California Wastewater Variances regulations & environmental compliance analysis

California Wastewater Variances: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Waste discharge reports: California Water Code (CWC) 13260 to 13269

Regulatory Agencies
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California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)

Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs)

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 requires dischargers to comply with both the federal technology-based effluent limitations and the state's waste discharge requirements. Dischargers should follow the federal regulations to request a variance from technology-based effluent limitations or pretreatment standards. California's waste discharge requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis. For more information about the federal requirements, see the national section WASTEWATER VARIANCES.

The federal program, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), is also implemented by the RWQCBs, subject to EPA review. See the state section NPDES PERMITS for more information.

Administration and enforcement. Cal/EPA's SWRCB shares responsibility with California's RWQCBs for the administration and enforcement of the state's wastewater discharge regulations, including for NPDES permits. The RWQCBs are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the state's discharge permitting program, including requests for any revisions of wastewater discharge requirements.

State Requirements


CWC 13260 to 13269

Wastewater dischargers that could affect California's water quality are required to file a waste discharge report with the ...

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