The State Water Resources Control Board will receive public comments regarding the development of proposed amendment to the Policy for Water Quality Control for Recycled Water and the Draft Staff Report, including the Draft Substitute Environmental Documentation (Draft SR/SED).
A public hearing will be held on June 19th at 9:30 am at Cal EPA headquarters in Sacramento. State Water Board staff will accept written comments. Written comment letters must be received by 12:00 noon on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.
Following the June hearing, State Water Board staff will review comments received and prepare responses and final recommendations for the Board’s consideration. At the December hearing, the State Water Board will receive final recommendations from State Water Board staff and will consider adoption of the Proposed Amendment and SED.
The purpose of the Proposed Amendment is to provide statewide consistency for permit requirements for recycled water projects. The goals for the Amendment are:
1. Support the increased development and use of recycled water in a manner that protects the environment and public health as one piece of a broader strategy to mitigate the effects of long-term drought, climate change, and water supply uncertainty.
2. Amend the Recycled Water Policy to reflect:
• The changing regulatory aspects of recycled water production and use in California including changes to California Code of Regulations, title 22 and other applicable regulations
• Findings from an evaluation of the challenges and benefits of salt and nutrient management plan development
• Recommendations of the Science Advisory Panel on constituents of emerging concern (CECs) in recycled water.
3. Clarify, streamline, and provide statewide consistency for permit requirements for recycled water.
If adopted, the Proposed Amendment would:
• Remove statewide mandates for the use of recycled water, but retain the goals
• Add a narrative goal to minimize the direct discharge of treated municipal wastewater to enclosed bays, estuaries and coastal lagoons, and ocean waters, except where necessary to maintain beneficial uses
• Require recycled water producers to annually report recycled water use data to the State Water Board
• Require municipal wastewater treatment facilities to monthly report influent, treatment level, and volume of treated wastewater discharged to land, inland surface waters, enclosed bays, estuaries, and ocean waters
• Clarify the requirement to comply with Water Code section 1211 (wastewater change petitions)
• Require regional water boards to identify groundwater basins where salt and nutrient management plans have not yet been developed, but are still needed to achieve water quality objectives for salts and nutrients in the long-term
• Clarify the process for regional water boards to approve stakeholder-developed salt and nutrient management plans
• Require regional water boards to periodically evaluate data from salt and nutrient management plans to determine whether updates to salt and nutrient management plans are warranted
• Remove the requirement to monitor for priority pollutants in recycled water used for landscape irrigation
• Clarify the permitting and antidegradation analysis required for non-potable recycled water projects, groundwater recharge projects, and reservoir water augmentation projects
• Provide permitting criteria that, if met, can aid in compliance with Resolution No. 68-16 (the “Antidegradation Policy”) for eligible non-potable recycled water projects
• Update the monitoring requirements for CECs for recycled water used for groundwater recharge and reservoir water augmentation, including adding bioanalytical screening using estrogen receptor-alpha and aryl hydrocarbon receptor
• Require regional water boards to evaluate, and if necessary, update recycled water permits for consistency with applicable regulations, plans, and policies
• Terminate coverage under existing regional water board general orders for non-potable recycled water use and encourage enrollment under statewide water reclamation requirements
• Incorporate other non-substantive changes.