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Contact EPA Pacific Southwest Water Division

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

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

California Nonpoint Source Program
Letter of Transmittal of Findings

U.S. Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

June 30, 1998

Rusty Areias, Chairman
California Coastal Commission
1400 "N" Street, Suite 9
Sacramento, California 95814

John Caffrey, Chairman
State Water Resources Control Board
901 P Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Mr. Areias and Mr. Caffrey:

This letter transmits the Findings for the California Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in accordance with Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 (CZARA). NOAA and EPA are very pleased to inform you that we approve the State's program in accordance with Section 6217(c)(1) of CZARA, subject to the enclosed conditions. The enclosed Findings become effective as of the date of this letter.

NOAA and EPA appreciate the substantial effort you have put into developing your coastal nonpoint program, including the participation and input of many different groups that will be involved in implementing the program. We also encourage you to continue your efforts to implement the Action Plan which was developed in 1997 at a meeting among staff from EPA Headquarters and EPA Region 9, NOAA, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the California Coastal Commission (CCC). The Action Plan is intended to improve California's Nonpoint Source Program as well as assisting the State in meeting the requirements of Section 6217 of CZARA. EPA and NOAA anticipate that the completion of the activities in the Action Plan will address shortcomings found in the State's Coastal Nonpoint Program submittal in a manner that will provide California with a more effective nonpoint source program and help meet the conditions for program approval identified in the Findings. EPA and NOAA encourage the State to involve a wide range of stakeholders in preparing and implementing a nonpoint source program that more fully protects California's water quality and complies with CZARA.

We recognize that, even as coastal states and territories have moved forward in developing coastal nonpoint programs, several concerns remain regarding implementation, including the ambitious scope and time frame for the program, the difficulty in making programmatic and regulatory changes to state programs, and the limited availability of resources. Based on extensive discussions with coastal states and other interested parties regarding these concerns, NOAA and EPA recently noticed for public review and comment a proposed set of administrative changes that we believe will help states achieve full approval of their coastal nonpoint programs. NOAA and EPA are now in the process of reviewing the comments received on these proposed administrative changes. Once the administrative changes have been finalized, we will undertake a process, in consultation with the states, to review each state's Findings and modify those Findings as appropriate.

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NOAA and EPA recognize that the proposed administrative changes may impact these Findings. We expect the process of finalizing the changes and applying them to individual state Findings to be conducted expeditiously, however, it will require some additional time and effort that NOAA and EPA do not feel should further delay the start of program implementation. Therefore, we feel it is important to proceed with the issuance of program approval decisions since many portions of state coastal nonpoint programs have been found to be approvable and states and territories can make substantial progress in protecting and restoring coastal resources by implementing those approvable elements.

We want to assure you of our commitment to proceed quickly in making necessary administrative changes and in working with you to ensure successful implementation of your coastal nonpoint program. We will be exploring ways to provide additional financial and technical support for your program and look forward to sharing the wealth of information we have gained from reviewing all of the state coastal nonpoint programs. States and territories have developed many valuable tools and techniques to address coastal nonpoint source pollution and we will disseminate information on these innovative approaches in order to assist you in your efforts to control coastal nonpoint pollution.

Please note that the approval decision made for the California coastal nonpoint program does not relieve the State of any requirements under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In this regard, please note that in implementing your coastal nonpoint program, Section 9 of the ESA prohibits any take of listed species in the absence of an incidental take statement under 50 CFR 402.14, or authorization of take under Section 10. If you have any questions regarding the requirements of the ESA, please contact the Southwest Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service (526-980-4020) or Region 1 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (503-231-6158).

If you have any questions regarding the Findings, please call Jeff Benoit (301-713-3155) or Felicia Marcus (415-744-1001), or have your staff call Marcella Jansen (301-713-3098, ext. 143) or Sam Ziegler (415-972-3399).


Jeffrey R. Benoit, Director
Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Felicia Marcus, Regional Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9

Enclosure: Findings for the California Coastal Nonpoint Program

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