General Waste Discharge Requirements for the Public Display of Fireworks in the San Diego Region

Regulation of Fireworks Events Held Over Surface Waters in the San Diego Region

The San Diego Water Board reissued a general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharges to surface waters in the San Diego Region from the public display of fireworks (Order No. R9-2022-0002). The general NPDES permit regulates fireworks displays over any surface water body within the boundaries of the San Diego Region, including all ocean waters, bays, estuaries, rivers, streams, reservoirs, and lakes. The permit requirements balance the importance of public displays of fireworks as part of our national and community celebrations and the need to prevent degradation of aquatic resources from the fallout of firework debris. The objective of the general permit is to protect public health and aquatic resources by prescribing reasonable management measures to prevent and reduce pollution that results from firework displays.

The general NPDES permit holds persons sponsoring the fireworks event (hosts) accountable by requiring them to conduct a post-event inspection that involves, to the extent practical, the collection, removal, and disposal of the fireworks debris generated to affected receiving waters. The fireworks event host is also required to certify the management measures that were implemented throughout and following each fireworks event.

Coverage under the general NPDES permit enables fireworks event hosts to lawfully discharge fireworks pollutants to surface waters in accordance with the terms of federal and state water pollution laws. To receive coverage under the general NPDES permit, fireworks event hosts must submit an application package that includes the following:

The items above must be approved by the San Diego Water Board.

Dischargers enrolled under Order No. R9-2011-0022 will have coverage until May 31, 2023, and are required to submitted an application for Order No. R9‑2022-0002 for continued coverage. The San Diego Water Board has approved the following fireworks events in San Diego Region under Order No. R9‑2022-0002:


Event Location

Expected Event Date(s)

Application Approved on

City of Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach Pier, Imperial Beach, CA 91932

July 4


Lake Murray Fireworks
Lake Murray
San Diego, CA, 92119
July 4

To request the application package or any information regarding these fireworks events, please contact

Order No. R9-2022-0002 (Adopted 2/9/2022)

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