CV-SALTS
San Joaquin River Upstream of Vernalis

June 2017 Salt & Boron Basin Plan Amendment - Phase 2

To request a copy of documents listed on this page, please contact Anne Walters at Anne.Walters@waterboards.ca.gov

This web page contains information on a Basin Plan Amendment for the Control of Salt and Boron Discharges into the San Joaquin River upstream of Vernalis. This Basin Plan Amendment project fulfills a Phase 2 requirement of the 2004 Lower San Joaquin River Salt and Boron Control Program and was developed in coordination with the CV-SALTS Lower San Joaquin River Committee. Information on the Basin Plan Amendment that established Phase 1 of the Salt and Boron Control Program and its associated Vernalis TMDL requirement can be found on the San Joaquin River at Vernalis Salt and Boron TMDL and Basin Plan Amendment page.

 Current Events

  • U.S. EPA Approval Letter for the Basin Plan Amendment

Overview of the Salt and Boron Basin Plan Amendment

In Revised Water Right Decision 1641, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) directed the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Valley Water Board) to develop and adopt salinity objectives and a program of implementation for the main stem of the San Joaquin River upstream of Vernalis. In 2004, the Central Valley Water Board adopted the Control Program for Salt and Boron Discharges into the Lower San Joaquin River (Control Program) that included a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to address electrical conductivity (EC) in the LSJR and meet the water quality objectives (WQOs) in the Bay-Delta Plan at the Airport Way Bridge near Vernalis. The Control Program and TMDL were subsequently approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in 2006. The TMDL is implemented through waivers of waste discharge requirements (WDRs) or WDRs that apportion load allocations to different geographic subareas in the valley. As an alternative to the load allocations, the TMDL allows discharger participation in a Central Valley Water Board approved real-time management program as a means to attain salinity WQOs, while maximizing the export of salts out the watershed to help protect the region's agricultural production and long-term sustainability. The Control Program also required a second phase to establish and implement new salinity and boron objectives for the San Joaquin River upstream of Vernalis.

Concurrently, the Board requested that the Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS) initiative continue the effort on the upstream San Joaquin River beneficial use and salt and boron objectives evaluation. The development of amendments was stakeholder driven and led by the LSJR Committee, which is a subcommittee of CV-SALTS. The committee includes members of irrigation, water, and resource conservation districts, city, county, state and federal agencies, producers, growers, irrigators, water quality and watershed coalitions, managed wetlands, drainage authorities, clean water and wastewater associations, consultants of various organizations and other interested parties.

On June 9, 2017, the Central Valley Water Board adopted Resolution R5-2017-0062 amending the Water Quality Control Plan for the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Basins to add EC water quality objectives in the San Joaquin River between the mouth of the Merced River and the Airport Way Bridge near Vernalis. The amendment was approved by the State Water Board and Office of Administrative Law in early 2018. The amendment is currently going through the US EPA adoption process.

Amendment Approval Processes

United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA)

  • 17 December 2018 U.S. EPA Approval Letter with Attachment

Office of Administrative Law (OAL)

  • 19 April 2018 OAL Notice of Approval

State Water Board Action


Central Valley Water Board Action

  • Executive Officer Corrections
    • 30 October 2017
    • 18 December 2017
    • 26 December 2017
  • 27 June 2017 California Department of Fish and Wildlife CEQA Filing Fee No Effect Determination (NED)
  • 8-9 June 2017 Central Valley Board Meeting
    • Final Central Valley Water Board Resolution No. R5-2017-0062 - Includes Basin Plan Amendment Language
    • Final Staff Report
    • 9 June 2017 Central Valley Water Board Staff Presentation
    • Notice of Opportunity to Comment Public Hearing and Filing
    • Draft Staff Report and Proposed Amendment - Amended Markup Version
      • Cover, Executive Summary, Basin Plan Amendment Language, Table of Contents
      • Main Report
      • Appendix A - Compilation of Water Quality Data
      • Appendix B - Hoffman Modeling Memo
      • Appendix C - Trend Analysis of Boron Concentration in the Lower San Joaquin River at Crows Landing
      • Appendix D - Costs for Planned Bundle
      • Appendix E - Costs for Desalination
      • Appendix F - Environmental Checklist
      • Revisions to Staff Report
    • Full Draft Staff Report and Proposed Amendment - Amended CLEAN Version
    • Response to Public Comments
    • Late Revisions

  • 6-7 April 2017 Central Valley Board Meeting
    • Notice of Opportunity to Comment Public Hearing, and Filing
    • A Draft Staff Report and Proposed Basin Plan Amendment were posted 27 February 2017 and written comments were due 14 April 2017.
    • 2017 April 6 Board Presentation
    • Draft Staff Report and Proposed Amendment:
      • Cover, Executive Summary, Basin Plan Amendment Language, Table of Contents
      • Main Report
      • Appendix A - Compilation of Water Quality Data
      • Appendix B - Hoffman Modeling Memo
      • Appendix C - Trend Analysis of Boron Concentration in the Lower San Joaquin River at Crows Landing
      • Appendix D - Costs for Planned Bundle
      • Appendix E - Costs for Desalination
      • Appendix F - Environmental Checklist
    • Late Revision option for NPDES dischargers
    • Comment Letters Received:
      • Joseph Rizzi
        • 5 April 2017 email
        • 8 April 2017 email
        • 8 April 2017 email attachment
      • City of Tracy
      • Richard Denton & Associates
      • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
      • California Sport Fishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network (CWIN), AquAlliance, Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations (PCFFA), Institute for Fisheries Resources and the Environmental Water Caucus (EWC)
      • Central Valley Clean Water Association
      • California Department of Water Resources
      • Grassland Water District
      • Merced Irrigation District
      • South Delta Water Agency (SDWA)
        • SDWA Attachment 1
        • SDWA Attachment 2
        • SDWA Attachment 3
        • SDWA Attachment 4
        • SDWA Attachment 5
      • Stockton East Water District
      • San Francisco Bay Keeper - (received after comment period, but allowed into record)
    • SNMP Comment Letter with LSJR BPA Comments:
      • South Delta Water Agency (SDWA)
        • SDWA Attachment 1
        • SDWA Attachment 2
        • SDWA Attachment 3
      • California Urban Water Agencies

  • Development of the Draft Staff Report
    • Scientific Peer Reviews
      The draft staff report was submitted for external scientific peer review on 22 November 2016, and a revision submitted on 2 December 2016.
      • 2 December 2016 Request for External Scientific Peer Review
      • Peer Reviews:
        • Dr. Randy A. Dahlgren, UCD Land, Air, & Water Resources
        • Dr. Todd Skaggs of the U.S.D.A. Salinity Laboratory in Riverside, California
        • Dr. Steven R. Grattan of the U.C. Davis Cooperativ Extension

  • 17 August 2016 Central Valley Board Meeting
    • Workshop Presentation
    • Notice of Public Workshop
    • Aviso de Taller Público en Español
    • Workshop Material
    • Resumen Ejecutivo

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