San Diego River Watershed Tentative Investigative Order

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region (San Diego Water Board) is considering adoption at a public hearing of Tentative Investigative Order No. R9-2018-0021, An Order Directing the City of San Diego, the City of Santee, the City of El Cajon, the City of La Mesa, the County of San Diego, the San Diego County Sanitation District, the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the Ramona Municipal Water District, San Diego State University, and the California Department of Transportation to Submit Technical and Monitoring Reports to Identify and Quantify the Sources and Transport Pathways of Human Fecal Material to the San Diego River Watershed (Tentative Investigative Order). The preparation and submittal of the technical and monitoring reports by the Dischargers as required by the Tentative Investigative Order are needed to 1) identify and quantify relative contributions of suspected sources of human fecal material in dischargers to the San Diego River, 2) determine the transport pathways of such discharges, and 3) determine how this information will be used by each Discharger to assess the effectiveness of current management measures in preventing discharges of human fecal material into the San Diego River, its tributaries, and the downstream beach coastal waters. The San Diego Water Board intends to consider adoption of Tentative Investigative Order No. R9-2018-0021 at the San Diego Water Board meeting on August 8, 2018.

The San Diego Water Board released the Tentative Investigative Order for public comments on May 21, 2018. In addition, a Notice of Availability was posted on the San Diego Water Board website on May 22, 2018. A Notice clarifying the comment deadline was posted on the San Diego Water Board website on June 7, 2018. The written public comment period for the Tentative Investigative Order closed on June 20, 2018.

Development of the Tentative Investigative Order is in response to the San Diego Water Board's consideration of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) Surfer Health Study and other relevant studies that have identified human fecal matter in the San Diego River Watershed and that controlling human fecal sources is the most cost-effective method for reducing risk to human health. Furthermore, the Tentative Order is consistent with the goals of the San Diego Water Board's Practical Vision for Health Waters, Healthy People.

As a preliminary step towards the issuance of the Tentative Investigative Order, the San Diego Water Board released an Administrative Draft on February 23, 2018 to the Dischargers named in the Tentative Investigative Order. In addition, the Dischargers were invited to attend an informal meeting on March 28, 2018, hosted by the San Diego Water Board. The purpose of this meeting was to review and discuss the scope and requirements of the Tentative Investigative Order for each Discharger. Dischargers were invited to provide informal written comments on the Administrative Draft of the Tentative Investigative Order by 5:00 pm on April 13, 2018. San Diego Water Board staff indicated that informal comments submitted to the San Diego Water Board would be considered in making any changes to the Administrative Draft, however San Diego Water Board staff would not be preparing a written response to informal comments received on the Administrative Draft.

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