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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2010-11


MESSAGE:  Low level of enforcement recorded under the rest of regulatory programs.


MEASUREMENTS  - Data last updated on: 

Region Enforcement Actions
Informal Formal Formal


The data shows that other regulatory programs such the wetlands, timber harvest and irrigated lands, when compared to the rest of the core regulatory programs, do not have an active enforcement component. Region 1 issued 5 formal actions for violations at facilities regulated under the timber harvest program.



Enforcement plays a significant role in the Water Boards' strategies to protect water quality anrepresents a significant amount of work for both the State and Regional Boards. Enforcement deters potential violators and protects public health and the environment. Enforcement can prevent threatened pollution from occurring and can promote prompt cleanup and correctionof existing pollution problems. The Water Boards use progressive enforcement by addressing some violations with an informal response such as a phone call or staff enforcement letter followed, if needed, with a more formal action. If violations continue, the enforcement response should be quickly escalated to increasingly more formal and serious actions until compliance is achieved. This measure displays the use of formal versus informal actions to address documented violations.



  • Data Source: CIWQS. Period: July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Extracted on July 29, 2011.
  • Unit of Measure: Number of enforcement actions issued during FY 10-10.
  • Data Definitions: 1Informal Enforcement: any communication that notifies the discharger of a problem (For reporting purposes it includes 13267 letters and notices to comply). 2Formal Enforcement: Administrative or judicial actions that impose sanctions and/or require compliance where a hearing is available to contest the allegations (For reporting purposes it does not include Administrative Civil Liabilities (ACL) actions). Formal Penalty Enforcement: includes Administrative Civil Liability actions and any other monetary assessment imposed.
  • All Other Regulatory Programs: Include facilities regulated under section 401 and wetlands, Irrigated Lands, Non Point Source, Reclamation, Spills, Leaks Investigations and Cleanup, Timber Harvest and those facilities unregulated or not directly regulated.
  • References: Public Reports and Data
    Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Information
    The Water Boards' Enforcement Policy



Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements
A Regional Water Board can formally waive Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for specific discharges to surface waters that are not subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulations provided that certain conditions are met, including that the discharge will not cause or contribute to violations in water quality. An individual conditional waiver of WDRs can be issued directly to an individual discharger. For discharges of a certain type, such as discharges from irrigated agricultural lands, individual or groups of dischargers may enroll under a general conditional waiver of WDRs

Irrigated Agricultural Lands
Lands where water is applied to produce crops such as land planted to row, vineyard, pasture, field and tree crops, commercial nurseries, nursery stock production, managed wetlands, and rice production that do not currently discharge under waste discharge requirements, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits, or other NPDES permits.

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. 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.

401 Certification/Wetlands
This program encompasses wetlands protection but stems from the legal authority in Clean Water Act section 401 governing the discharge of dredge and fill material in federal waters. Discharge of "fill" material means adding into waters of the United States materials (such as concrete, dirt, rock, pilings, rip-rap, or side-casting material) that are for the purpose or have the effect of either replacing an aquatic area with dry land or raising the elevation of an aquatic area.

Timber Harvest Forestry
This program regulates discharges from logging and associated activities. Timber harvesting activities with the greatest potential to impact waters of the State include: felling, yarding, and hauling of trees; road construction and reconstruction; watercourse crossing construction, reconstruction, or removal; and herbicide applications. Excessive vegetation alteration, soil erosion, and sediment delivery associated with these activities can impact the beneficial uses of water by: 1) silting over fish spawning habitats; 2) clogging drinking water intakes; 3) filling in pools creating shallower, wider, and warmer streams, and increasing downstream flooding; 4) creating unstable stream channels; and 5) losing riparian habitat and function. Timber harvesting in the riparian zone can adversely affect stream temperatures by removing stream shading, especially important for maintaining cold water beneficial uses in temperature impaired waterbodies.

( Page last updated:  10/5/11 )