Governing Law and Regulations
California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Water Quality Division
Cal/EPA Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB)
California Department of Public Health (DPH) Division of Laboratory Science ELAP
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. California follows the federal Clean Water Act in requiring effluent toxicity monitoring, which is specified in a facility's waste discharge permit.
SWRCB has also established a water quality control plan for ocean waters of the state, known as the California Ocean Plan. In formulating the plan, SWRCB has developed bioassay protocols to evaluate the effect of municipal and industrial waste discharges on the marine environment.
The state's Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) has established standards for environmental laboratory testing. State laboratories are required to adhere to ELAP standards, which are generally stricter and more comprehensive than the national standards.
• Administration and enforcement. SWRCB's Water Quality Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the state's toxicity testing requirements. RWQCBs are responsible for developing the specific monitoring requirements of discharge permits. DPH administers the state's ELAP.
CAL/EPA BIOLOGICAL TESTING PROGRAM