Drinking Water Petitions for Reconsideration

Instructions for Filing Drinking Water Petitions

This question and answer document provides information on filing petitions. Any person who is aggrieved by an order or decision issued under Article 8 (commencing with Health and Safety Code section 116625) or Article 9 (commencing with Health and Safety Code section 116650), of the Safe Drinking Water Act (Chapter 4, Part 12, Division 104, of the Health and Safety Code) may file a petition with the State Water Board for reconsideration of the order or decision. In addition, any applicant for a permit to operate a public water system may petition to the State Water Board decisions and actions taken pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 116540. The petition process applies only to orders or decisions issued by the deputy director of the Division of Drinking Water or other officer or employee of the Division of Drinking Water, and not to orders or decisions adopted by the five member board at a board meeting.

Attached to this document are the relevant statutory provisions. (See Health and Safety Code sections 116701)

What are the deadlines for filing a petition?

Petitions must be received by the State Board within 30 days of the issuance of the order or decision. The date of issuance is the date when the Division of Drinking Water mails or serves a copy of the order or decision, whichever occurs first. If the 30th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state holiday, the petition is due the following business day. Petitions must be received by 5:00 p.m.

Where should petitions be sent?

In Person:
State Water Resources Control Board
Office of Chief Counsel
1001 "I" Street, 22nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Attn: Joie Johansen
By Fax: (916) 341-5199
By Mail:
State Water Resources Control Board
Office of Chief Counsel
P.O. Box 100
Sacramento, CA 95812-0100
Attn: Joie Johansen
By eMail: DrinkingWaterPetitions@waterboards.ca.gov

If you have any questions not covered by this question and answer document, please call Joie Johansen at (916) 341-5155.

Petitions may be filed in person, mailed, faxed or emailed. If the petition is emailed, request a receipt to ensure it is timely received. It is requested that a copy of the petition be sent via email. Exhibits should not be sent by facsimile, but via hard copy or email.

Petitioners should send only ONE paper copy. There is NO filing fee.

What MUST be included in the petition?

    1. Name and address of the petitioner.
    2. A copy of the order or decision for which the petitioner seeks reconsideration.
    3. Identification of the reason the petitioner alleges the issuance of the order was inappropriate or improper.
    4. The specific action the petitioner requests.
    5. A statement of points and authorities of the legal issues raised by the petition.

What SHOULD also be included in the petition?

    1. Telephone number and e-mail address (if available) of the petitioner.

Information regarding the reconsideration process.

Most petitions are resolved without an evidentiary hearing, and the State Water Board has discretion to determine whether to hold a hearing. You will be notified if the State Water Board decides to hold an evidentiary hearing on your petition.

The State Water Board may refuse to reconsider the order, decision, or action if the petition fails to raise substantial issues that are appropriate for review; may deny the petition upon a determination that the issuance of the order or decision, or action taken was appropriate and proper; may set aside or modify the order, decision, or action; or take other appropriate action. The action taken by the State Water Board will constitute the State Water Board's completion of its reconsideration.

Will the effect of the order or decision be stayed while the petition is being considered?

Filing a petition does not stay the effect of an action of the Division of Drinking Water. The State Water Board, upon notice and hearing, if a hearing is held, may stay in whole or in part the effect of the order or decision.

May I appeal the order or decision by filing a petition for writ of mandate rather than a petition for reconsideration?

No. If an order is subject to reconsideration under the law, the filing of a petition for reconsideration is an administrative remedy that must be exhausted before filing a petition for writ of mandate under Health and Safety Code section 116625 or 116700.