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SEPs and ECAs | Pre-Approved Projects | Project Solicitation | Funded Projects |

SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (SEPs) and ENHANCED COMPLIANCE ACTIONS (ECAs)

A SEP is an environmentally beneficial project that a person subject to an enforcement action voluntarily agrees to undertake, in settlement of the action and to offset a portion of a civil liability. SEPs tend to be projects that enhance the beneficial uses of the waters of the San Diego Region, that provide a benefit to the public at large and that, at the time they are included in the resolution of an Administrative Civil Liability (ACL) action, are not otherwise required of the settling party. SEPs are intended to restore the environmental harm to affected water bodies. ECAs are defined in the State Water Board's Enforcement Policy as "projects that enable a discharger to make capital or operational improvements beyond those required by law, and are separate from projects designed to merely bring a discharger into compliance." ECAs are intended to prevent additional impacts to beneficial uses from occurring in the future, and must conform to all of the requirements of a SEP, as described in the State Water Board's SEP Policy. Settling parties facing an assessed an ACL (monetary penalty) by the San Diego Water Board may satisfy a portion of the total liability by funding an eligible SEP or ECA (together, Environmental Projects). That portion of the liability is suspended and dismissed when the settling party can demonstrate successful completion of the proposed project(s). A settling party can either conduct an Environmental Project itself, or contract with a third party for completion of the project. For more information on Environmental Projects please visit the State Water Board's SEP Webpage.

RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE SEP FUNDS TO SUPPLEMENT SCCWRP RMPs

On May 4, 2021, the State Water Board approved a resolution that would authorize the use of SEP funds to supplement Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) Regional Monitoring Programs (RMPs). The resolution allows dischargers settling certain administrative liability in the San Diego region to use available SEP funds to supplement SCCWRP’s existing coastal and watershed RMPs with vetted but unfunded monitoring that is not otherwise legally required. 

LIST OF PRE-APPROVED PROJECT CONCEPTS AVAILABLE FOR FUNDING

The SEP Policy requires Water Boards to post on their website a list of potential SEPs. On Wednesday February 8, 2017, the San Diego Water Board adopted Resolution No. R9-2017-0014. The Resolution identifies regional selection priorities and a process for identifying projects worthy of funding. The Resolution also supports a pre-approved list of environmental project concepts, and streamlines future project approvals and updates by delegating to the Executive Officer the discretion to modify the selection criteria and add projects to the list on an ongoing basis. The current list of pre-approved project concepts is provided below, and prioritized into two categories (Strong Support, and Support) based on the San Diego Water Board's selection criteria, described in the Project Solicitation section below. To receive a copy of any proposal(s) in the list below, please contact one of the Water Board representatives listed on this page. Projects that the San Diego Water Board believes address Human Right to water, Environmental Justice issues, or benefit a Disadvantaged Community may qualify for a higher maximum suspended liability and are identified accordingly in the last column of the table.

PROJECTS CONCEPTS STRONGLY SUPPORTED BY THE SAN DIEGO WATER BOARD (UPDATED 12/01/2018)

Project (Applicant)-Summary
Category
Location/
Watershed
Cost
EJ/DAC
San Juan Creek Estuary Restoration Opportunities Assessment (Trout Unlimited)- This two-year project will evaluate existing data and analyze potential restoration opportunities in the San Juan estuary. (10/16 DH 2588532)
Environmental Restoration and Protection, Assessments and Audits
San Juan Creek
$275,000
No
Septic System Maintenance and BMP Rebate Program (Mission RCD)- this two-year program will educate homeowners and provide rebates for septic system maintenance, reducing nutrients and bacteria entering San Luis Rey River (Updated 11/18 DH 4620548)
Pollution Prevention, Pollution Reduction
San Luis Rey
$165,070
No
Los Penasquitos Lagoon Inlet Restoration (Los Penasquitos Lagoon Foundation)- perform as-needed mechanized excavation from the lagoon mouth to improve tidal circulation (10/16 DH 2589571)
Pollution Reduction, Environmental Restoration and Protection
Los Penasquitos
$210,000
No
ReWild Mission Bay (San Diego Audubon)- planning and implementation of up to 240 acres of wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay (Updated 02/19 DH 4620491)
Environmental Restoration and Protection, Assessments and Audits
Mission Bay
Scalable up to $95.8 million
Yes, by improving recreation and habitat education
San Diego River Restoration and Monitoring (San Diego River Park Foundation)- leverage citizen volunteers to do recurring strategic trash cleanups and water quality monitoring (10/16 DH 2588676)
Pollution Reduction, Environmental Restoration and Protection, Assessments and Audits
San Diego River
Scalable by task from $3,00 to $15,000 per year
No
Ocean Connectors Habitat Restoration and Education Project (The Ocean Foundation)- scalable education opportunities to EJ communities through hands-on wetland restoration in National City (Updated 5/19 DH 4573242)
Pollution Reduction, Environmental Restoration and Protection, Assessments and Audits
Sweetwater and Otay
Scalable up to $500,000
Yes, by improving recreation and habitat education
Tijuana River Watershed Sediment Management Plan (City of San Diego)- Phase II of a Hydraulic and Hydrologic Study to expand analysis to include segments of the Tijuana River which pass through Mexico, in partnership with the USACE. Use results from Phase I and II studies to develop a Sediment Management Plan (10/16 DH 2588459)
Assessments and Audits
Tijuana River
Scalable up to $600,000
Yes, by addressing trash, sediment, and flood risk

 

PROJECTS CONCEPTS SUPPORTED BY THE SAN DIEGO WATER BOARD (UPDATED 12/01/2018)

Project (Applicant)-Summary
Category
Location/
Watershed
Cost
EJ/DAC
Evaluating BMP Effectiveness for Human Pathogens (SCCWRP)- This two-year project will rank which BMPs are most effective for pathogen removal and provide an optimal BMP placement strategy. (10/16 DH 2589510)
Assessments and Audits
Regionwide
$345,000
No
Creating Tools to Assess Adverse Effects of Organic Matter Pollution on Estuarine Sediment (SCCWRP)- 14-month project to develop causal assessment tools that identify impacts from sediment organic matter loading (10/16 DH 2589535)
Assessments and Audits
Regionwide
Scalable up to $125,000
No
Cleanup OC (OC Coastkeeper)- host south Orange County beach cleanups and trash assessments (10/16 DH 2587118)
Pollution Reduction
San Juan
$210,000
No
Conservation Plans and Nutrient Reduction BMP Implementation Program (Mission RCD)- Two years of residential outreach for pollutant reduction using education and BMP implementation (Updated 11/18 DH 4620560)
Pollution Reduction and Environmental Compliance Promotion
San Luis Rey
$252,350
No
San Luis Rey Watershed Non-Native Plant Control (Mission RCD)- Three years of retreatment and removal of Arundo and/or other invasive plant species in accordance with established program (Updated 11/18 DH 4620565)
Environmental Restoration and Protection
San Luis Rey
Scalable up to $536,450
No
Escondido Creek Invasive Plant Removal (The Escondido Creek Conservancy)- Continue efforts for removal of exotic invasives, including 1 year of retreatment (Updated 11/18 DH 4620577)
Environmental Restoration and Protection
Escondido Creek
$84,250
No
San Dieguito River Invasive Plant Removal and Restoration (San Diego River Park Joint Powers Authority) – Implement weed treatment/control in accordance with the San Pasqual Valley Integrated Week Management Plan, focusing on tamarisk and eucalyptus (10/16 DH 2588385)
Environmental Restoration and Protection
San Dieguito
Scalable up to $281,000
No
Treatment of Tamarisk within the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge (SWIA)- Improve valuable wetland habitat by controlling tamarisk (10/16 DH 2588671)
Environmental Restoration and Protection, Assessments and Audits
Tijuana
Scalable from $50,000 to $500,000
Yes, by providing habitat restoration

 

PROJECT SOLICITATION

Applicants interested in proposing additional project concepts for consideration can do so at any time. Applicants should first review the criteria below and materials on the State Water Board's SEP Webpage and then submit their application using the State Water Board SEP Proposal Form. Please be sure to address any remaining Regional Criteria (listed below) in the "Optional Information" section at the end of the form. When the form is submitted, you will be given the opportunity to attach supporting documentation, and please include sandiego@waterboards.ca.gov in the cc:. San Diego Water Board staff will receive and review applications to determine if they meet the Minimum Eligibility Criteria described below and will prioritize them based on how well they meet the Regional Criteria (listed below). All applicants will be contacted with the results.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria- In order to be eligible for funding, projects must meet all the requirements of the SEP Policy, and must address at least one of the following criteria.

1. The project promotes preservation or restoration of aquatic ecosystems in accordance with R9-2015-0041 or furthers recovery of streams, wetlands, and riparian systems in accordance with the San Diego Water Board's Practical Vision.

2. The project implements a strategy for achieving a sustainable local water supply in accordance with the San Diego Water Board's Practical Vision.

3. The project implements or furthers the Monitoring and Assessment Framework in in accordance with the San Diego Water Board's Practical Vision.

4. The project is located in, or benefits an Environmental Justice community, Disadvantaged Community, or a community that has a financial hardship, or furthers the State Water Board's core value of human right to water.

Regional Selection Criteria- In addition to the Minimum Eligibility Criteria described above, the applications will be prioritized based on the following project attributes.

1. The project directly contributes to improvements of water quality objectives and/or beneficial uses and proposes measurable environmental outcomes (as opposed to indirectly, as with planning, monitoring, and/or research projects).

2. The project demonstrates sustained longevity of environmental outcomes (e.g. conservation mechanisms, maintenance endowments, easements, or monitoring).

3. The project is part of a larger, vetted, adopted, or established plan with support from multiple and diverse partners.

4. The project improves a designated priority listed in a Water Quality Improvement Plan, improves conditions for a 303(d) limited segment, or preserves conditions in a high quality water or reference stream.

5. The project improves conditions of a key beneficial use in an area of special importance for that use.

6. The project is or can be the basis for additional funding from other sources.

7. The project provides resiliency to climate change without negatively affecting habitats and ecosystems.

8. The project provides a cost-effective means of attaining water quality goals.

9. The project integrates outreach and education to target audiences.

10. The project applicant has an established record of project completion, and the institutional stability, knowledge, and capacity to complete the work proposed.

Additionally, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the review team if they have questions about the application project or would like to discuss how to best apply the selection criteria to their project concepts. Contact information for members of the review team is as follows:

FUNDED PROJECTS

The San Diego Water Board has approved numerous SEPs and ECAs both before and after the adoption of the 2009 SEP Policy. The table below contains a summary of all projects funded after the adoption of the 2009 SEP Policy. To obtain final reports or to view a summary of the projects approved prior to the 2017 SEP Policy, please contact any member of the review team, as listed above. The 2017 SEP Policy requires the State Water Board to compile a report on all completed SEPs statewide, by calendar year. These reports are available on the State Water Board's SEP Webpage.

Project Title (Discharger)
Project Description
Type/ Category
Location
Suspended Liability
Active/ Complete
Enforcement Order No.
Northeast Mission Bay Wetland Restoration (City of San Diego)
The Project includes: Analysis and study of an expanded restoration alternative for the PEIR of the De Anza Cove Amendment to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan, Technical studies to supplement the Mission Bay Park Improvement Plan PEIR and Rose Creek Preliminary Engineering Report and Planning and native habitat enhancement and restoration in the Kendall Frost Reserve.
SEP- Planning/Restoration
Mission Bay
$1,250.000
Active
R9-2018-0150
Los Coches Sewer Lining and Pilot Exfiltration Quantification Study
Structural lining of approximately 7,505 feet of sanitary sewer, coupled with a pilot study of exfiltration rates before and after lining to develop analytical methods to quantify exfiltration rates for public sewers.
ECA- Pollution Prevention & Assessment
San Diego River
$331,207
Active
R9-2018-0020
Garrison Creek Native Habitat Restoration Project (City of Oceanside)
Treatment and removal of invasive vegetation across 28 acres of conserved habitat, restoration of 2.4 acres of disturbed habitat to Southern Willow Scrub, and environmental education and engagement with nearby disadvantaged communities.
SEP- Restoration
Garrison Creek, Loma Alta
$135,998
Active
R9-2018-0159
Los Peñasquitos Lagoon Inlet Restoration Project (City of San Diego)
Restore and maintain tidal flow to/from Pacific Ocean at Los Peñasquitos Lagoon to 1985 baseline observed conditions by as-needed, recurring excavation and removal of sediment at the lagoon inlet.
SEP- Restoration
Los Peñasquitos Lagoon/Pacific Ocean
$630,000
Active
R9-2017-0056
San Diego River Restoration and Arundo Removal (City of San Diego)
Improve water quality of the San Diego River by engaging in strategic clean-ups including the removal of trash and invasive species (Arundo donax) which will allow for habitat improvements, reduction in pollutants, and other impacts to River health.
SEP- Restoration
San Diego River
$225,000
Active
R9-2017-0056
Restoring and Protecting Our Waterways: Bioassessment Tools and Priorities for Action (City of San Diego)
Refine existing screening causal assessment data and methodology by incorporating flow ecology to develop a tool for prioritizing restoration, protection, and source control efforts.
SEP-Assessment
Region-wide application
$682,932
Active
R9-2017-0056
Chollas Creek Restoration Opportunities Assessment (City of San Diego)
Select top five restoration project locations from the existing Chollas Creek Watershed Master Plan (WMP) effort and provide additional technical information relative to their restoration feasibility.
SEP- Assessment
Chollas Creek
$72,400
Complete
R9-2017-0056
San Diego River Park Foundation (KB Home/ KB Home Coastal)
Removal of stream crossing and culvert that impact the natural flow of the creek. Removal of non-native and diseased vegetation, to be replaced with appropriate vegetation and support. Conduct a study to map the hydromodification-inducing structures along Temescal Creek, in order to form a basis for future removal of other man-made structures adversely impacting the stream and other improvements.
SEP- Restoration
Temescal Creek, San Diego River
$142,432
Active
R9-2017-0008
Enhancement of Native Habitats in San Elijo Ecological Reserve (City of Encinitas & USS Cal Builders Inc.)
Treatment and control of various invasive plant species and enhancement of associated native habitats in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve.
SEP- Restoration
City of Encinitas, San Elijo
$206,393
Active
R9-2015-0047
Storm Water Treatment Control BMP Retrofits (City of San Diego)
Retrofit storm water treatment control BMPs at six City facilities to enhance pollutant removal and expand treated drainage areas beyond standardized permit requirements. The retrofit facilities are Breen Park, Camino Ruiz Neighborhood Park, Hilltop Community Park, Otay Mesa/Nestor Library, Memorial Skateboard Park, and Cesar Chavez Community Center.
ECA- Pollution Reduction
City of San Diego, Multiple Watersheds
$456,900
Complete
R9-2014-0017
Alvarado Channel Restoration (City of La Mesa)
Removal of concrete, trash and invasive vegetation along a segment of Alvarado Channel and restoration/revegetation with 22,000 square feet of native riparian vegetation. Provide conservation mechanism to monitor and maintain the area in perpetuity according to long term success criteria.
SEP- Restoration
City of La Mesa, San Diego River
$387,606
Complete
R9-2013-0137
San Diego Backup Generators (City of San Diego)
Purchase and install seven diesel backup generators at Pump Stations 1, 64, 65, the Penasquitos Pump Station, and the North City Water Reclamation Plant Laboratory to provide emergency backup power at facilities that rely on dual SDG&E electrical feeds for redundancy.
ECA- Pollution Prevention
City of San Diego, Multiple Watersheds
$12,783,000
Complete
R9-2013-0032
Smartcover Sewer Monitoring System (City of Oceanside)
Purchase and deploy 20 self-contained wireless monitoring units (with immediate alarm and data logging capabilities) in high priority areas within the City of Oceanside's collection system, for the prevention and early detection of sewer overflows.
ECA- Pollution Prevention
City of Oceanside
$83, 218
Complete
R9-2013-0004
Capistrano and N. Santa Fe cured in place pipe (CIPP) lining (City of Oceanside)
Install a CIPP liner in two existing sewer line areas located adjacent to State waters to increase structural stability, and decrease the possibility of pipe failure by prolonging the pipes' useful life expectancy without excavation.
ECA- Pollution Prevention
San Luis Rey River and Guajome Lake
$301,874
Complete
R9-2013-0004
Plano Forcemail Realignment Project (Santa Margarita Water District)
Design and realignment of a portion of the Plano Forcemain on the East side of Tijeras Creek, to avoid the direct discharge of sewage to the creek in the event of a forcemain failure.
ECA- Pollution Prevention
Tijeras Creek (Trabuco Canyon)
$305,000
Complete
R9-2011-0057
Starr Ranch Invasive Control and Restoration Project (Santa Margarita Water District)
Restore 0.5 to 2 acres of riparian and stream habitat within Bell Canyon Creek, and aid in training volunteers in stream bioassessment protocols. Additionally, upland habitat along Bell Canyon watershed will be restored to coastal sage scrub by the removal of invasive artichoke thistle.
SEP- Restoration
Bell Canyon Creek (Upper San Juan)
$140,000
Complete
R9-2011-0057
SCCWRP Bight 08- Rocky Reef Study (South Orange County Wastewater Authority)
This study is a component of the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program in 2008 (Bight '08). It provides an opportunity for more than 20 rocky reef biologists to collaboratively assess the health of rocky reefs throughout southern California, to determine the distribution of hard bottom habitats in the Southern California Bight, the range of natural biological conditions in these reef assemblages, and how these conditions correlate with anthropogenic factors.
SEP- Assessment
Southern California Bight, Pacific Ocean
$109,500
Complete
R9-2009-0048