Environmental Enlightenment #134

By Ami Adini -
Reissued August 12, 2009

This is a SHORT, LIGHT and SIMPLE newsletter. Its purpose is to rekindle, in the initiated, terminology they have once learned and enlighten the uninitiated on terms they may have heard but never knew the meaning of.

Orientation: California State Water Resources Control Board

Protection of groundwater resources is a prime force driving environmental site assessments. In cases such as leaking underground storage tanks or contamination from spills of industrial solvents, the environmental consultant performs its work under oversight of the regulatory agencies responsible for the protection of groundwater. In cases where assessments are driven by business transactions; e.g., Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessment, although not working directly under the auspices of the regulatory agencies, the consultant nonetheless is acutely tuned to what could be the ramifications if the investigations were to come eventually under the jurisdiction of these agencies.

The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA). Its mission is “ to  preserve, enhance and restore the quality of California's water resources, and ensure their proper allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations." The SWRCB was created in 1967. The Board consists of five full-time salaried Members. Each board member is appointed to a four-year term by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

The SWRCB delegates actions to the local levels through nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards). The mission of the Regional Boards is to develop and enforce water quality objectives and implementation plans that will best protect the beneficial uses of the State's waters, recognizing local differences in climate, topography, geology and hydrology.

The maps below depicts how California is divided between the Boards and show two regional boards. Regions 5 and 6 are further subdivided.

If you want to know about your Regional Water Quality Control Board and its various programs, go to http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/regions.html and click on your region.

Each Regional Board has nine part-time Members also appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Regional Boards develop "basin plans" for their hydrologic areas, issue waste discharge permits, take enforcement action against violators, and monitor water quality. The task of protecting and enforcing the many uses of water, including the needs of industry, agriculture, municipal districts, and the environment is an ongoing challenge for the Water Board and Regional Boards.

You can find past issues of our  "Environmental Enlightenment" at amiadini.com Wealth of information about environmental site assessments in the real estate transactions and issues concerning assessment and cleanup of contamination in the subsurface soil and groundwater.

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini
Ami Adini & Associates, Inc.
Environmental Consultants
Underground Storage Tank Experts
323-913-4073; 323-667-2336 fax

Ami Adini is a mechanical engineer, California Registered Environmental Assessor, Level II, and president of AMI ADINI & ASSOCIATES, INC. (AA&A), an environmental consulting firm specializing in all phases of environmental site assessments, rehabilitation of contaminated sites and upgrading of underground storage tank facilities. AA&A specializes in practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.