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Nonpoint Source (NPS) – Encyclopedia

The NPS Encyclopedia is a free on-line reference guide designed to facilitate a basic understanding of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution control and to provide quick access to essential information from a variety of sources by providing direct hyperlinks to resources available on the World Wide Web (www.). References pertaining to hyperlinks can be accessed by selecting (clicking) on the blue underlined font. The purpose of this on-line resource guide is to support the implementation and development of NPS total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and watershed (action) plans with a goal of protecting high-quality waters and restoring impaired waters.  The NPS Encyclopedia’s companion tool, the MP Miner, allows users to cull data from studies of management practices (peer reviewed and others) by filtering studies using two relevant site-specific variables such as slope, salinity, flushing and soil type. The MP Miner and the NPS Encyclopedia use the same designations for land use category and management practices which are similar to those identified by United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA 2000) in their Plan for California’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program.

The 2006 edition of the NPS Encyclopedia was a paper document. This 2008 edition has been published on the www, users will find several key advantages to the previous edition, such as:

  • Convenience (PEW 2007, Horrigan 2006)
  • Searchable via on-line search engine
  • Ease of use (PEW 2007)
In addition to publishing the NPS Encyclopedia on the www, other adjustments were made to the 2006 edition in order to increase ease of use and convenience for the end user, as well as to reduce repetition and enhance consistency throughout. New, draft Management Measures (MM) were added and several MM have been reorganized, consolidated and renamed, however no MM or associated management practices have been removed. All case studies were removed; please visit the SWRCB Success Story webpage to find representative case studies. On each land-use category main page are descriptions of specific edits made to the 2004 edition of the NPS Encyclopedia.

This guide is not directly applicable to any point-source dischargers that are regulated under the Clean Water Act, including activities or facilities that are under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit including those entities covered by a municipal stormwater permit, and confined animal facilities that are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

California’s legal framework for implementing the NPS program is based on two primary federal laws—the Clean Water Act and Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA); and State laws— California Water Code including the Porter-Cologne Act, and California Code of Regulations (Title 23 and Title 27). However, other State and local authorities are also critical components of the legal framework that address NPS pollution in California, including: California Coastal Act; California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and local: planning, zoning, and development ordinances. Additional details on these and other authorities that are part of this framework are identified in the Plan for California’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program Volume II: California Management Measures for Polluted Runoff. Details on the State Water Resource Control Board’s (SWRCB) and California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) statutory authority for addressing nonpoint sources are included in Appendix B, entitled Legal Opinions in the Plan for California’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program Volume 1: Nonpoint Source Program Strategy and Implementation Plan (1998-2013).  This guide includes a section on relevant federal, state, and local laws that pertain to NPS pollution control and how they are implemented by authorities of the SWRCB and other authorities.

The Policy for the Implementation and Enforcement of the Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program (NPS Implementation and Enforcement Policy) is designed to assist all responsible and/or interested parties in understanding how the State’s NPS water quality control requirements will be implemented and enforced. The parties involved include the SWRCB and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs); federal, state, and local agencies; individual dischargers; designated third party representatives; and any other interested public and private parties.

The guide is organized around the six (6) land-use categories:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Forestry
  3. Urban
  4. Marinas and recreational boating
  5. Hydromodification
  6. Wetlands, riparian, and vegetated treatment systems

The home page for the NPS Encyclopedia contains a description on how to use the guide, its purpose, and an index of each land use category; applicable and relevant federal, state and local laws, policies and ordinances; and general resources (both technical and financial). Each land-use category web page contains an index of relevant management measures, general technical and financial resources, programs, and references. Each management measure web page describes the management measure in detail, lists each relevant management practice, provides specific (technical and financial) resources, and describes relevant programs (if not listed in the overarching land-use category page) and references. Web pages for all of the management measures can be accessed through an index located on the NPS Encyclopedia home page, as well as on each relevant land-use category main page.

If you would like a CD containing the NPS Encyclopedia sent to you, please leave your name and mailing address with Kelly Maurie at (916) 327-9530. For any problems associated with this Website, please contact Mary Tappel at (916) 341-5491. To ensure that the NPS Encyclopedia includes the most pertinent and current information available, it will be updated annually. Comments and suggestions for the addition of new material are accepted on a continual basis. Please contribute; forward any questions, comments, or suggestions to Molly Munz at (916) 341-5485.

Horrigan. September 2006. The Internet as a Resource for News and Information about Science. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew Internet and American Life Project. April 2007. Data Memo from Director Lee Rainie and Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise to PEW.

Index of Management Measures for Each Land Use Category

0  NPS Encyclopedia Homepage

  • 0A
Relevant federal and state laws and policies, and local ordinances
  • 0B
General Resources
  • 0C
List of Acronyms

1  Agriculture Homepage

  • 1A
Erosion and Sediment Control
  • 1B
Animal Waste
  • 1C
Nutrient Management
  • 1D
Pest and Weed Management
  • 1E
Grazing Management
  • 1F
Irrigation Water Management
  • 1G
Groundwater Protection (draft)
  • 1H
Education and Outreach

2  Forestry Homepage

  • 2A
Preharvest Planning
  • 2B
Streamside Management Areas (SMAs)
  • 2C
Road Construction and Reconstruction
  • 2D
Road Management
  • 2E
Timber Harvesting
  • 2F
Site Preparation and Forest Regeneration
  • 2G
Fire Management
  • 2H
Revegetation of Disturbed Areas
  • 2I
Chemical Management
  • 2J
Wetlands Forest Management
  • 2K
Postharvest Evaluation
  • 2L
Education and Outreach

3  Urban Areas Homepage (newly reorganized)

           3.1 Planning and Design

  • 3.1A
Watershed and Groundwater Protection
  • 3.1B
Flood Control (draft)
  • 3.1C
Impervious Surfaces (draft)
  • 3.1D
Landscaping (draft)
  • 3.1E
Land Development (includes transportation infrastructure)

           3.2 Construction Practices (includes construction of transportation infrastructure)

  • 3.2A
  • 3.2B
Groundskeeping/Chemical Control
  • 3.2C
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • 3.2D
Grading/Excavation (draft)

           3.3 Education and Outreach

  • 3.3
For Urban Areas

4  Marinas and Recreational Boating Homepage

           4.1 Marina Siting and Design

  • 4.1A
Flushing Management
  • 4.1B
Habitat Assessment
  • 4.1C
Water Quality Assessment
  • 4.1D
Shoreline Stabilization
  • 4.1E
Storm Water Runoff
  • 4.1F
Fueling Station Management
  • 4.1G
Sewage Facilities
  • 4.1H
Waste Management Facilities

           4.2 Operations and Maintenance

  • 4.2A
Solid (Including Fish) Waste Control
  • 4.2B
Liquid Waste (Including Gray Water) Management
  • 4.2C
Fuel and Used Oil Control
  • 4.2D
Topside Boat Cleaning and Maintenance
  • 4.2E
Underwater Boat Hull Cleaning and Maintenance (draft)
  • 4.2F
Sewage Pumpout Facilities and Marine Sanitation Devices
  • 4.2G
Boat Operation
  • 4.2H
Aquatic Invasive Species Control (draft)
  • 4.2I
Hazardous Material Management and Emergency Response Plans (draft)

           4.3 Education and Outreach

  • 4.3A
For Boaters
  • 4.3B
For Marinas (draft)

5  Hydromodification Homepage (newly reorganized)

           5.1 Stream Channel Modification

  • 5.1A
Channelization and Channel Modification
  • 5.1B
Dams and Levees, Construction
  • 5.1C
Dams and Levees, Operation & Maintenance
  • 5.1D
Dams and Levees, Removal

           5.2 Managing Hydromodification Impacts

  • 5.2A
Streambank and Shoreline Erosion
  • 5.2B
Flow and Temperature Maintenance
  • 5.2C
Low Impact Development

           5.3 Education and Outreach

  • 5.3
For Hydromodification

6  Wetlands and Vegetated Treatment Systems Homepage

  • 6A
Protection and Conservation
  • 6B  
Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Mitigation
  • 6C
Vegetated Treatment Systems
  • 6D
Education and Outreach