Conditional Waivers of Waste Discharge Requirements for Low Threat Discharges
Conditional Waivers Renewal
The San Diego Water Board intends to renew the Conditional Waivers of Waste Discharge Requirements for Low Threat Discharges in the San Diego Region (Conditional Waivers). As part of the renewal process the San Diego Water Board held a public stakeholder meeting on November 6, 2018 to receive input on the current Conditional Waivers and the proposed changes. Based on the outcome of the stakeholder meeting and informal comments received, the San Diego Water Board released Tentative Order No. R9-2019-0005 on January 24, 2019 for public review and comment. The Tentative Order and Notice of Availability, which contains instructions on how to submit written comments, are available using the links below:
The San Diego Water Board intends to consider adoption of the Tentative Order No. R9-2019-0005 at the San Diego Water Board meeting on April 10, 2019.
Conditional Waivers Overview
The San Diego Water Board adopted Order No. R9-2014-0041 (Order) on June 26, 2014, Conditional Waivers of Waste Discharge Requirements for Low Threat Discharges in the San Diego Region (Waivers). The Waivers require the implementation of effective management measures (MMs), and structural and non-structural best management practices (BMPs) to manage low-threat discharges of waste to land. The required MMs and BMPs are necessary to mitigate potential impacts associated with storm water run on and runoff, groundwater, wastes, and wastewater discharges to land.
Furthermore, the Order implements the goals of the San Diego Water Board’s Practical Vision for Healthy Waters, Healthy People.
Strategizing for Healthy Waters - The Order provides protections for groundwater and surface water quality while unburdening the public from over-regulation of low-threat discharges; and
Proactive Public Outreach and Communication - The development of the Order included a proactive stakeholder outreach program. As such, San Diego Water Board staff performed a number of tasks to accomplish public outreach and communication, which included:
- Development of these web pages, dedicated to the Waivers, to keep stakeholders and the public informed;
- Convening a formal stakeholder meeting on April 22, 2014, and a formal public workshop on May 14, 2014; and
- Providing an extended written public comment period, and a published Response to Comments Report.
Sustainable Local Water Supply - The Order streamlines the approval process for some recycled water, and graywater projects, thereby reducing the Region’s use of potable imported water.
The San Diego Water Board is required to protect the quality and beneficial uses of the waters of the State. The Water Code requires any person (including any city, county, district, or other entity) discharging, or proposing to discharge waste that could affect the waters of the State must submit a report of waste discharge (ROWD). Water Code section 13269 gives the San Diego Water Board the authority to waive the requirements found in the Water Code. For specific discharges or specific types of discharge, the San Diego Water Board may issue a conditional waiver provided the waiver is consistent with the Basin Plan and is in the public interest. The San Diego Water Board may waive the requirements for a discharger to file a ROWD or obtain waste discharge requirements (WDRs), or both.
The Waivers in the Order address discharges expected to pose a low threat to water quality, as long as the dischargers comply with waiver conditions. The Technical Report developed as part of the agenda package for the Order provides the supporting rationale for the waivers. Dischargers who comply with the general and specific waiver conditions may become eligible for enrollment in a waiver. The Executive Officer’s Summary Report from the May 14, 2014 public workshop on the waivers, describes the specific discharge types and waiver categories, and some of their important features.The environmental document for the Order is a Negative Declaration, which includes an Initial Study and Environmental Checklist. The Negative Declaration, approved by the San Diego Water Board through the adoption of Resolution No. R9-2014-0042, supports the conclusion the waivers in the Order will not have a significant impact on the environment.
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- Roger Mitchell, Senior Engineering Geologist