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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2011-12
CLEAN UP: GROUNDWATER
WHAT THE MEASURE IS SHOWING
This performance measure seeks to assess how well the Water Boards are doing at tracking the control of groundwater pollution migration at cleanup cases. For approximately 20% of Active and Inactive site cleanup cases we can determine that groundwater pollution migration is controlled either because the source of the contamination has been identified and removed, the extent of pollution has been identified and remedial activities are controlling further migration of the identified pollutant. Although the number and percentage of cases where groundwater contaminant migration not controlled is small (almost 10%), the number of cases pending determination is relatively high at 71%.
WHY THIS MEASURE IS IMPORTANT
Controlling contaminant migration is an expression of several aspects of Water Board staff work. The "number of cleanup cases with groundwater pollution migration under control" is a count all open Water Board-lead cases and Shared-lead cases where groundwater contaminant migration is controlled as of the end of the FY. The process of cleaning and remediation of the impacts of pollution may take several years and may be completed in different phases. During the period that a case remains active, work will be done to investigate the nature and extent of the contamination, determine appropriate cleanup goals and construct/implement actions to effect cleanup (remediation). For inactive cases we won't know whether groundwater contaminant migration has been controlled. This performance measure is intended to show how well the Water Boards are doing at controlling groundwater pollution migration from contaminated sites.
- Data source: GEOTRACKER. Period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. Extracted on August 17, 2012.
- Unit of Measure: Number of cases where groundwater contaminant migration is controlled.
- Data Definitions: Active Cases:The number of cases overseen by Regional Boards that had an Open status as of June 30, 2012. Inactive Cases: Include cases where there is no funding or resources available to work on the case. Cases Where Groundwater Contamination Is Controlled: groundwater contaminant migration is under control either because the source of the contamination has been identified, the extent and magnitude of soil and groundwater contamination is defined and remedial activities are controlling further migration of the identified pollutant. It also includes those cases for which groundwater contaminant migration is not applicable. Cases Where Groundwater Contamination Is Not Controlled: An unacceptable migration of pollutants to surface water or groundwater or future risk to other sensitive receptors is determined to be present. Cases Pending Determination: Include cases for which there is insufficient data to determine that groundwater contaminant migration is controlled and those cases for which no data has been entered in the databases.
- References: The Water Boards' Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Program,
Public Reports and Data.
- Site Cleanup
- The Site Cleanup program addresses commercial, industrial and other non-military sites with non-fuel contamination. Many of these sites are considered Brownfields because of their reuse potential. These sites are regulated under Site Cleanup Requirements, which are issued by the Regional Water Boards. Site Cleanup Requirements generally mandate a time schedule for specific tasks that must be performed by the responsible party(ies) to investigate and clean up the site. Water Board staff oversee implementation of these tasks including investigations, corrective actions, and human health risk assessments at sites with current or historic unauthorized discharges, which have adversely affected or threaten to adversely affect waters of the state.
Procedures for site investigation and remediation are promulgated in State Water Resources Control Board Resolution No. 92-49 entitled Policies and Procedures For Investigation and Cleanup and Abatement of Discharges Under Water Code Section 13304. Responsible parties conduct work in a stepwise fashion, starting with preliminary assessment, then soil and water investigation; interim remedial measures if warranted; risk assessment; setting cleanup goals; cleanup plan; cleanup implementation and monitoring. Most often, responsible parties conduct the work voluntarily, but sometimes enforcement orders are necessary to compel the work to be performed.
- Number of cleanup cases groundwater contaminant migration under control
- Means a count of all open Water Board-lead cases and Shared-lead cases where groundwater contaminant migration has been evaluated as of the end of the Fiscal Year.