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1415PERFORMANCE REPORT The Water Boards...

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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2011-12


MESSAGE:  The Regional Boards documented one or more violations for 58 percent of facilities in calendar year 2011.


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 No. Violations Percentage of Facilities in Violations Average No. of Violations per Facility in Violation


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


Compliance rates vary significantly among regions. 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 7 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 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.

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.

Major Facility
Major municipal dischargers include all facilities with design flows of greater than one million gallons per day and facilities with approved industrial pretreatment programs. Major industrial facilities are determined based on specific ratings criteria developed by US EPA/State.

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.


( Page last updated:  9/19/12 )