Groundwater Committee


The Groundwater Committee is a staff committee of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. It was formed in 1996 to support the Board's Basin Planning process to help gather and evaluate information on groundwater quality, protection, and beneficial uses region-wide. The Groundwater Committee adds value to the Water Board's mission by identifying opportunities to better protect water resources and providing background materials needed to support basin planning efforts. The Committee serves as a forum through which Water Board staff can share expertise on particular topics. The Committee benefits from the inclusion of outside-agency collaborators such as local water districts and water management agencies, local oversight program agencies, U.S. EPA, and the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control on specific projects.

Beneficial Use Evaluations

Since 1996 the Committee has prepared four "beneficial use evaluation" reports for several groundwater basins within Region 2. These evaluations identify and evaluate current and historic groundwater beneficial uses. The most recent of these - the May 2003 "South Bay" Report - describes existing local, state, and federal groundwater cleanup and protection programs, identifies gaps in regulatory programs, and provides recommendations to facilitate better coordination of such programs with other agencies and stakeholders. Much of this work was performed in collaboration with local water management agencies, cities and counties.

Low-Threat Closure Assessment Tool

From 2007 through 2009 the Committee developed a "low-threat" assessment tool for solvent cases to enable better workload prioritization and help the Water Board's cleanup program focus its limited resources on higher threat cleanup sites. The assessment tool addresses situations when case closure, no further active remediation (i.e., continued monitoring), or a higher degree of site characterization and/or remediation is appropriate. By compiling existing closure criteria into a single document the assessment tool improves decision-making consistency and transparency.

Other Activities

  • Periodic Meetings and Presentations: The Groundwater Committee meets periodically to hear presentations from Water Board staff, outside agencies, vendors, or consultants regarding water supply, groundwater protection, and/or groundwater cleanup issues. These meetings are a good opportunity make contacts with other agencies and learn more about their interests/priorities regarding groundwater issues in the Bay Area.
  • Groundwater/Surface Water Interaction: Develop strategies for integrating groundwater concerns into the management of watersheds, and vice versa. This topic is currently being addressed by subcommittee.
  • Groundwater Basin Plan Amendments: Continue effort toward approval of selected groundwater amendments previously adopted by the S.F. Bay Water Board in 2000. Support development of low-risk/low-threat closure criteria as a basin plan amendment.
  • Reuse of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Impacted Soil: The Committee plans to update its 2006 technical reference document describing optional guidelines for the on-site reuse of petroleum hydrocarbon impacted soil
  • Project Identification and, Prioritization: In June 2006, the Committee reviewed the needs and interests of Water Board members and local agency participants for conducting future projects. A comprehensive list of 19 potential projects was developed and the projects ranked based on interest and priority. Efforts continue to identify and rank projects related to groundwater cleanup, protection, and strategic planning.

Current Groundwater Committee Members:

Water Board Members Division Telephone Email
Alec Naugle (Chair) GW Protection 510.622.2510
Michael Rochette Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2411
Keith Roberson GW Protection 510.622.2404
Mary Rose Cassa Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2447
Cleet Carlton Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2374
Jim Ponton Planning 510.622.2492
Marcia Liao Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2377
Chuck Headlee Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2433
Stephen Hill Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2361
Habte Kifle Watershed 510.622.2371
Max Shahbazian Toxics Cleanup 510.622.4824
Roger Papler Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2435
Ross Steenson GW Protection 510.622.2445
Brian Thompson GW Protection 510.622.2422
Kevin Brown Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2358
Cherie McCaulou Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2342
Kent Aue Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2446
Laurent Meillier GW Protection 510.622.3277
Nathan King Toxics Cleanup 510.622.3966
Ralph Lambert Toxics Cleanup 510.622.2382