorporate bacteria objectives into the Basin Plan (October 13, 2020)
- Supporting Staff Report, including the draft environmental document for the Bacteria TMDL Amendment (October 13, 2020)
- Presentation slides from December 4, 2019 Public Workshop and CEQA Scoping Meeting
- Notice of Public Workshop and CEQA Scoping Meeting (December 4, 2019)
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