CSAC Bulletin Article

State Water Board Finalizing Wetland Definition

September 28, 2017

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is nearing the end of more than a decade-long policy development process that would create a statewide definition of wetlands for the purposes of determining what bodies of water are to be considered protected “Waters of the State.” CSAC has signed on to a joint letter expressing concerns with several elements of the proposed policy. The joint letter was submitted to the State Water Board on September 18th, 2017 as part of the final public comment period.

The next step in this policy adoption process is a response by the State Water Board to the public comments that it has received. This policy is expected to come up for a vote of adoption by the State Water Board this coming winter. CSAC has been working with dozens of other private, non-profit and public works groups to express concerns with the proposed policy.

 Included in the proposed policy are both a new statewide definition of wetlands and procedures for discharges of dredged or fill material to “Waters of the State.” This proposed policy has been drafted in part to include more wetlands under State jurisdiction. The proposed definition and procedures will be used in both 401 State Water Quality Certifications as required under the Federal Clean Water Act and in the issuance of Water Discharge Requirements under California’s Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act. 

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