North Coast Regional Water Board Program for Discharges of Waste Associated with the Production of Lily Bulbs

Public Review of the Draft Smith River Plain Water Quality Management Plan (SRPWQMP)

Regional Water Board staff have developed a draft SRPWQMP to address water quality associated with the cultivation and production of lily bulbs in the Smith River Plain.  The SRPWQMP is an adaptive management pollutant control plan that will provide information for the development of a Waste Discharge Regulation (WDR) permit for lily bulb growing operations in the Smith River watershed.  The SRPWQMP was developed by Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) staff at the direction of the Regional Water Board to address water quality impacts associated with lily bulb cultivation in the Smith River Plain. 

The plan sets up a program of implementation, monitoring, and reporting to the Regional Water Board and the public.  It includes a surface water monitoring program and an adaptive management process to assess effectiveness of program implementation.  The plan was developed with input from the Smith River Watershed Stewardship Team composed of lily bulb growers, natural resources agencies, the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation, and the Smith River Alliance, a local restoration group.

The SRPWQMP is not a regulatory order, nor is it part of a Basin Plan Amendment process, and therefore will not be considered a regulatory action by the Regional Water Board.  The Regional Water Board staff in consult with the Smith River Watershed Stewardship Team will evaluate public comments for possible refinements to the SRPWQMP.  After the revisions, if any, are complete, the draft SRPWQMP will be considered by Regional Water Board’s Executive Officer for approval of the final plan. 

Draft Smith River Plain Water Quality Program

Comments on the draft SRPWQMP are due March 26, 2021 to:
(707) 576-6750

Monitoring Program Reports for the Smith River Plain 

From 2013-2017, the Regional Water Board staff collected surface water, streambed sediment, and groundwater samples in the Smith River Plain in order to better understand water quality conditions related to Easter lily bulb production.  Two interim reports were released in November 2015; one documenting the surface water sampling and the other documenting the groundwater sampling.  In 2018, Regional Water Board staff updated the November 2015 Surface Water and Sediment Interim Monitoring Report to include additional information and data collected in 2015.  The January 2018 final report and the interim reports are available at the links below.

Surface Water Reports

Groundwater Reports

May 26, 2015 Del Norte County Board of Supervisors Meeting

January 29, 2015 Regional Water Board Meeting, Santa Rosa

April 19, 2018 Regional Water Board Meeting, Weed

December 19, 2019 Regional Water Board Meeting, Santa Rosa

Contact Information

Interested parties are encouraged to sign up on the email list below to receive information about stakeholder involvement opportunities and updates on the progress of develop the various programs and permits:

Email List:

Lily Bulb Cultivation Advisory Group:
A list of members of the Lily Bulb Cultivation Advisory Group is provided in the link below.  Members of the public may contact Advisory Group members that represent their interests to provide input into the permit development process.  Please contact Regional Water Board staff to obtain contact information for Advisory Group members. 

Water Board Contacts: If you have questions about the Agriculture Program, please contact:

Ben Zabinsky, Regional Water Board staff
(707) 576-6750