Local Coalition Requirements in Administrative DRAFT

THIRD PARTY REQUIREMENTS

IN ADMINISTRATIVE DRAFT of  Sacramento Valley WDR Order

*Please note that the following language is pulled from DRAFT documents produced by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.  It ONLY INCLUDES PORTIONS of the full documents that Dixon/Solano Coalition Staff has highlighted for discussion purposes.  We anticipate the all of the acreage within the Dixon/Solano Coalition will be considered “high vulnerability” for surface water requirements because of current management plans, so we have not highlighted requirements for lower vulnerability surface water areas.

Full documents are available at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/water_issues/irrigated_lands/long_term_program_development/sacramento_river_watershed_wdrs/index.shtml

SCHEDULE FOR COALITION GROUP REQUIREMENTS (attached below)

ORDER

 PAGE 2 (SECTIONS 9 & 10)

The third-party entity proposing to represent Members in the Order watershed area (the third-party) is required to submit to the Central Valley Water Board an application to represent growers within this Order’s coverage area. The third-party representation will become effective upon Central Valley Water Board Executive Officer approval of the third party’s application. The

Sacramento Valley Water Quality Coalition served as the third-party group representing owners and operators of irrigated lands within the Order watershed area during the interim irrigated lands regulatory program, Order R5-2006-0053 (Coalition Group Conditional Waiver).

The third-party will be responsible for fulfilling the regional requirements and conditions (e.g., surface and groundwater monitoring, regional management plan development and tracking) of this Order and associated Monitoring and Reporting Program Order R5-2013-XXXX (MRP). By retaining its third-party membership or establishing a new membership, a Member is agreeing to be represented by the third-party for the purposes of this Order. Any requirements or conditions not fulfilled by the third-party are the responsibility of the individual Member. The Member and non-Member owners and operators are responsible for conduct of operations on the Member’s enrolled property.

PAGE 15 (SECTION 53)

Under this Order, the third-party is tasked with developing monitoring plans, conducting monitoring, developing water quality management plans, and informing Members of requirements. It is intended that the following progressive enforcement steps will generally be taken in the event that the third-party fails to comply with the terms and conditions of this Order or attached MRP:

a) First notification of noncompliance to the third-party. The Central Valley Water Board intends to notify the third-party of the non-compliance and allow a period of time for the third-party to come back into compliance. This notification may be in the form of a verbal notice, letter, or written notice of violation, depending on the severity of the noncompliance.

b) Second notification of noncompliance to the third-party. If the third-party fails to adequately respond to the first notification, the board intends to provide written notice to the third-party and potentially affected Members of the failure to address the first notice.

c) Failure of the third-party to adequately respond to the second notification. Failure to adequately respond to the second notification may result in partial (e.g., affected areas or Members) or full disapproval of the third-party to act as a lead entity, depending on the severity of noncompliance. Growers that were Members affected by a partial or full third-party disapproval would be required to obtain coverage for their waste discharge under other applicable general waste discharge requirements or submit a Report of Waste Discharge to the Central Valley Water Board.

PAGE 20-21

C. Requirements for the Third-Party Group

In order to remain eligible to serve as a third-party representative to Members, the third-party shall perform the following:

1. Provide the Central Valley Water Board documentation of its organizational or management structure. The documentation shall identify persons responsible for ensuring that program requirements are fulfilled. The documentation shall be made readily available to Members.

2. Prepare annual summaries of expenditures of fees and revenue used to comply with this Order. The summaries shall be provided to or made readily available to Members.

3. If the third-party group receives a notice of violation (NOV) from the Central Valley Water Board, the third-party must provide to Members in the area addressed by the NOV appropriate information regarding the reason(s) for the violation. The notification must be provided to all Members within the area affected by the NOV within thirty (30) days of receiving the NOV from the board. The third-party group must provide confirmation to the board of each notification. A summary of all notices of violation received by the third-party group must be provided to all Members annually.

4. Develop and implement plans to track and evaluate the effectiveness of water quality management practices, pursuant to approved Surface Water Quality Management Plans and Groundwater Quality Management Plans.

5. Provide timely and complete submittal of any plans or reports required by this Order.

6. Conduct required water quality monitoring and assessments in conformance with quality assurance/quality control requirements. Provide timely and complete submittal of any reports required by this Order.

7. Within 45 days of receiving an NOA from the Central Valley Water Board (as described in section VIII.A), inform Members of this Order’s requirements by providing a notice of confirmation form that can be used by Members to acknowledge that they are aware of the Order’s requirements.

8. Conduct education and outreach activities to inform Members of program requirements and irrigated agricultural water quality problems, including exceedances of water quality objectives

or degradation of water quality, identified by the third-party or Central Valley Water Board. The third-party shall: a. Maintain attendance lists for third party outreach events, provide Members with information on water quality management practices that will address water quality problems and minimize the discharge of wastes from irrigated lands, and provide informational materials on potential environmental impacts of water quality management practices to the extent known by the third-party group.

b. Provide an annual summary of education and outreach activities to the Central Valley Water Board. The annual summary shall include copies of the educational and management practice information provided to the growers. The annual summary must report the total number of growers who attended the outreach events. These events may include annual County Agricultural Commissioner meetings, local Farm Bureau events (e.g., Spray Safe), and University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) workshops. The annual education and outreach summary will also include the numbers of newsletters received by growers with information on irrigated agricultural water quality exceedances and appropriate management practices to address the exceedances that Members can implement. The summary will describe how growers could obtain copies of the materials presented at these events.

9. Work cooperatively with the Central Valley Water Board to ensure all Members are providing required information and taking necessary steps to address exceedances or degradation identified by the third-party or board. As part of the Membership List submittal, identify the growers who have: (1) failed to implement improved water quality management practices within the timeframe specified by an applicable SQMP/GQMP; (2) failed to respond to an information request associated with any applicable SQMP/GQMP or other provisions of this Order; (3) failed to participate in third-party studies for which the third-party is the lead; (4) failed to provide confirmation of participation in an outreach event (per section IV.B.4 of this Order); or (5) failed to submit required fees to the third-party.

10. Ensure that any activities conducted on behalf of the third-party by other groups meet the requirements of this Order. The third-party is responsible for any activities conducted on its behalf.

11. Collect any fees from Members required by the State Water Board pursuant to the fee schedule contained in Title 23 CCR. Such fees shall then be submitted to the State Water Board.

PAGE 28-34

VIII. Required Reports and Notices – Third-Party

The Central Valley Water Board or the Executive Officer may require any of the reports and notices to be submitted electronically, as long as the electronic format is reasonably available to the third-party. The third-party shall submit reports and notices in accordance with section IX, Reporting Provisions. The third-party must prepare the following reports:

A. Application to Serve as a Third-Party Representing Members

Within 30 days of the effective date of this Order, the third-party must submit a letter to the Executive Officer requesting that the third-party serve as a third-party representing Members to carry out the third-party responsibilities. The Executive Officer will consider the following factors in determining whether to approve the request by issuing a Notice of Applicability (NOA) to the third-party.

1. Ability of the third-party to carry out the identified third-party responsibilities.

2. Whether the third-party is a legally defined entity (i.e., non-profit corporation; local or state government; Joint Powers Authority) or has a binding agreement among multiple entities that clearly describes the mechanisms in place to ensure accountability to its members.

3. Whether the third-party has binding agreements with any subsidiary group (e.g., subwatershed group) to ensure any third-party responsibilities carried out by the subsidiary group, including the collection of fees, are done so transparently and with accountability to the third party. If the third-party will not rely on any subsidiary group to carry out any of its responsibilities, the third-party must state that in its application letter.

4. Whether the third-party has a governance structure that includes a governing board of directors composed in whole or in part of Members, or otherwise provides Members with a mechanism to direct or influence the governance of the third-party through appropriate by-laws.

5. Should the Central Valley Water Board terminate an organization’s role as a third-party or the third-party submit a notice of termination, the Executive Officer will apply the above factors in evaluating the request of any successor organization to serve as a third-party and determining whether to approve the request by issuing an NOA.

B. Membership (Participant) List

The third-party shall submit a list of its Members to the Central Valley Water Board annually by 31 July of each year. The membership list shall identify Members. The list shall also identify growers that have had their membership revoked and Members that are pending revocation. The membership list shall contain, at a minimum, the following information for each member: all parcel numbers covered under the membership, the county of each parcel, the section, township, and range associated with each parcel, the number of irrigated acres for each parcel, the Member’s name, mailing address, the contact name and phone number of the individuals authorized to provide access to the enrolled parcels, the name of the farm operator for each parcel, if different from the Member, and identification of each parcel that is part of a Small Farming Operation, if applicable. In lieu of providing Members’ phone numbers as part of the membership list, the third-party may provide the office contact name(s) and phone number(s) of a representative of the third-party. Any listed third-party office contact must be available for Central Valley Water Board staff to contact Monday through Friday (except established state holidays) from 8 am to 5 pm.

C. Templates

The Central Valley Water Board has approved templates for Farm Evaluation, Nitrogen Management Plan, Nitrogen Management Plan Summary Report, and Sediment and Erosion Control Plan submitted under the “Group Option” provisions of the Waste Discharge Requirements General Order for Growers within the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed R5-2012-0116 (Eastern San Joaquin WDRs). The templates must be used by Members to comply with the requirements of this Order. The third-party may submit a written request to the Executive Officer for approval to modify the templates. The modified templates must meet the requirements described in the Eastern San Joaquin WDRs. This request must be received by the board within 60 days of issuance of an NOA to the third-party. The Executive Officer will follow the process described in section VI, Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed Monitoring and Reporting Program R5-2012-0116, in consideration and approval of any template modifications. The third-party shall make the templates available to its Members within 30 days of Executive Officer approval of the requested modifications. In the case that the third-party does not request template modifications, the third-party shall make the templates available to its Members within 90 days of the issuance of the third-party NOA.

D. Groundwater Quality Assessment Report and Evaluation/Monitoring Workplans

This Order’s strategy for evaluating groundwater quality and protection consists of 1) a Groundwater Assessment Report, 2) a Management Practices Evaluation Program, and 3) a Groundwater Quality Trend Monitoring Program. Each of these elements has its own specific objectives briefly described below, with more detail provided in the attached MRP.

1. Groundwater Quality Assessment Report

The Groundwater Quality Assessment Report (GAR) provides the foundational information necessary for design of the Management Practices Evaluation Program, the Groundwater Quality Trend Monitoring Program, and the Groundwater Quality Management Plan. To accomplish this purpose, the GAR must do the following:

• Assess all available, applicable and relevant data and information to determine the high and low vulnerability areas where discharges from irrigated lands may result in groundwater quality degradation,

• Establish priorities for implementation of monitoring and studies within high vulnerability areas;

• Provide a basis for establishing workplans to assess groundwater quality trends;

• Provide a basis for establishing workplans and priorities to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural management practices to protect groundwater quality; and

• Provide a basis for establishing groundwater quality management plans in high vulnerability areas and priorities for implementation of those plans.

The GAR shall include the elements described in MRP section IV. The GAR shall be submitted to the Central Valley Water Board and Central Valley Salinity Coalition within one (1) year of receiving an NOA from the Executive Officer.

2. Management Practice Evaluation Program Workplan

Upon Executive Officer approval of the GAR, the third-party shall develop, either solely, or as a coordinated effort (see group option below), a Management Practice Evaluation Program Workplan. The workplan must meet the goals, objectives, and other requirements described in section IV of the attached MRP. The overall goal of the Management Practice Evaluation Program (MPEP) is to determine the effects, if any, irrigated agricultural practices have on first

encountered groundwater under different conditions that could affect the discharge of waste from irrigated lands to groundwater (e.g., soil type, depth to groundwater, irrigation practice, crop type, nutrient management practice). A MPEP must address the conditions relevant to high vulnerability groundwater areas. The third-party may develop the workplan in accordance with one of the options described below.

a. Management Practices Evaluation Program Group Option

The third-party may fulfill its requirements as part of a larger Management Practices Evaluation Program Group. A Management Practices Evaluation Program (MPEP) Group refers to an entity that is formed to develop and carry out the management practices effectiveness evaluations required of this and other Orders applicable to the irrigated lands in the Central Valley.

At the time the GAR is submitted, the third-party must submit a copy of the agreement of the parties included in the MPEP Group. The agreement must include a description of the roles and responsibilities of each of the organizations in the MPEP Group; identification of the technical experts who will prepare and implement the workplans, along with their qualifications; the person(s) responsible for the timely completion of the workplans and reports required by this Order; and an organizational chart showing the reporting relationships and responsibilities of the participants in the group.

The third-party may use the group option if approved by the Executive Officer. The Executive Officer may disapprove the use of the group option, if 1) the group fails to meet required deadlines or implement the approved workplans; 2) the agreement submitted is not complete; or 3) the agreement submitted is deficient.

The MPEP Group Workplan shall be submitted to the Central Valley Water Board within two (2) years after written approval of the GAR by the Executive Officer.

b. Third-party Only Management Practices Evaluation Program

Under this option, the third-party MPEP Workplans shall be submitted to the Central Valley Water Board within one (1) year after written approval of the GAR by the Executive Officer.

3. Groundwater Quality Trend Monitoring Workplan

Upon Executive Officer approval of the GAR, the third-party shall develop a Groundwater Quality Trend Monitoring Workplan. The workplan must meet the goals, objectives, and other requirements described in section IV of the attached MRP. The overall objectives of groundwater trend monitoring are to determine current water quality conditions of groundwater relevant to irrigated agriculture and develop long-term groundwater quality information that can be used to evaluate the regional effects of irrigated agricultural practices. The workplan shall be submitted to the Central Valley Water Board within one (1) year after written approval of the GAR by the Executive Officer.

E. Sediment Discharge and Erosion Assessment Report

The Sediment Discharge and Erosion Assessment Report shall be submitted to the Central Valley Water Board within one (1) year of receiving an NOA from the Executive Officer. Within 30 days of written acceptance of the Sediment Discharge and Erosion Assessment Report, the third-party shall inform those Members with parcels in areas identified in the report of their obligation to prepare a Sediment and Erosion Control Plan. The Sediment Discharge and Erosion Assessment Report shall include the elements described in MRP section VII.

F. Watershed/Subwatershed Based Sediment and Erosion Control Plans

Per section VII.C.2., the third-party may assist Members to fulfill sediment and erosion control requirements through development and implementation of a watershed or subwatershed based Sediment and Erosion Control Plan that includes collective management practices. A collective Sediment and Erosion Control Plan, once approved by the Executive Officer, shall be considered to constitute an approved Surface Water Quality Management Plan (SQMP) for sediment for the area covered by the plan. The following requirements and deadlines shall apply:

• Within 180 days of the Executive Officer accepting the third party’s Sediment Discharge Erosion Assessment Report, the third-party must submit a list of the individual member participants for each watershed/subwatershed based (or collective) plan to the Executive Officer.

• Within 270 days of the Executive Officer accepting the third party’s Sediment Discharge and Erosion Assessment Report, the third party shall submit to the Executive Officer of the Regional Board any watershed/subwatershed (or collective) based Sediment and Erosion Control Plans that have been developed to comply with these provisions, including requirements in the MRP, section VIII.

• The watershed/subwatershed (or collective) Sediment and Erosion Control Plan must be prepared according to the requirements listed in section VII.C.1, items c or d of this Order.

• The watershed/subwatershed (or collective) Sediment and Erosion Control Plan, including its implementation schedule, shall be approved by the Executive Officer.

G. Surface Water Exceedance Reports

The third-party shall provide exceedance reports if surface water monitoring results show exceedances of adopted numeric water quality objectives or trigger limits, which are based on interpretations of narrative water quality objectives. Surface water exceedance reports shall be submitted in accordance with the requirements described in section V.D of the MRP.

H. Monitoring Report

The third-party shall submit the Monitoring Report to the Central Valley Water Board in accordance with the requirements in section V.C of the MRP.

I. Surface Water/Groundwater Quality Management Plan (SQMP/GQMP)

1. SQMP/GQMP General Requirements

SQMP/GQMPs submitted by the third-party shall conform to the requirements provided in the MRP, Appendix MRP-1. Existing SQMPs that were developed and approved under the Coalition Group Conditional Waiver (Conditional Waiver Order R5-2006-0053) continue to apply under this Order and shall be implemented as previously approved. Changes to any management plan may be implemented by the third-party only after approval by the Executive Officer. The Executive Officer may require changes to a management plan if the current management plan approach is not making adequate progress towards addressing the water quality problem or if the information reported by the third-party does not allow the Central Valley Water Board to determine the effectiveness of the management plan. Members shall comply with the revised management plans once they are approved by the Executive Officer. For newly triggered SQMP/GQMPs, the third-party shall submit a SQMP/GQMP to the Central Valley Water Board within ninety (90) days. For any SQMP or GQMP that addresses salt or nitrates, the SQMP or GQMP shall also be submitted to the Chair of the CV-SALTS Executive Committee. This 90-day period begins the first business day after the third party’s receipt of the field or laboratory results that reported the triggering exceedance. The Central Valley Water Board will post the proposed SQMP/GQMP for a public review and comment period. Stakeholder comments will be considered by Central Valley Water Board staff to determine if additional revisions are appropriate. The third-party may, at its discretion, implement outreach or monitoring contained in a proposed management plan before approval. Members shall comply with the management plans once they are approved by the Executive Officer.

The third-party shall ensure continued implementation of SQMP/GQMPs until approved for completion by the Executive Officer pursuant to the provisions contained in the attached MRP, Appendix MRP-1, section III. The third-party shall submit a progress report in compliance with the provisions contained in the attached MRP, Appendix MRP-1, section I.F.

2. Conditions Requiring Preparation of SQMP/GQMP

Surface Water Quality Management Plan (SQMP)

A SQMP shall be developed by the third-party where: (1) an applicable water quality objective or applicable water quality trigger limit is exceeded (considering applicable averaging periods) twice in a three year period for the same constituent at a monitoring location (trigger limits are described in section VIII of the MRP) and irrigated agriculture may cause or contribute to the exceedances; (2) the Basin Plan requires development of a surface water quality management plan for a constituent or constituents discharged by irrigated agriculture, or (3) the Executive Officer determines that irrigated agriculture may be causing or contributing to a trend of degradation of surface water that may threaten applicable Basin Plan beneficial uses.

Groundwater Quality Management Plan (GQMP)

A GQMP shall be developed by the third-party where: (1) there is a confirmed exceedance (considering applicable averaging periods) of a water quality objective or applicable water quality trigger limit (trigger limits are described in section VIII of the MRP) in a groundwater well and irrigated agriculture may cause or contribute to the exceedance; (2) in high vulnerability groundwater areas to be determined as part of the Groundwater Assessment Report process (see MRP section IV); (3) the Basin Plan requires development of a groundwater quality management plan for a constituent or constituents discharged by irrigated agriculture; or (4) the Executive Officer determines that irrigated agriculture may be causing or contributing to a trend of degradation of groundwater that may threaten applicable Basin Plan beneficial uses.

If the extent of Member contribution to a water quality exceedance(s) or degradation trend is unknown, the third-party may propose activities to be conducted to determine the cause, or eliminate irrigated agriculture as a potential source instead of initiating a management plan. Requirements for source identification studies are set forth in the MRP, Appendix MRP-1, section I.G.

3. SQMP/GQMP Not Required

At the request of the third-party or upon recommendation by Central Valley Water Board staff, the Executive Officer may determine that the development of a SQMP/GQMP is not required. Such a determination may be issued if there is sufficient evidence indicating that Members discharging waste to the affected surface or groundwater are meeting the receiving water limitations given in section III of this Order (e.g., evidence indicates that irrigated agriculture does not cause or contribute to the water quality problem) or the Executive Officer determines that the exceedance is not likely to be remedied or addressed by a management plan.

4. Comprehensive Groundwater Quality Management Plan

In lieu of submitting separate groundwater quality management plans in the timeframe identified in section VIII.H.1, the third-party may submit a Comprehensive Groundwater Quality Management Plan along with its Groundwater Quality Assessment Report. With the exception of the timeframe identified in section VIII.H.1, all other provisions applicable to groundwater quality management plans in this Order and the associated MRP apply to the Comprehensive Groundwater Quality Management Plan. The Comprehensive Groundwater Quality Management Plan must be updated at the same time as the Management Plan Progress Report (see attached MRP, Appendix MRP-1, section I.F) to address any constituents and areas that would have otherwise required submittal of a Groundwater Quality Management Plan.

5. Comprehensive Surface Water Quality Management Plan

In lieu of submitting separate surface water quality management plans in the timeframe identified in section VIII.H.1, the third-party may submit a Comprehensive Surface Water Quality Management Plan or update the Surface Water Quality Management Plan approved under the Coalition Group Conditional Waiver to conform to this Order and MRP. With the exception of the timeframe identified in section VIII.H.1, all other provisions applicable to surface water quality management plans in this Order and the associated MRP apply to the Comprehensive Surface Water Quality Management Plan or an updated Surface Water Quality Management Plan approved under the Coalition Group Conditional Waiver. The Comprehensive Surface Water Quality Management Plan must be updated at the same time as the Management Plan Progress Report (see attached MRP, Appendix MRP-1, section I.F) to address any constituents and areas that would have otherwise required submittal of a Surface Water Quality Management Plan.

J. Technical Reports

Where monitoring required by this Order is not effective in allowing the board to determine the effects of irrigated agricultural waste discharge on state waters or the effectiveness of water quality management practices being implemented, the Executive Officer may require technical reports be provided to determine the effects of irrigated agricultural operations or implemented management practices on surface water or groundwater quality.

K. Notice of Termination

If the third-party wishes to terminate its role in carrying out the third-party responsibilities set forth in section VIII of this Order and other applicable provisions, the third-party shall submit a notice of termination letter to the Central Valley Water Board and all of its Members. Termination of the third-party will occur 30-days from submittal of the notice of termination letter, unless otherwise specified in the letter. With its notice of termination sent to its Members, the third-party shall inform its Members of their obligation to obtain coverage under other WDRs or a waiver of WDRs for their discharges, or inform such Members that they shall cease all discharges of waste to surface and groundwaters.

L. Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Requirements

Approved TMDLs in the Basin Plan that apply to water bodies within the third-party’s geographic area and have allocations for irrigated agriculture shall be implemented in accordance with the applicable Basin Plan provisions. Where required, the third-party shall coordinate with Central Valley Water Board staff to develop a monitoring design and strategy for TMDL implementation. Where applicable, SQMPs shall address TMDL requirements. Waste Discharge Requirements General Order R5-2014-XXXX 34 Growers within the Sacramento River Watershed September 2013

PAGE 35 (SECTION X. RECORD-KEEPING REQUIREMENTS)

The Member and the third-party shall maintain any reports or records required by this Order for five years. Records maintained by the third-party include reports and plans submitted by Members to the third-party for purposes of complying with this Order. Individual Member information used by the third-party to prepare required reports must be maintained electronically and associated with the Member submitting the information. The maintained reports or records, including electronic information, shall be made available to the Central Valley Water Board upon written request of the Executive Officer. This includes all monitoring information, calibration and maintenance records of sampling equipment, copies of reports required by this Order, and records of all data used to complete the reports. Records shall be maintained for a minimum of five years from the date of sample, measurement, report, or application. This five-year period shall be extended during the course of any unresolved litigation regarding the discharge or when requested in writing by the Executive Officer.

ATTACHMENT A INFORMATION SHEET

PAGE 14 (SECTION VIII. GROUNDWATER QUALITY VULNERABILITY)

The third-party is also expected to review readily available studies and assessments of groundwater quality to identify those areas that may be impacted by irrigated agricultural operations. Examples of assessments that the third-party should review include: the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Ground Water Protection Areas and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) Hydrogeologically Vulnerable Areas.

 

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Kelly Huff,
Oct 1, 2013, 10:57 AM
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