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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2013-14


MESSAGE:  The Regional Boards documented one or more violations for of facilities in calendar year 2013. 321 facilities incurred on a high priority violation.


MEASUREMENTS  - Data last updated on: 

Region Regulated
No. of Facs. With Compliance Assessed Facs. with No Violations No. of Facilities with 1-10 Violations No. of Facilities with 11-25 Violations No. of Facilities with > 25 Violations No. of Facilities with Violations Number of Violations Percentage of Facilities in Violation Average No. of Violations per Facility in Violation


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Region No. of Facs. With Compliance Assessed Facs. with Priority I Violations Priority I Violations Facs. with Priority II Violations Priority II Violations Facs. with Priority III Violations Priority III Violations Facs. with Priority Violations Un-determined Priority Violations Un-determined Percentage of Facilities with Priority Violations
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Compliance rates vary significantly among regions, 1 region did not document any violation. This variation may be in response to several factors including compliance actions and compliance assurance activities conducted in each year. It is significant to point out that only 13 facilities documented violations classified as Class I for enforcement priority. None of the less, the variation in data suggest inconsistencies in data entry and violation documentation across the Regional Boards. The rate of compliance assessment is very high for active industrial facilities, approximately 75% of facilities in this group were assessed for compliance.
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The mission of compliance and enforcement programs is to ensure that compliance with the laws and regulations is achieved and maintained over time. Compliance rates inform the public about efforts of the regulated community and the work of government agencies. Compliance rates assist managers to describe and identify noncompliance problems in magnitude, frequency and duration and also help the evaluation of the enforcement program effectiveness.
Compliance rates provide valuable insight into programs, but it is important to understand variables influencing the rate. Rates can vary depending on inspection protocols and methodology (whether inspections are announced or unannounced, targeted on problem facilities, etc.). How rates are calculated and what data are included (or excluded) are equally important. For example, including all violations in the calculation gives a very different rate than just including significant violations. These variables need to be understood when the rate is used and included with any presentation. While not a perfect measure, compliance rates are considered an outcome measure for the enforcement program and are more constructive than relying on activity and output counts alone. Reporting compliance rates is required in section 13225 (e) of the California Water Code and is identified in the 2010 water quality enforcement policy as one of the 9 key recommended performance measure for Water Boards’ enforcement programs.




Compliance Rate
The number of facilities with one or more documented violation during the reporting period divided by the total number of facilities for which compliance has been assessed.

Compliance Assessment
Compliance assessment is any activity conducted by Water Board staff, USEPA, or contractors working for the Water Boards that evaluates the compliance with requirements established by Water Boards actions. Compliance activities mainly include reviewing self-monitoring reports submitted by dischargers and inspections of the facilities and/or operations of the regulated community.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
The NPDES permit program (Section 402 of the Clean Water Act ) controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. US EPA has approved the Water Board’s program to issue NPDES permits.

Construction Stormwater Program
Dischargers whose projects disturb 1 or more acres of soil or are part of a larger common plan of development that in total disturbs 1 or more acres, are required to obtain coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction Activity (Construction General Permit, 2000-0009-DWQ).

Industrial Stormwater Program
Discharges associated with 10 broad categories of industrial activities are regulated under the Industrial Storm Water General Permit Order 97-03-DWQ (General Industrial Permit), which is an NPDES permit.

Class I Priority Violations
Class I priority violations are those violations that pose an immediate and substantial threat to water quality and that have the potential to cause significant detrimental impacts to human health or the environment. Violations involving recalcitrant parties who deliberately avoid compliance with water quality regulations and orders are also considered class I priority violations because they pose a serious threat to the integrity of the Water Boards’ regulatory programs.

Class II Priority Violations
Class II priority violations are those violations that pose a moderate, indirect, or cumulative threat to water quality and, therefore, have the potential to cause detrimental impacts on human health and the environment. Negligent or inadvertent noncompliance with water quality regulations that has the potential for causing or allowing the continuation of an unauthorized discharge or obscuring past violations is also a class II priority violation.

Class III Priority Violations
Class III priority violations are those violations that pose only a minor threat to water quality and have little or no known potential for causing a detrimental impact on human health and the environment. Class III priority violations include statutorily required liability for late reporting when such late filings do not result in causing an unauthorized discharge or allowing one to continue. Class III priority violations should only include violations by dischargers who are first time or infrequent violators and are not part of a pattern of chronic violations. Class III priority violations are all violations that are not class I priority or class II priority violations.

Category 1 pollutant

Oxygen Demand
Biochemical Oxygen Demand
Chemical Oxygen Demands
Total Organic Carbon

Total Suspended Solids (Residues)
Total Dissolved Solids (Residues)

Inorganic Phosphorus Compounds
Inorganic Nitrogen Compounds

Detergents and Oils
Oil and Grease
Other detergents or algaecides

Calcium, Chloride, Fluoride, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Sulfur, Sulfate, Total Alkalinity, Total Hardness,
Other Minerals


Aluminum,  Cobalt, Iron, Vanadium

Category 2 pollutant – Category 2 pollutants as defined by USEPA:

Metals (all forms) - Other metals not specifically listed under Group I

Inorganics - Cyanide, Total Residual Chlorine

Organics - All organics are Group II except those specifically listed under Group I.
Other effluent violation – Any violation of an effluent requirement not cover under Category 1 or Category 2.
Chronic Toxicity – Violation of a chronic toxicity effluent requirement.
Acute Toxicity – Violation of an acute toxicity effluent requirement.
Violation of Non-effluent Permit Condition – Violation of any permit condition not pertaining to effluent requirements.
Reporting – Late report, failure to submit a report, or a report that is either not complete or contains errors.
Monitoring – Failure to conduct required monitoring
Compliance schedule – Failure to comply with a compliance schedule in a permit.  This does not include schedules in an enforcement order likes a Cease & Desist and Time Schedule Orders.
Sanitary Sewer Overflow – Any spill from a sanitary sewer collection system or pump station.
Unauthorized Discharge – Any discharge other than allowed by WDRs that is not a sanitary sewer overflow.
Unregulated Discharge – Discharge from a site not currently under WDRs.
Groundwater – Any release to groundwater that violates permit conditions or basin plan prohibitions.

BMP – Failure to implement proper best management practices.

SWPPP – Failure to complete or update a stormwater pollution prevention plan.

Failure to obtain permit – Failure to obtain the appropriate permit prior to discharge or regulated activity.

Other Codes – Violations of codes sections other that the California Water Code.
Enforcement Action – Failure to comply with a previous enforcement order by not meeting its requirements, its time schedule, or failure to pay penalties.
Basin Plan Prohibition – Violation of any basin plan prohibition.

( Page last updated:  10/31/14 )