California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year  2018-19 



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.

Mandatory Minimum Penalty (MMP)
California Water Code sections 13385(h) and (i) and section 13385.1 require that mandatory minimum penalties be assessed for specified violations of NPDES permits. For violations that are subject to mandatory minimum penalties, the Water Boards must issue an ACL for at least the mandatory minimum penalty, which is $3,000.

Serious Violation Subject to Mandatory Minimum Penalty (MMP)
California Water Code section 13385(h) defines a serious violation as any waste discharge that exceeds the effluent limitation for a Group I pollutant by 40 percent or more, or a Group II pollutant by 20 percent or more. Group I and Group II pollutants are defined in Title 40 of the Federal Code of Regulations, Part 123.45. California Water Code section 13385.1 also defines a serious violation subject to MMP a failure to submit a compliance self-monitoring report for each complete 30-day period.

Chronic Violation Subject to Mandatory Minimum Penalty (MMP)
California Water Code section 13385(i) defines a chronic violation subject to mandatory minimum penalty as any waste discharge that exceeds effluent limitations four or more times in any period of six consecutive months.

Mandatory Minimum Penalty (MMP) Report
This report displays violations that require assessment of "Mandatory Minimum Penalties". This Fact Sheet provides further details about the report.

Administrative Civil Liability (ACL) Action
California Water Code sections 13323-13327 describe the process to be used to assess Administrative Civil Liabilities. Liabilities are an important part of the Water Boards enforcement authority.

Court Order
The Water Boards can refer violations to the state Attorney General for civil enforcement actions. The Water Boards can also request the appropriate county District Attorney or City Attorney seek criminal prosecution. A superior court may be requested to impose civil or criminal penalties.

Expedited Payment Offer
A conditional offer that provides a discharger with an opportunity to resolve any outstanding violations subject to mandatory minimum penalties by acknowledging them and providing full payment of the accrued mandatory penalties identified in the payment letter.

Addressing Mandatory Minimum Penalty Violations
Section VII of the Water Quality Enforcement Policy describes the process necessary to ensure that violations subject to mandatory minimum penalties are properly addressed. An MMP violation is considered addressed or in the process of being addressed once the enforcement procedures have been initiated.