Water, Chemistry, and Waste Project

About This Project
Geographic focus: statewide

Main activity: legislative and administrative efforts, state regulatory agencies

The Water, Chemistry, and Waste Project focuses on statewide regulatory and legislative issues dealing with water, green chemistry, waste management, and hazardous materials. The project works closely with state regulatory agencies, administration officials and the Legislature to promote accountability, procedural streamlining and proactive, evidence based policies that can be successfully implemented. Project members are represented at a host of state agencies including the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA) Forum Board, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), the Department of Water Resources (DWR), the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and the Ocean Protection Council (OPC), and other state agencies, as well as the California legislature.

Project Details

Project Manager: Dawn Koepke, McHugh, Koepke & Associates

Meeting Location: Sacramento, CA

Project Issues
  • Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs)
  • Hazardous waste – facility post- closure and SB 1325, generator fees, e-manifesting, permitting
  • SB 673 implementation and cumulative impacts
  • Green chemistry and the Safer Consumer Products Program
  • DTSC Independent Review Panel
  • Water Quality Objectives (WQO), sediment quality objectives, beneficial uses
  • Stormwater capture, reuse, management and funding
  • Stormwater permitting (industrial and construction)
  • Water quality fees
  • Recycled water
  • Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) discharges, toxicity testing
  • Dredge and fill procedures
  • Drought conservation
  • Proposition 65

AB 995

Dawn Koepke continues to engage in discussions on vetoed AB 995 (Garcia) in the hopes of reintroducing the revised bill in a future legislative session.


2020-2021 SWRCB Water Quality Fees 

Each year fiscal staff at the SWRCB hold a series of stakeholder meetings to discuss updates to water quality fees to support the Waste Discharge Permit Fund (WDPF). All entities who discharge waste that could affect the state’s water quality for its waters of the state are required to pay an annual fee set by the SWRCB, the funds from which are deposited into the WDPF. The annual fees set by the SWRCB are adopted by emergency regulation each year after the state budget is passed by the Legislature, signed by the Governor and finalized by SWRCB staff in accordance with the revenue levels included in the enacted budget.

This year, in no small part related to the impacts of COVID-19 as well as increased state operational costs and budget change proposals put forth by the Administration, the projected revenue for 2020-2021 is short by roughly $9.64 million.

In order to address this shortfall, staff presented the Board with multiple options and the Board adopted Option B in an effort to address the gap in a meaningful way now, while staving off a harder hit amid the impacts of the pandemic:

  • Option B – under this option all fees would be increased by approximately 75% of the required revenue with the remaining portion (2-6%) deferred to 2021-2022 and another 7% in 2022-2023 with only 50-60 staff vacancies held open in 2020-2021

This option would provide additional revenue of $7.2M, with an ongoing shortfall of $2.4M while holding roughly 50-60 positions vacant.

It should also be noted that to address the effects of COVID-19, staff has extended the invoice due dates from 30 days to 90 days. Additionally, the SWRCB will allow monthly payments, delayed late notice mailings and temporarily suspended sending current year delinquent accounts to collections.

For more information, please see: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/resources/fees/water_quality/docs/fy2021_fee_schedule.pdf

-Excerpt from McHugh, Koepke & Associates Sacramento Weekly Update of November 18, 2020