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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

California Nonpoint Source Program
California CZARA "Action Plan"

California CZARA "Action Plan"
Prepared by the SWRCB, CCC, EPA HQ, NOAA, EPA Region 9

This "action plan" outlines a framework and activities to achieve an approvable program under CZARA §6217, while improving California's Nonpoint Source Program.

1. Management Measures and Authorities

The SWRCB and CCC will review management measures in consultation with other state and local agencies and develop a Management Measure Review document within 8 months (3/98). The document will include:

  • identification of management measures identification of authorities that implement the management measures identification of who will implement the management measures (e.g., lead agency) existing programs/strategies/implementation plans
  • existing BMP's and BMP guidance
    1. When meeting with other agencies, SWRCB/CCC will look for opportunities to link management measures with existing authorities and programs.
    2. The SWRCB and CCC will identify gaps in existing management measures/authorities/programs and strategies for follow-up.
    3. The SWRCB and CCC may propose alternative management measures, as necessary. If proposing alternatives, the State will:
      • provide justification on why alternative is necessary
      • explain how the alternative management measure will be equally or more effective than the g-guidance measure
    4. With respect to counties and municipalities, the SWRCB and CCC will focus on State authorities (e.g., the CEQA Guidance checklists, General Plan guidelines, Subdivision Map Act, and CCC's Local Coastal Program guidance).
    5. The SWRCB and CCC will adapt and refine CCC manual for polluted run-off as a tool to work with other agencies.

2. Implementation Strategy

SWRCB/CCC/EPA/NOAA agree that the program goal will be to implement management measures (except exclusions), including additional management measures where necessary, within 15 years. It is anticipated that incremental implementation of the management measures will occur through "prioritization" and "targeting" by the SWRCB, CCC and RWQCBs, that may be based on:

  • coastal waters focus 303(d) listed waters sectors (e.g. agriculture, urban, etc.) management measures
  • opportunities to build off of existing programs

The SWRCB and CCC will prepare, by 12/98, a 15-year Implementation Strategy that generally describes how the overall program will be incrementally implemented. The 15-year Strategy will address statewide implementation of the Nonpoint Source Program in a manner that complies with CZARA §6217.

The SWRCB and CCC will also prepare more detailed 5-year Action Strategies. The first 5-year Action Strategy, will also be prepared by 12/98 (see below for relationship to WMI). The 5-year Action Strategy will address the first-tier of priorities, consistent with the 15-year Implementation Strategy.

The Management Measure Review will feed into development of both the 15-year and 5-year Strategies, which will be substantive and succinct documents. To the extent feasible, the 15-year Implementation Strategy will address the 9 key elements as expressed in the EPA NPS Program and Grants Guidance of 1997 and Future Years. EPA agrees that the 15-year Implementation Strategy can serve as California's NPS Management Plan update, if all 9-key elements are addressed. The SWRCB agrees to explore by 3/98 potential policy and legal issues concerning whether or not a formal update to the NPS Management Plan would be necessary.

In addition to the common program elements (see below for discussion of common elements), the following elements will be included in both the 15-year Implementation Strategy and 5-year Action Strategies, with general descriptions in the 15-year Strategy and detailed descriptions in the 5-year Strategies: goals, respective roles of all agencies, priorities, activities, milestones that can be measured and evaluated, review and evaluation including public input. These elements can be based to the fullest extent possible on California's existing CZARA Submittal, including the "Initiatives in NPS Management" document and the reports of the Technical Advisory Committees, as well as the "Description of the implementation process and authorities" on pages 20-21 of NOAA/EPA's Program Development and Approval Guidance Document (January 1993).

3. Relationship of CZARA and the Watershed Management Initiative (WMI)

  1. By 10/97, EPA/SWRCB/RBs will provide instructions for chapter preparation regarding NPS activities. Instructions will anticipate CZARA management measures for next year, but won't ask the RB's to go by management measures for this year. 1997 guidance may address: sectors, watersheds, technical transfer, education, and implementation of 3-tiered approach in the NPS Management Plan. The SWRCB will convene a meeting with the Coastal RB's and the CCC, in Fall 1997.
  2. For 1998, revised NPS instructions will be prepared for the annual update of the WMI chapters based on the Management Measures Review document and draft Implementation Strategy.
  3. The 1998 WMI Chapters will be a key component of the first 5-year Action Strategy.

4. Common Program Elements

Technical Assistance:

CCC/SWRCB will identify technical assistance activities that build off of the "Initiatives in NPS" document. They will be tied to the management measures and additional management measures, and will be included as a component of implementation strategies. They may, for example, be for each program or technical teams for watersheds. It should also address the gap that has been identified for hydromodification.

Critical Coastal Areas:

CCC/SWRCB will describe identification process for critical coastal areas which can be based on the TMDL-303(d) process. Evaluate potential role for CCC in TMDL development and implementation and consider the protection of pristine areas that may be threaten by anticipated land use changes. Link with existing programs (i.e., sanctuaries).

Additional Management Measures:

CCC/SWRCB will develop a process to identify need for additional management measures. May be good to tie to review and evaluation process. Consider treatment of abandoned mines in terms of additional management measure process. Address forestry as per conditions pertaining to need for additional management measures.

Administrative Coordination:

CCC/SWRCB will identify mechanisms to coordinate relevant Federal, state and local program through interagency committees, memorandum of agreement or other mechanisms. This work will also address coordination of CCC, SWRCB, RB's, EPA and NOAA activities.


SWRCB/CCC will examine monitoring ongoing throughout state (e.g., Morro Bay NPS National Monitoring Project) to evaluate effectiveness of management measures to reduce loads and improve water quality. SWRCB/CCC will establish a process to monitor implementation of the management measures. Improve 305(b) reporting as it pertains to NPS.

Program Review & Evaluation:

Measurable milestones in five year action strategy will be basis for program evaluation. NOAA/EPA/State will continue discussion on how to undertake combined programmatic review with public participation. The 15-year Implementation Strategy will reflect this process by 12/98.

Public Participation:

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Opportunities for public participation will be provided for in implementing the program.

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