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Garcia River TMDL


The Action Plan for the Garcia River Watershed Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load
(Action Plan) is an amendment to the Basin Plan which includes the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), implementation plan, and monitoring plan for the Garcia River. The Action Plan was approved by the State Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on January 3, 2002, and by the U.S. EPA on March 7, 2002. The Action Plan has been in effect since OAL approval on January 3, 2002. In addition to the Action Plan, Regional Water Board staff also developed the Reference Document for the Garcia River Watershed Water Quality Attainment Action Plan for Sediment (Reference Document). The Reference Document is intended to be a useful reference for providing additional detail about the concepts contained in the Action Plan.

Overview of the Action Plan

The Garcia River Action Plan contains waste discharge prohibitions which apply within the Garcia River watershed. The prohibitions are as follows:

  • "1. The controllable discharge of soil, silt, bark, slash, sawdust, or other organic and earthen material from any logging, construction, gravel mining, agricultural, grazing, or other activity of whatever nature into waters of the State within the Garcia River watershed is prohibited."
  • "2. The controllable discharge of soil, silt, bark, slash, sawdust, or other organic and earthen material from an logging, construction, gravel mining, agricultural, grazing, or other activity of whatever nature to a location where such material could pass into waters of the state within the Garcia River watershed is prohibited."

In order to control existing and future sources of sediment delivery resulting from human activity to the Garcia River and its tributaries, three options are offered to landowners. These options are:

Option 1 (No Plan)

Comply with the new waste discharge prohibitions for the Garcia River watershed contained in the Regional Board's Basin Plan. The Basin Plan contains waste discharge prohibitions that apply to discharges of sediment from logging and construction activities in amounts deleterious to beneficial uses. These current prohibitions are enforceable throughout the entire North Coast Region, including the Garcia River watershed. The new Garcia River watershed-specific prohibitions prohibit "controllable" discharges of sediment from any type of land use. Controllable discharges are defined as those discharges resulting from human activities that can be reasonable controlled through prevention, mitigation, or restoration. The Garcia River prohibitions are in addition to the existing waste discharge prohibition already contained in the Basin Plan.

Option 2 (Your Plan)

Comply with an approved Erosion Control Plan and Site Specific Management Plan. The Erosion Control Plan includes a list or inventory of controllable sediment delivery sites on a property, an assessment of unstable areas, and a plan for monitoring the effectiveness of the sediment reduction effort. The Erosion Control Plan's sediment reduction schedule must be developed such that 10% of the estimated volume of deliverable sediment is corrected each year for a period of ten years on non-agricultural properties. On agricultural lands, the sediment reduction schedule is set such that 20% of the estimated volume of sediment must be corrected every four years, which results in a twenty year period to correct all sites.
The Site Specific Management Plan includes a list of erosion prevention measures that will be used in the future to avoid creating more sediment delivery sites. It also includes a list of measures designed to improve conditions in the riparian zone.

Option 3 (Regional Board's Plan)

Comply with an approved Erosion Control Plan and the Garcia River Management Plan. The Erosion Control Plan under this option is the same as the Erosion Control Plan under Option 2. The Garcia River Management Plan includes a general series of land management measures that apply to a) road, watercourse crossing, and near stream facilities; b) unstable areas; and c) the riparian zone.


Updated November 23, 2011