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New Information

UPDATE: Third Revised Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment, Board Workshop, Public Hearing, and Adoption Meeting (Notice) (posted 11/15/17)

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is accepting public comments on the Draft Policy on Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP Policy Amendment). The comment period ends at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Monday, September 25, 2017.

The draft SEP Policy Amendment for public comment and supporting Staff Report are provided below:

For reference, the existing 2009 SEP Policy and comparison document is also provided below:


The State Water Board held a Board Workshop on August 16, 2017 and a Public Hearing on September 20, 2017. A revised draft Policy and response to comments will be available in October 2017.  Comments received by September 25, 2017 are available here.

The Response to Comments document and the Revised Draft SEP Policy Amendment are provided below:

An adoption meeting is planned as follows: 

Tuesday, November 7, 21 December 5, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. 
Joe Serna Jr. CalEPA Headquarters Building 
Coastal Hearing Room 
1001 I Street, Second Floor 
Sacramento, CA 95814


Additional Supporting Documents

Background

The State Water Board and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards, collectively Water Boards) are governed by a statewide Policy on Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP Policy), adopted in 2009. The Water Boards may allow a discharger to satisfy part of the monetary assessment imposed in an administrative civil liability (ACL) order arising out of a settlement by completing or funding one or more eligible SEPs.

Assembly Bill 1071 (AB 1071), passed into law in October 2015 as Public Resources Code section 71118 (a)(3), defines a SEP as “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 penalty.”

The SEP Policy amendment is needed to fulfill the requirements of AB 1071, now Public Resources Code section 71118 (b), which requires each board, department, or office (BDO) within the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) to establish a policy on SEPs that benefit disadvantaged communities, and must include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:

  1. A public process to solicit potential SEPs from disadvantaged communities.
  2. Allowing the amount of a SEP to be up to 50 percent of an administratively imposed civil liability brought under the jurisdiction of a BDO within CalEPA.
  3. An annual list of SEPs that may be selected to settle a portion of an administratively imposed civil liability brought under the jurisdiction of a BDO within CalEPA.
  4. A consideration of the relationship between the location of the violation and the location of the proposed SEP.

The SEP Policy has also been amended to: apply not only to the State Water Board and the nine Regional Water Boards, but also to enforcement actions prosecuted by the Division of Drinking Water and its Districts, and the Division of Water Rights; include human right to water considerations; align with the State Water Board's April 4, 2017, revision of the Water Quality Enforcement Policy (Enforcement Policy); and clarify certain principles that are central to the SEP Policy and improve transparency in Policy implementation based on stakeholder input.

Submitting Project Proposals

The Water Boards are currently seeking ideas and proposals for potential SEPs to be reviewed for eligibility and then compiled into a statewide proposed SEP list. This list will be available to the public and updated on a quarterly basis.  Most importantly, the proposed SEP list will be provided to dischargers who are issued ACL orders should they choose to voluntarily implement a SEP as part of their settlement.

Current Proposed SEP List (updated Sept 2017)

A more defined public process for soliciting potential SEPs is part of the proposed SEP Policy amendment.  In the meantime, please utilize CalEPA's SEP Proposal web-based form below.

CalEPA SEP Proposal Form

Dr. Matthew Buffleben at Matthew.Buffleben@waterboards.ca.gov can also assist in connecting you with the appropriate Regional Water Board or State Water Board Division contact.

Active SEPs

To view information on currently active SEPs, please refer to the Penalty Project Report.

Completed SEPs

More information on completed SEPs is currently being compiled.

Additional Information