Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Monitoring, Assessment and TMDLs
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California Water Quality
On this page:
- Monitoring, Assessment, and Integrated Reporting in California
- Section 303(d) Listing in California
- TMDLs in California
- State-adopted TMDLs in California
- EPA-established TMDLs in California
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California's Water Resources Control Board and nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards are responsible for conducting monitoring, assessment, reporting under CWA Sections 303(d) and 305(b), and TMDL development for the State of California. The State Board and Regional Boards cooperate in developing Section 305(b) and Section 303(d) listing reports. TMDLs are normally developed by Regional Boards, and then approved by the State Board and State Office of Administrative Law before being submitted for EPA approval.
Monitoring, Assessment, and Integrated Reporting in California
The State Water Resources Control Board also includes a comprehensive range of water quality monitoring and assessment data that can be viewed across space and time: visit My Water Quality for further information .
Section 303(d) Listing in California
Notice of Availability for Public Review
EPA’s Action to Add Waters to California’s
2012 List of Waters Requiring a Total Maximum Daily Load
June 26, 2015
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting public comments on EPA’s action to add Topaz Lake (for Mercury in Fish Tissue) to California’s 2012 list of waters requiring a total maximum daily load (TMDL), California’s 303(d) list. On April 24, 2015, California submitted its list of waters requiring a TMDL under Clean Water Act Section 303(d)(2) for three Regions of the State corresponding to the areas of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Colorado River Regional Water Quality Control Board. Section 303(d)(2) requires that states submit and EPA approve or disapprove lists of waters not meeting water quality standards, where existing technology-based pollution controls are not stringent enough to attain, or maintain, state water quality standards, and for which a TMDL must be prepared.
California identified, in its 2012 Water Quality Integrated Report, various waterbody-pollutant combinations as requiring TMDLs. See, 2012 Water Quality Integrated Report, Appendix A, Category 5 Waters, available at the California State Water Resources Control Board web page.
On June 26, 2015, EPA determined that California's list of waters requiring a TMDL partially met the requirements of Clean Water Act Section 303(d), and approved each of the State's listings included in its 2012 Integrated Report, Appendix A, Category 5 Waters list. During its review, EPA identified a waterbody-pollutant combination that was not included in the 2012 Integrated Report. Mercury in fish tissue from Topaz Lake meets the federal listing requirements and should be included on California’s list as an impaired waterbody and needing a TMDL.
This notice announces EPA’s action to add the Topaz Lake mercury listing to California’s 2012 Section 303(d) list. After considering public comments, U.S. EPA will make any necessary adjustments to its decision and transmit the final list to the state.
Contact Information and Comment Deadline
All interested persons wishing to comment on EPA’s action to add Topaz Lake (for Mercury in Fish Tissue) to California’s 2012 303(d) list of waters requiring a TMDL may submit written comments to Terry Fleming at the email address or postal address below.
Terrence Fleming (Fleming.Terrence@epa.gov)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
75 Hawthorne St, WTR-2-1
San Francisco, CA 94105
To ensure that it is considered, comments must be submitted in writing on or before July 26, 2015. EPA will prepare a document summarizing how public comments were considered in the final EPA decision. The summary of comments and responses will be available at EPA’s website when the 2012 303(d) list for California is finalized.
- June 2015 Partial Approval/Partial Disapproval Letter (PDF) (1 pp, 110K) and Enclosure (PDF) (9 pp, 98K), with the added waters
- Topaz Lake Public Notice (PDF) (3 pp, 77K), Comments are due by July 26, 2015
California’s 2012 Section 303(d) list of waters requiring a TMDL is available in Attachment A of the 2012 Water Quality Integrated Report.
California's 2008-2010 Integrated Report
On November 12, 2010, EPA approved California’s 2008-2010 Section 303(d) list of impaired waters and disapproved the omission of several water bodies and associated pollutants that meet federal listing requirements. EPA identified additional water bodies and pollutants for inclusion on the State’s 303(d) list. EPA provided public notice and the opportunity for public comment on our proposed additions which ended December 23, 2010. On October 11, 2011, EPA issued its final decision regarding the waters EPA added to the State’s 303(d) list. See final transmittal letter with enclosures and responsiveness summary below.
- EPA's partial approval partial disapproval letter and enclosure for California's 2008-2010 list (PDF) (25 pp, 500K)
- EPA’s final decision letter with enclosures and responsiveness summary for California’s 2008-2010 list (PDF) (35 pp, 700K)
California’s 2008-2010 Integrated Report which serves as both their Section 303(d) list and Section 305(b) report is available on their website in report form and as a searchable map .
Valentina Cabrera Stagno (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Dave Guiliano (email@example.com)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
75 Hawthorne Street (WTR-2)
San Francisco, CA 94105
California's 2004-2006 Integrated Report
On May 29, 2008, EPA revised its previous decision to add microcystin toxins as an additional cause of impairment to one Klamath River segment (Middle Hydrologic Area: Oregon to Iron Gate) previously listed by California in its 2006 Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List. EPA solicited public comment on its action, and has now completed its review of the comments received. Based on comments from the North Coast Regional Board, EPA agreed to revise the description of the segment which EPA is listing as impaired due to “microcystin toxins.” EPA identified this impaired portion as “the reach of the Klamath River including the Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs.” Accordingly, this segment does not include Klamath River upstream of Copco I Reservoir to Oregon.
- EPA’s May 2008 revised decision for microcystin toxins in Klamath River (PDF) (8 pp, 548K)
- EPA’s responsiveness summary (PDF) (1 pg, 51K)
On March 13, 2008, EPA reconsidered its prior approval of the omission of microcystin toxins listings for three Klamath River segments, and determined to add a listing for microcystin toxin for one of these three segments, “Klamath River HU, Middle HA, Oregon to Iron Gate”. California’s 2006 Section 303(d) List already identifies each segment of the Klamath River within California as impaired due to Nutrients, Organic Enrichment/Low Dissolved Oxygen, and Temperature. EPA’s reconsideration of its decisions related to microcystin toxins and the Klamath River, and its determination to add a listing for microcystin toxins for one of the river’s segments, do not affect EPA’s determinations regarding any other portion of California’s Section 303(d) List. Neither EPA’s approval of the State’s listings for the Klamath River listings, nor EPA’s determination to add the listing for microcystin toxins, extends to any water bodies located within Indian country, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151.
- EPA’s March 2008 decision document for microcystin toxins in Klamath River (PDF) (14 pp, 117K)
On Nov. 30, 2006, EPA partially approved California's 2004-2006 303(d) list submission. In summary, this action approved the State's list of impaired waters. On March 8, 2007, EPA partially disapproved California's 2004-2006 303(d) List; that is, we disapproved the State's omission of impaired waters that met federal listing regulations or guidance. EPA identified 36 additional waters bodies and associated pollutants for 34 waters to be added to the State's 303(d) list. EPA provided public notice and the opportunity for public comment on our proposed additions which ended April 16, 2007.
On June 28, 2007, EPA issued its final decision regarding the waters EPA added to the State’s List. See final transmittal letter with enclosures and responsiveness summary below.
- EPA's partial approval letter and enclosure for California's 2004-2006 list (PDF). (9 pp, 58K)
- EPA's partial disapproval letter and enclosures (PDF) for California's 2004-2006 303(d) List. (23 pp, 82K)
- EPA's final decision regarding waters added (PDF) to California’s 2004-2006 303(d) List. (22 pp, 326K)
California Regional and State Boards are currently working on developing the 2008 Integrated Report for submittal in 2010.
TMDLs in California
More information about California's TMDL program, including the State's Proposed Impaired Waters Guidance and Regional Board TMDL programs, can be found at the State Water Resources Control Board's Total Maximum Daily Load Program page or by contacting California TMDL Program Manager.
Information about California's TMDL program may also be obtained from EPA by contacting EPA TMDL Liaisons.
State-Adopted TMDLs in California
- Lake Tahoe TMDL Submittal Letter (PDF) (5 pp, 731K)
- Final Lake Tahoe TMDL (PDF) (380 pp, 5.86MB)
- Watershed Priorities in the Tahoe Basin
Information on the status of TMDLs being developed or previously developed by the State of California can be found at California's State Water Resources Control Board's Total Maximum Daily Load Program page and EPA's List of Approved TMDLs for California.
EPA-Established TMDLs in California
Although most TMDLs are adopted by states, territories, or authorized tribes, and then approved by EPA, EPA also establishes TMDLs in some cases if:
- EPA disapproves TMDLs submitted by states, territories, or authorized tribes,
- States, territories, or authorized tribes do not submit TMDLs in a timely manner,
- EPA is required to do so pursuant to litigation settlements or judicial orders, or
- States ask EPA to establish TMDLs for particular water bodies.
TMDLs for California, which have been completed by EPA as part of legal requirements under lawsuit settlement consent decrees, are on the EPA-established TMDLs page. TMDLs in progress that EPA is developing can be found on the EPA-Lead TMDLs in Progress page.
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