NOTICE of Opportunity for Public Comment, Public Hearing, and Consideration of Adoption of proposed amendments to the Water Quality Enforcement Policy

The State Water Resources Control Board will accept public comments on proposed amendments to the Water Quality Enforcement Policy until April 28, 2023.  The State Water Board will hold a public hearing to receive written and/or oral comments on April 18, 2023. 

The Enforcement Policy provides guidance that enables Water Boards staff to expend its limited resources in ways that openly address the greatest needs, deter harmful conduct, protect the public, and achieve maximum water quality benefits. The
Enforcement Policy was last amended in 2017.

The amendments would clarify certain principles that are central to the Enforcement Policy, helping to ensure more transparent and consistent application of the statutory factors outlined in California Water Code (Water Code) sections 13327 and 13385, subdivision (e) that the Water Boards must consider when assessing a civil liability.

The amendments would also establish a template for procedures for evidentiary hearings to consider imposition of administrative civil liability, reorganize several sections to improve efficiency and flow, and add clarifications to a variety of provisions to enhance transparency to the Water Boards’ enforcement process and penalty methodology application. Nonsubstantive technical amendments would increase comprehensibility.


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