Our Program

What We Do

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) Land Disposal Program regulates waste discharges to land. These wastes include solid wastes or liquid wastes that that have the potential to impact water quality. Regulated facilities such as landfills, mines, surface impoundments, and waste piles require containment and monitoring in order to protect surface water and groundwater quality.

The Water Boards issue waste discharge requirements(WDRs) for waste treatment, storage, or disposal sites, Water Boards staff conduct inspections to confirm compliance with WDRs.

The goals of the program are primarily preventative. However, the program includes a response action component to ensure adequate protection of water quality.

How It's Done

The state Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Water Act) and the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provide the State Water Board and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Water Boards) (collectively referred to as "the Water Boards" with the authority to regulate waste discharges. The program is a United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) approved program for implementing the USEPA RCRA Subtitle D regulations. California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 27 contains the regulatory requirements for non-hazardous wastes. CCR Title 23 (Chapter 15) contains the regulatory requirements for hazardous wastes. These regulations are implemented through the issuance of waste discharge requirements (WDRs) or conditional waivers, enforcement orders or voluntary informal corrective action. The regulations prescribe protective measures as well as require performance standards to be met in waste containment. A version of these regulations has been in effect since 1972 with the adoption of Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Water Act).

Waste discharges to land in the Land Disposal Program are regulated as waste management units. Waste management units may include waste piles, land treatment units, surface impoundments, and landfills. Regulatory activities include permitting (through the issuance of WDRs), closure, technical report reviews, inspections, enforcement, and program management. Facilities must be sited, designed, constructed, operated, closed and maintained according to the regulations. In addition, monitoring is required, especially groundwater monitoring, to detect a release of waste constituents as soon as possible. If waste is released to groundwater, it must be reported and cleaned up. Corrective action is required when a release occurs. Financial assurances are required for closure, post-closure, and corrective action.

Why It's Important

Discharges of waste can pose a threat to water quality such that without containment or special management practices, waste constituents may migrate to groundwater from leakage or surface water from runoff and degrade water quality. Regulation of waste may have a direct effect on decreasing negative impacts to surface and groundwater quality. Containment features such as liners are intended to separate wastes from groundwater. Eighty five percent of Californians use some amount of groundwater. Groundwater may be the sole water supply for some communities. In non-drought years, groundwater provides over 40 percent of the water supply.

How We're Organized

There are nine Regional Water Boards across the state, each with its own Land Disposal Program. The Regional Water Boards provide local implementation of policy and regulations, develop long-range plans for their areas, issue waste discharge requirements and take enforcement actions against violators. The following are links to Regional Water Board websites providing further information:

Contact Info

Land Disposal Statewide Contacts

Division of Water Quality

North Coast - Region 1

San Francisco Bay - Region 2

Central Coast - Region 3

Los Angeles - Region 4

Central Valley - Region 5 Sacramento

Central Valley - Region 5 Fresno

Central Valley - Region 5 Redding

Lahontan - Region 6

Colorado River Basin - Region 7

Santa Ana - Region 8

San Diego - Region 9

State and Regional Water Boards

Email Subscription Information on the State and Regional Water Boards

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