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Project 6c: Evaluate and Implement Trash Control

achievable with significant barriers



Project Objective:

Evaluate current strategies and develop new methods to address the generation of trash in "hot spots", such as discharges from homeless encampments, high-use beaches, and parks adjacent to waters of the state.


Evaluate the current strategies available and being used to address trash generation in "hot spots" within the San Francisco Bay Region, Los Angeles Region, and San Diego Region. Compile strategies for determining and addressing trash generation in "hot spots" that can provide statewide guidance to region specific efforts. Establish a mechanism to determine areas that are "hot spots" and require trash controls efforts. Develop tools, guidance, permitting approaches, permit language, and/or policies to implement trash control strategies. Determine where ongoing efforts by stakeholders and non-governmental organizations can be leveraged to support the Water Boards' trash control efforts. Provide implementation support for the amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for Ocean Waters of California to Control Trash and Part 1 Trash Provisions of the Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries of California (Trash Amendments), and amend the Trash Amendments, if needed.


The Trash Amendments were adopted by the State Water Board in April 2015. The Trash Amendments established a statewide water quality objective for trash and implementation provisions using a land-use based compliance approach that targets high trash generating areas. The Trash Amendments will be implemented through NPDES permits, waste discharge requirements (WDRs), and waivers of WDRs. The Trash Amendments focus on necessary trash controls (e.g., structural and instructional controls) at industrial facilities and within municipal storm water systems in specific high trash generating areas. For municipalities, controlling trash is focused in five priority land uses: (1) high density residential, (2) industrial, (3) commercial, (4) mixed urban, and (5) public transportation stations. In addition to these land uses, Regional Water Boards can determine that, within a municipal service area, specific locations or land uses generate substantial amounts of trash and require additional trash controls. These areas may include schools, stadiums, and utility roads.

Significant sources of trash that adversely impact beneficial uses of a water body are often outside the jurisdiction of the municipal storm water permittee. In these cases, Regional Water Boards may implement trash control requirements in WDRs or waivers of WDRs for areas that generate trash and/or where direct dumping to a water body may occur. These areas may include high-use campgrounds, picnic areas, beach recreation areas, marinas, and/or homeless encampments. Some Regional Water Boards, like San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles, and San Diego, are already addressing sources of trash from areas deemed to be “hot spots”. During adoption of the Trash Amendments, the State Water Board directed Water Board staff to further evaluate strategies to address trash at “hot spots”.

Products and Timelines:

1 Year: Produce a staff report outlining existing strategies to address trash generation in “hot spots” outside of a municipality’s jurisdiction.

2.5 Years: Develop tools, guidance, permitting approaches, template permit language, and/or policies to implement trash control strategies for State Water Board consideration of adoption. Leverage ongoing local efforts by stakeholders and non-governmental organizations. Provide support to all parties (Water Board staff, permittees, stakeholders) responsible for implementing the recently adopted Trash Amendments, and amend the Trash Amendments, if needed.

Phase II

Objective 6

Increase Source Control and Pollution Prevention

Goal 3

Implement Efficient and Effective Regulatory Programs

Goal 4

Collaborate in Order to Solve Water Quality and Pollutant Problems with an Array of Regulatory and Non-Regulatory Approaches

Project Information

Name Evaluate and Implement Trash Control
Start 2019
Completion 2022
Lead Staff  
Contract Information  
Performance Metrics  

NPDES Storm Water Facilities annual Performance Report