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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

HEARING FOR THE TRIENNIAL REVIEW OF THE WATER QUALITY CONTROL PLAN FOR THE REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL
BOARD, COLORADO RIVER BASIN REGION

THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 1999 AT 10:00 AM
in the City Council Chambers
City Of Indian Wells
44950 El Dorado Drive
Indian Wells, CA 92260

Notice is hereby given that the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Colorado River Basin Region, will hold a public hearing to solicit comments regarding the draft Triennial Review List.

Background

Section 303 of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires that the State hold public hearings for the purpose of reviewing applicable water quality standards (WQS), and as appropriate, modifying and adopting standards. Section 130 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) also prescribes this requirement. Further, Section 13240 of the California Water Code (CWC) requires the State to formulate regional water quality control plans (a.k.a. Basin Plans) and periodically update the plans. WQS correspond to the beneficial uses and water quality objectives (WQOs) contained in Basin Plans. The Basin Plan is a master water quality control planning document, which essentially has five components: (1) Identifies the waters of the Basin; (2) Designates the beneficial uses of those waters; (3) Establishes WQOs for the protection of those uses; (4) Prescribes an implementation plan (i.e., actions to be taken to enforce the WQS); and (5) Establishes a monitoring and surveillance program to assess the implementation efforts.

The draft Triennial Review list is tentatively scheduled for consideration for adoption at the June 10, 1999 Board meeting. The draft Triennial Review List contains the following issues for review

Review of Beneficial Use Designations for Surface Waters--Staff proposes to prepare Basin Plan Amendments as needed to reflect results of the "1999 Surface Water Survey: Salton Sea Watershed, Imperial Valley Waterbodies", which is part of the reaffirmation requirements for current WQS. Staff has a draft report on the Survey. It is estimated that the amendment can be completed with 0.2 PYs of existing staff resources.

Salton Sea Issues--Staff proposes to review pertinent issues pertaining to the Salton Sea within the broader framework of the Salton Sea Restoration Project and revise the Basin Plan accordingly. It is estimated that this activity can be completed with 0.2 PYs of existing staff resources.

Correction of Errors, Outdated Information and Inclusion of Referenced Policies--Staff proposes to draft a Basin Plan Amendment that corrects errors and outdated information in the 1994 updated Basin Plan and includes copies of the policies referenced in Section 5 of the 1994 updated Basin Plan. It is estimated that the amendment can be completed with 0.1 to 0.2 PYs of existing staff resources.

Beneficial Use Designation of Aquifers--The beneficial uses of groundwater for this region are currently based on hydrologic units. Staff proposes that available groundwater data should be reviewed and recommendations made to identify the beneficial uses of individual groundwater aquifers within the various hydrologic units. It is estimated that the Regional Board will need about 0.7 PYs of additional resources to complete this activity.

Water Quality Objectives for Nitrates and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)--Groundwater beneath multiple areas including but not limited to Pinyon, Cathedral City, and Desert Hot Springs is showing significant increases in total dissolved solids and nitrates. Staff proposes that the water quality objectives for nitrates and TDS for groundwater be reviewed to determine whether they are adequate to protect groundwater quality. It is estimated that the Regional Board will need at least 1.0 PYs of additional resources to complete this activity.

Guidelines for Sewage Disposal from Land Developments--These guidelines were developed in 1979 and do not include consideration for population density, distance to underground utilities or potential receptors. Effluent from septic tank/leachline systems has been estimated to contain up to 70 mg/l of nitrogen (as nitrate), which poses a significant threat to groundwater quality. Staff proposes that the guidelines be reviewed/updated accordingly and incorporated into the Basin Plan via an amendment. It is estimated that the Regional Board will need at least 0.5 PYs of additional resources to complete this activity.

Water Recycling Policy--California is being asked to live within its means regarding its allocation of Colorado River water (4.4 Plan). Wastewater disposal to surface waters and through evaporation/percolation should not be considered a permanent disposal solution when the potential exists to recycle the water. Staff believes that a policy encouraging recycling and ensuring that every application for a permit to discharge waste/pollutants evaluates recycling the water needs to be developed. Staff proposes to develop the policy and incorporate it into the Basin Plan via an amendment. It is estimated that this activity can be completed with 0.1 PYs of existing staff resources.

Border Pollution Issues--Staff proposes to review pertinent issues and WQOs for the New River at the International Boundary and revise the Basin Plan accordingly. It is estimated that this activity can be completed with 0.4 PYs of existing staff resources.

Copies of the draft Triennial Review List and the accompanying materials can be obtained from the contact person listed below during business hours, or by direct written requests to the Regional Board office at the address below with a request naming the "1999 Draft Triennial Review materials".

Comments on the Draft Triennial Review List may submitted in writing or may be delivered orally at the Public Hearing. All comments will be responded to. Comments should be submitted to the Regional Board by May 24, 1999.

Please submit comments:
ATTN: Ms. Summer Bundy
Regional Water Quality Control Board
Colorado River Basin Region
73-720 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 100
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Phone (760) 341-6820


Draft Documents and Supporting Materials

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