Agricultural Programs

Runoff from agricultural lands is a source of Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) in the San Francisco Bay region. Our NPS Agricultural Programs administer water quality protection permits for vineyards and cattle grazing operations in the North Bay, and for confined animal facilities and cannabis operations throughout the San Francisco Bay region. More information about the Agricultural Programs.

Contact: Laurie Taul (510) 622-2508

Basin Plan

The Regional Board is required to develop, adopt (after public hearing), and implement a Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the San Francisco Bay region. The Basin Plan is the master policy document that contains descriptions of the legal, technical, and programmatic bases of water quality regulation in the San Francisco Bay region. The plan must include:

  • A statement of beneficial water uses that the Regional Board will protect;
  • The water quality objectives needed to protect the designated beneficial water uses
  • The implementation plans for achieving the water quality objectives through its regulatory programs.

The Regional Board first adopted a plan for waters inland from the Golden Gate in 1968. After several revisions, the first comprehensive Water Quality Control Plan for the region was adopted by the Regional Board and approved by the State Board in April 1975. Subsequently, major revisions were adopted in 1982, 1986, 1992, and 1995. Since 1995, the Basin Plan has been updated on an ongoing basis as TMDLs and other amendments are adopted by the Board. Each proposed amendment to the Basin Plan is subject to an extensive public review process. The Regional Board must then adopt the amendment, which is then subject to approval by the State Board. In most cases, the Office of Administrative Law and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) must approve the amendment as well. More information about Basin Plans.

Contact: Richard Looker (510) 622-2451

Construction/Erosion and Stormwater Runoff

We work to reduce the impacts from construction activities on local waterways. Through a vigorous inspection and enforcement program. Staff have also set up an on-going education program for the construction industry and local governments. More information about the Stormwater Program.

Contact: R2stormwater help line Ph: (510) 622-2402; email:

Dept of Defense/Dept of Energy

The Water Board’s Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DoE) cleanup program addresses active and former DoD facilities and DoE laboratories. Working with other State and federal agencies, Water Board staff oversees cleanups at these sites. Areas of concern include soil and groundwater contamination, storm water and surface water discharges, and contaminated sediments. More information about the Depts. of Defense & Energy Cleanup Program.

Contact: Celina Hernandez (510) 622-2447


The Regional Board has the authority to enforce all its requirements, orders, and standards. The primary goal of enforcement is to stop on-going problems and cleanup as necessary to preserve the beneficial uses of the Bay Area's water resources. Enforcement options include issuing letters or orders requiring certain activities, assessing administrative fines directly, or referring the case to local, state or federal prosecutors. Administrative fines imposed by the Board have total millions of dollars since 1985. Approximately 70% of the fine money is used for local environmental enhancement projects, the rest goes to a statewide cleanup fund. More information about Enforcement.

Contact: Brian Thompson (510) 622-2422

Impaired Waters List (303d)

Under the section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA), States must review, make necessary changes, and submit the 303(d) list (list of waters not meeting water quality standards) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA). The 303(d) List also sets the Water Board’s priorities for development of TMDLs and other regulatory programs aimed at resolving the impairments. More information about the Impaired Waters List.

Contact: Richard Looker (510) 622-2451

Land Disposal Program

The Board regulates landfills, waste ponds, and other waste disposal to land operations. This includes both active and closed facilities. The primary concern is to assure that wastes contained in these facilities do not escape to either surface or groundwaters. Regulation consists of design standards for liners, covers, etc., environmental monitoring, and cleanup when necessary. More information about Land Disposal Program

Contact: Keith Roberson (510) 622-2404

Mine Investigation and Cleanup

The San Francisco Bay region oversees the investigation and cleanup of legacy mines that have the potential to affect human health and the environment via water quality impacts. More information about the Mines Cleanup Program.

Contact: Keith Roberson (510) 622-2404

NPDES Wastewater

The NPDES program is a federal permit program under the Clean Water Act that is administered in the Bay Area by the Regional Board. The program requires that any discharge of wastewaters to surface water needs a permit. The permits set limits on the quality of the wastewater and require monitoring. All permits are adopted in public hearings and are designed to protect the beneficial uses of the receiving waters. All sewage treatment plants and large industries have permits. Smaller industries that discharge to sewer systems are regulated by the local systems. The discharge of contaminated groundwater is also regulated by NPDES permits. Stormwater is also covered by NPDES permits. More information about NPDES Permitting.

Contact: Bill Johnson (510) 622-2354

Nonpoint Source Pollution

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the result of land runoff, rainfall, drainage or seepage from diffuse sources such as agricultural lands, urban areas, construction sites, confined animal facilities, and streambank erosion. NPS pollution is one of the major impacts on the water quality of San Francisco Bay, its tributary streams, and the Region's coastal waters. Region 2 is implementing NPS management measures via several programs that apply the California NPS Program Plan and NPS Policy. More information about Nonpoint Source Pollution.

Contact: Laurie Taul  (for Agricultural programs) (510) 622-2508

Site Cleanup Program (SCP)

The Site Clean Up Program (SCP) program is designed to cleanup the impacts of current or historic unauthorized discharges, primarily to groundwater, but in some cases also to surface waters or sediments. The program issues cleanup orders that require investigations, source removals, set final cleanup standards, treatment and monitoring. More information about the Site Cleanup Program.

Contact: Katie Kulha (510) 622-2481

NPDES Stormwater

Stormwater pollution is now the major source of pollutants to surface water bodies in the Bay Area. To deal with this the State and Regional Boards have issued NPDES permits that require implementation of certain actions (BMPs or Best Management Practices) to control the pollutants in stormwater. The State Board has issued two general stormwater permits, one to industrial facilities and another to construction sites. Both these general permits require notification, implementation of BMPs and monitoring. The Regional Board has issued municipal stormwater permits to urbanized areas. These permits require local governments to implement certain practices, for example public education (e.g. storm drain stenciling), municipal activities (e.g. street sweeping), monitoring, local commercial/industrial inspections, and new development review. More information about the Stormwater Program.

Contact: Derek Beauduy (510) 622- 2348 and Maggie Monahan (510) 622-2377

Streams and Wetlands

Streams and wetlands are essential elements of the Bay Area’s natural heritage that can protect and enhance water quality in a variety of ways. Streams and wetlands, and the water that flows through them support the ecological processes all human, plant, and animal watershed residents depend on. Vegetated riparian and wetland corridors protect and enhance water quality, and healthy stream and wetland systems store flood waters, provide flood control during large storm events, and recharge groundwater. More information about Protecting Streams and Wetlands.

SWAMP - Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program

Many of the Water Board's water quality protection programs rely on monitoring data, which we and other agencies collect for our own use and also make available to the public. More information about the SWAMP program and regional monitoring.

Contact: Kristina Yoshida (510) 622-2334

Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) Program

Total Maximum Daily Loads(TMDLs) are actions to restore clean water. Section 303(d)of the federal Clean Water Act requires that states identify water bodies that do not meet water quality standards. TMDLs examine these water quality problems, identify sources of pollutants, and specify actions that create solutions. More information about the TMDL Program.

Contact: Kevin Lunde (510) 622-2431

Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program

Underground Storage Tanks are the primary source of pollutants for groundwater. Most UST hold or held fuel, which is the main emphasis of this program (other pollutants are covered by the SLIC program). Under State law USTs need to be monitored for leaks (monitoring is administered by local agencies). If leaks are discovered, Regional Board staff, usually working with local agencies, require that investigations be done, pollutant sources be removed, necessary cleanup be done, and that groundwater be monitored. More information about the UST Program.

Contact: Laurent Meillier (510) 622-3277

Watershed Management

Watershed management is a strategy for managing resources by integrating water quality monitoring and assessment, planning, nonpoint source and point source discharge regulation, planning, groundwater protection, and other programs at the State and Regional Boards. More information about Watershed Management.

Contact: Keith Lichten (510) 622-2380

Water Quality Certifications

Under the federal Clean Water Act either dredging or wetland fill activities require permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. The Regional Board needs to certify that these federal permits meet State water quality standards. Thus, dredging and fill projects need to be reviewed and approved by the Board. The Board's concerns are that the projects minimize their impacts on water quality.