- State & Regional Water Boards
- Decisions Pending and Opportunities for Public Participation
Basin PlanContact: Richard Looker (510) 622-2451
The Regional Board is required to develop, adopt (after public hearing), and implement a Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the San Francisco Bay region. The Basin Plan is the master policy document that contains descriptions of the legal, technical, and programmatic bases of water quality regulation in the San Francisco Bay region. The plan must include:
The Regional Board first adopted a plan for waters inland from the Golden Gate in 1968. After several revisions, the first comprehensive Water Quality Control Plan for the region was adopted by the Regional Board and approved by the State Board in April 1975. Subsequently, major revisions were adopted in 1982, 1986, 1992, and 1995. Since 1995, the Basin Plan has been updated on an ongoing basis as TMDLs and other amendments are adopted by the Board. Each proposed amendment to the Basin Plan is subject to an extensive public review process. The Regional Board must then adopt the amendment, which is then subject to approval by the State Board. In most cases, the Office of Administrative Law and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) must approve the amendment as well. For more information click here.
Construction/Erosion and Stormwater RunoffContact: Michelle Rembaum-Fox at (510) 622-2387 for information and questions.
We work to reduce the impacts from construction activities on local waterways. Through a vigorous inspection and enforcement program. Staff have also set up an on-going education program for the construction industry and local governments. For more information go to our Stormwater page.
Dept of Defense/Dept of EnergyContact: Alec Naugle (510) 622-2510
The Water Board’s Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DoE) cleanup program addresses active and former DoD facilities and DoE laboratories. Working with other State and federal agencies, Water Board staff oversees cleanups at these sites. Areas of concern include soil and groundwater contamination, storm water and surface water discharges, and contaminated sediments. For more information visit our Depts. of Defense & Energy Cleanup Program page.
EnforcementContact: Brian Thompson (510) 622-2422
The Regional Board has the authority to enforce all its requirements, orders, and standards. The primary goal of enforcement is to stop on-going problems and cleanup as necessary to preserve the beneficial uses of the Bay Area's water resources. Enforcement options include issuing letters or orders requiring certain activities, assessing administrative fines directly, or referring the case to local, state or federal prosecutors. Administrative fines imposed by the Board have total millions of dollars since 1985. Approximately 70% of the fine money is used for local environmental enhancement projects, the rest goes to a statewide cleanup fund. For more information go to our Enforcement page.
LandfillsContact: Terry Seward (510) 622-2416
The Board regulates landfills, waste ponds, and other waste disposal to land operations. This includes both active and closed facilities. The primary concern is to assure that wastes contained in these facilities do not escape to either surface or groundwaters. Regulation consists of design standards for liners, covers, etc., environmental monitoring, and cleanup when necessary.
NPDES PermittingContact: Bill Johnson (510) 622-2354
The NPDES program is a federal permit program under the Clean Water Act that is administered in the Bay Area by the Regional Board. The program requires that any discharge of wastewaters to surface water needs a permit. The permits set limits on the quality of the wastewater and require monitoring. All permits are adopted in public hearings and are designed to protect the beneficial uses of the receiving waters. All sewage treatment plants and large industries have permits. Smaller industries that discharge to sewer systems are regulated by the local systems. The discharge of contaminated groundwater is also regulated by NPDES permits. Stormwater is also covered by NPDES permits. For more information go to our NPDES page.
EPA Permit Application Forms
EPA forms 1 and 2D (2C for existing dischargers) may be obtained from USEPA site at:
Nonpoint Source Pollution - Agricultural ProgramsContact: Jim Ponton (510) 622-2492
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the result of land runoff, rainfall, drainage or seepage from diffuse sources such as agricultural fields, urban streets, confined animal facilities, and streambank erosion. NPS pollution is one of the major impacts on the water quality of San Francisco Bay, its tributary streams, and the Region's coastal waters. Region 2 is implementing NPS management measures through the California NPS Program Plan and NPS Policy, with a focus on confined animal facilities, urban runoff, and hydromodification. For more information see our Nonpoint Source Pollution page.
Site Cleanup Program (SCP)Contact: Cheryl Prowell (510) 622-2408
The Site Clean Up Program (SCP) program is designed to cleanup the impacts of current or historic unauthorized discharges, primarily to groundwater, but in some cases also to surface waters or sediments. The program issues cleanup orders that require investigations, source removals, set final cleanup standards, treatment and monitoring. For more information see our Site Cleanup Program page.
StormwaterContact: Dale Bowyer, (510) 622-2323; Bill Hurley (510) 622-2364 and Christine Boschen (510) 622-2346
Stormwater pollution is now the major source of pollutants to surface water bodies in the Bay Area. To deal with this the State and Regional Boards have issued NPDES permits that require implementation of certain actions (BMPs or Best Management Practices) to control the pollutants in stormwater. The State Board has issued two general stormwater permits, one to industrial facilities and another to construction sites. Both these general permits require notification, implementation of BMPs and monitoring. The Regional Board has issued municipal stormwater permits to urbanized areas. These permits require local governments to implement certain practices, for example public education (e.g. storm drain stenciling), municipal activities (e.g. street sweeping), monitoring, local commercial/industrial inspections, and new development review. For more information see our Stormwater Program page.
Streams and WetlandsStreams and wetlands are essential elements of the Bay Area’s natural heritage that can protect and enhance water quality in a variety of ways. Streams and wetlands, and the water that flows through them support the ecological processes all human, plant, and animal watershed residents depend on. Vegetated riparian and wetland corridors protect and enhance water quality, and healthy stream and wetland systems store flood waters, provide flood control during large storm events, and recharge groundwater. For more information see our Protecting Streams and Wetlands page.
SWAMP - Surface Water Ambient Monitoring ProgramMany of the Water Board's water quality protection programs rely on monitoring data, which we and other agencies collect for our own use and also make available to the public. For more information about the SWAMP program and regional monitoring, see our SWAMP Program page.
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) ProgramContact: Kevin Lunde (510) 622-2431
Total Maximum Daily Loads(TMDLs) are actions to restore clean water. Section 303(d)of the federal Clean Water Act requires that states identify water bodies that do not meet water quality standards. TMDLs examine these water quality problems, identify sources of pollutants, and specify actions that create solutions. For more information see our TMDL Program page.
Underground Storage Tank (UST) ProgramContact: Laurent Meillier (510) 622-3277
Underground Storage Tanks are the primary source of pollutants for groundwater. Most UST hold or held fuel, which is the main emphasis of this program (other pollutants are covered by the SLIC program). Under State law USTs need to be monitored for leaks (monitoring is administered by local agencies). If leaks are discovered, Regional Board staff, usually working with local agencies, require that investigations be done, pollutant sources be removed, necessary cleanup be done, and that groundwater be monitored. For more information see our UST Program page.
Watershed ManagementContact: Keith Lichten (510) 622-2380
Watershed management is a strategy for managing resources by integrating water quality monitoring and assessment, planning, nonpoint source and point source discharge regulation, planning, groundwater protection, and other programs at the State and Regional Boards. For more information see our Watershed Management page.
Water Quality CertificationsContact: Liz Morrison (510) 622-2330
Under the federal Clean Water Act either dredging or wetland fill activities require permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. The Regional Board needs to certify that these federal permits meet State water quality standards. Thus, dredging and fill projects need to be reviewed and approved by the Board. The Board's concerns are that the projects minimize their impacts on water quality. For information about California's 401 Certification process, see the State Water Board's information page. Learn more about our region's 401 Certification Program