PUBLIC WORKSHOP: Central Valley-wide Salt and Nitrate Control Program (CV-SALTS)

From the State Water Resources Control Board:

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will hold a public workshop to receive information and solicit public input regarding the Central Valley-wide Salt and Nitrate Control Program on July 2nd at Cal EPA Headquarters in Sacramento.

The State Water Board is considering approving the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (Central Valley Water Board’s) Amendments to the Sacramento and
San Joaquin Basin Plan and the Tulare Lake Basin Plan to incorporate a Central Valley-wide Salt and Nitrate Control Program (Salt and Nitrate Control Program). The Salt and Nitrate Control Program is intended to provide a framework for the Central Valley Water Board to regulate salt and nitrate while also ensuring that groundwater users whose wells are impacted with nitrates are provided safe drinking water.

The proposed Amendments include:

A Phased Salt Control Program

A Nitrate Control Program that includes:

  • Early Action Plans to provide Safe Drinking Water
  • Prioritized Groundwater Basins
  • Management Zone Alternatives

A Conditional Prohibition for Salt and Nitrate Discharges

Surveillance and Monitoring Program

Guidance to Implement Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels

New and Revised Policies to effectuate the Control Programs, including:

  • Revision of the Salinity Variance Policy
  • Revision of the Exceptions Policy
  • Drought and Water Conservation Policy
  • Offsets Policy

Definitions and Terminology for the Salt and Nitrate Control Program

The purpose of the July 2, 2019 workshop is for the State Water Board to receive information from Central Valley Water Board staff and oral comments from interested persons related to the Salt and Nitrate Control Program. The State Water Board may schedule a subsequent Board Meeting to consider approval of the Salt and Nitrate Control Program.

In accordance with Water Code section 13245, water quality control plan amendments adopted by a regional water board do not become effective unless and until approved by the State Water Board. The State Water Board may approve the Salt and Nitrate Control Program or return it to the Central Valley Water Board for further consideration and resubmission to the State Water Board.

If the State Water Board approves the Salt and Nitrate Control Program, the State Water Board’s approval resolution may include specific directions and expectations regarding the Central Valley Water Board’s implementation of the Salt and Nitrate Control Program as long as any such directions or expectations are consistent with the Salt and Nitrate Control Program. Such directions could include, for example, a requirement that the Central Valley Water Board submit periodic reports to the State Water Board on its progress implementing the Salt and Nitrate Control Program.

Interested persons should be prepared to discuss any appropriate directions or expectations.


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