Announcing the North Coast Basin Plan 2023 Triennial Review

The draft Staff Report for 2023 Triennial Review of the Water Quality Control Plan for the North Coast Region (Basin Plan) and draft Planning Program Workplan for Fiscal Years 2024 through 2027 were released for a 45-day public comment period from September 15, 2023- October 30, 2023.

Planning Unit staff received several public comments in response to the draft documents. Written response to public comment and updates to the draft Staff Report are underway. The Regional Water Board will conduct a public hearing to consider adoption of a Final Staff Report and Planning Unit Workplan. The public hearing that was originally scheduled for February 8th, 2024, has been postponed. The new public hearing will be formally noticed on this webpage and through the basin planning email subscription list.

Once scheduled, the meeting will be offered at both a physical meeting location and provided an option for remote participation via video and teleconference. Live video and audio broadcasts of the public workshop will be available via the internet and can be accessed at the CalEPA Public meeting live webcasts webpage ( The meeting will be recorded.

Triennial Review of the Basin Plan - Background

Section 13240 of the Porter-Cologne and Section 303(c)(1) of the Clean Water Act require a review of basin plans at least once each three-year period to keep pace with changes in regulation, new technologies, policies, and physical changes within the region. The Regional Water Board is responsible for reviewing the Basin Plan, and is required to: 1) identify those portions of the Basin Plan, which are in need of modification or new additions; 2) adopt standards as appropriate; and 3) recognize those portions of the Basin Plan, which are appropriate as written.  The Regional Water Board solicits written and oral public input, which it considers prior to adopting by resolution a prioritized list of basin planning projects.  The highest priority projects establish the workplan of the Regional Water Board’s Planning Program for the next three year period.

2023 Triennial Review

The Regional Water Board’s 2023 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan is in progress. Planning staff reviewed the Basin Plan, changes to regulations since the last update, and Basin Plan amendment proposals received through solicitation. Proposals were reviewed and considered for recommendation based on factors like: statutory or regulatory requirements, existing commitments, importance to implementation of other Regional Water Board programs, opportunities to improve clarity or consistency within the Basin Plan, stated priorities of the Regional or State Water Boards and US EPA, and the availability of staff and external resources to support the project. Many of the high priority projects identified in the 2018 Triennial Review are still underway and staff resources are committed to complete those projects. Staff recommendations for newly proposed projects also consider the availability of necessary expertise, funding, and other resources available to pursue planning work. Once adopted, the list of priority projects establishes the workplan of the Regional Water Board’s Planning Program for the next cycle.

The Draft Staff Report 2023 Triennial Review of the Water Quality Control Plan for the North Coast Region (draft Staff Report) documents the results of Planning staff’s review, the full list of proposals received, and staff’s initial recommendations for the Planning Program workplan. Planning staff published the draft Staff Report and solicited public input for a 45-day public comment period from September 15, 2023 - October 30, 2023. Planning staff are actively developing written responses to the public comments received and making associated updates to the draft Staff Report.

Next, staff will provide notice of a public meeting before the Regional Water Board and publish the written response to public comments along with an updated staff report (Final Staff Report) and ultimately present recommended staffing for a list of planning projects to the Regional Water Board for consideration. The Regional Water Board will review the Final Staff Report and consider adoption of a Planning Program Workplan during the regularly scheduled Board hearing that will be noticed for this item.

Public Engagement Opportunities

Estimated Timeframe

Basin Plan amendment proposal submittals

March 7 - May 5, 2023

Public review of draft Staff Report

September 15- October 30, 2023

Board hearing adopting project list

To be determined

To receive future notice of the public review draft Triennial Review staff report and other Basin Planning updates please subscribe to our email list:

For assistance with the proposal submission Form, or more information about the Triennial Review, please contact Michelle Fuller, Environmental Scientist in the Planning Unit:  or (707) 576-2350.

Invitation for Proposals

Although the solicitation period for the 2023 Triennial Review closed May 5, 2023, the online Form to propose amendments to the Basin Plan remains active, as Basin Plan amendment proposals can be submitted to the Planning Unit any time. Project proposals received between May 5, 2023 and close of the next active solicitation period will be considered during the next Triennial Review.

2018 Triennial Review

The 2018 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan was adopted by the Regional Water Board at a public hearing September 6, 2018.

Adopted Documents

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  (Page last updated 2/1/24)