Biological Objectives Basin Plan Amendment

Introduction

The San Diego Water Board is responsible for the regulation, protection and administration of water quality. The Water Quality Control Plan for the San Diego Basin (Basin Plan) designates beneficial uses for water bodies in the San Diego Region, and establishes water quality objectives and implementation plans to protect those beneficial uses.

Existing water quality objectives in the San Diego Water Board's Basin Plan emphasize the chemical integrity of waters on a pollutant by pollutant basis, which might not adequately protect the biological integrity of waters. A water quality objective for biological condition is critical to restoring and maintaining the biological integrity of the region's waters.

On May 13, 2015, the San Diego Water Board adopted Resolution No 2015-0043, "Adopting a Prioritized List of Suggested Basin Plan Revisions Developed Through the 2014 Basin Plan Review" (Resolution). In adopting the Resolution, the Board members identified priority focus areas for revision of the Basin Plan. Biological Objectives were identified as a Tier 1 Issue.

Following the identification of Biological Objectives as a Tier 1 issue, San Diego Water Board staff began working on the development of Biological Objectives. On January 22, 2018, the San Diego Water Board released an administrative draft of the proposed Basin Plan Amendment and Staff Report, in order to solicit early public feedback prior to releasing a formal draft. A public workshop on the administrative draft was also held on February 14, 2018.

On February 28, 2019, San Diego Water Board staff released, for public review and comment, the proposed Basin Plan Amendments and Staff Report, including a Substitute Environmental Document (see below). San Diego Water Board staff hosted a public workshop on April 18, 2019, to provide information and receive public input on the proposed Basin Plan amendment, Staff Report, and Substitute Environmental Document. The San Diego Water Board made changes to the amendments and staff report in response to comments received from the public and scientific peer review, and released the proposed changes to the public on August 14, 2020, with the allowance for the submittal of written comments in advance of the Board hearing. The final proposed Basin Plan amendments, including the Staff Report and Substitute Environmental Document, as well as the response to comments received on the February 28, 2019 draft, were released to the public on October 16, 2020, in advance of the November 18, 2020 Board Hearing. On November 18, 2020, the San Diego Water Board held a public hearing for the project and deferred action to the December 08, 2020 Board Meeting.  At the December 08, 2020 Board Meeting the San Diego Water Board voted to amend the Basin Plan to include biological objectives.

Changes to the Basin Plan require a Basin Plan amendment. All Basin Plan Amendments are subject to a full public participation and hearing process prior to adoption by the San Diego Water Board. Basin Plan Amendments also must be approved by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and, in many cases, the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

NEW! State Water Resources Control Board Public Notice of Opportunity to Comment. The State Water Resources Control Board will accept comments on the proposed approval of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region’s biological objectives amendment to the Water Quality Control Plan for the San Diego Basin. Comments are due to the State Water Board by 12:00 noon on August 23, 2021. Instructions for submitting comments are within the Public Notice, which is available on the State Water Board Public Notice Webpage. (7/20/2021)

Final Documents

Older Public Documents

Public Comments Received on Proposed Basin Plan Amendment and Draft Staff Report, including Substitute Environmental Document (6/07/2019)

Written public comments on the Proposed Basin Plan Amendment and Draft Staff Report, including Substitute Environmental Document, were received from the following entities and are available upon request:

    • City of La Mesa
    • City of San Diego
    • County of Orange
    • County of San Diego
    • County of San Diego Copermittees
    • Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations
    • Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
    • San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group
    • California Stormwater Quality Association
    • Calleguas Creek TMDL Group
    • Central Valley Clean Water Association

Meetings and Workshops

Historic Public Documents (available upon request)

  • Administrative Draft of Basin Plan Amendment and Staff Report (January 22, 2018).
    • Administrative Draft Basin Plan Chapter 3 Proposed Changes
    • Administrative Draft Basin Plan Chapter 4 Proposed Changes
    • Administrative Draft Staff Report
    • Public Comments Received on the Administrative Draft (February 23, 2018)
      • City of San Diego
      • County of Orange
      • County of San Diego
      • County of San Diego Phase I Stormwater Permit Copermittees
      • KMEA
      • Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
      • San Diego Coastkeeper
      • San Diego Regional Irrigated Lands Group

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