Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 7. WATER QUALITY [13000 - 16104]

  ( Division 7 repealed and added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482. )

CHAPTER 4. Regional Water Quality Control [13200 - 13286.9]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482. )

ARTICLE 2. General Provisions Relating to Powers and Duties of Regional Boards [13220 - 13228.15]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482. )


Each regional board shall do all of the following:

(a) Establish an office.

(b) Select one of its members as chairperson at the first regular meeting held each year.

(c) Appoint as its confidential employee, who may be exempt from civil service under Section 4 of Article VII of the California Constitution, and fix the salary of, an executive officer who shall meet technical qualifications as defined by the state board. The executive officer shall serve at the pleasure of the regional board.

(d) Employ any other assistants that may be determined necessary to assist the executive officer.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 288, Sec. 20. (SB 1169) Effective January 1, 2011.)


Members of the regional board shall be empowered to administer oaths and issue subpoenas for the attendance and giving of testimony by witnesses and for the production of evidence in any proceeding before the board in any part of the region. The provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1075) of Part I of Division 2 of this code shall apply to regional boards within their own regions, where they shall have the same power as the state board within the state.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482.)


Pursuant to such guidelines as the state board may establish, each regional board shall adopt regulations to carry out its powers and duties under this division.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482.)


(a) Each regional board may delegate any of its powers and duties vested in it by this division to its executive officer excepting only the following: (1) the promulgation of any regulation; (2) the issuance, modification, or revocation of any water quality control plan, water quality objectives, or waste discharge requirement; (3) the issuance, modification, or revocation of any cease and desist order; (4) the holding of any hearing on water quality control plans; and (5) the application to the Attorney General for judicial enforcement but excluding cases of specific delegation in a cease and desist order and excluding the cases described in subdivision (c) of Section 13002 and Sections 13304 and 13340.

(b) Whenever any reference is made in this division to any action that may be taken by a regional board, such reference includes such action by its executive officer pursuant to powers and duties delegated to him by the regional board.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 918.)


Each regional board may issue policy statements relating to any water quality matter within its jurisdiction.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482.)


Each regional board, with respect to its region, shall do all of the following:

(a) Coordinate with the state board and other regional boards, as well as other state agencies with responsibility for water quality, with respect to water quality control matters, including the prevention and abatement of water pollution and nuisance.

(b) Encourage and assist in waste disposal programs, as needed and feasible, and upon application of any person, advise the applicant of the condition to be maintained in any disposal area or receiving waters into which the waste is being discharged.

(c) Require as necessary any state or local agency to investigate and report on any technical factors involved in water quality control or to obtain and submit analyses of water; provided that the burden, including costs, of such reports shall bear a reasonable relationship to the need for the report and the benefits to be obtained therefrom.

(d) Request enforcement by appropriate federal, state and local agencies of their respective water quality control laws.

(e) Report rates of compliance with the requirements of this division.

(f) Recommend to the state board projects which the regional board considers eligible for any financial assistance which may be available through the state board.

(g) Report to the state board and appropriate local health officer any case of suspected contamination in its region.

(h) File with the state board, at its request, copies of the record of any official action.

(i) Take into consideration the effect of its actions pursuant to this chapter on the California Water Plan adopted or revised pursuant to Division 6 (commencing with Section 10000) and on any other general or coordinated governmental plan looking toward the development, utilization, or conservation of the water resources of the state.

(j) Encourage coordinated regional planning and action for water quality control.

(k) In consultation with the state board, identify and post on the Internet a summary list of all enforcement actions undertaken by that regional board and the dispositions of those actions, including any fines assessed. This list shall be updated at least quarterly.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 293, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2007.)


Consistent with classifications adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 13172, each regional board shall review and classify any proposed or currently operating waste disposal site, except any sewage treatment plant or any site which primarily contains fertilizer or radioactive material, within its region.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 90, Sec. 5. Effective March 2, 1982.)


(a) Each regional board, with respect to its region, shall review the facility closure and postclosure plans submitted pursuant to Section 25246 of the Health and Safety Code, to ensure that water quality is adequately protected during closure and the post-closure maintenance period.

(b) The regional board shall approve the facility closure and postclosure plans if it finds that the plans comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations relating to water quality protection and monitoring.

(c) The regional board may condition its approval of the plans in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1631, Sec. 46.)


(a) Concerning any matter that may be submitted to a regional board by a person or entity that is subject to regulation by more than one regional board, the person or entity may submit the matter to one of those regional boards if both of the following requirements are met:

(1) The person or entity submits a written request to all affected regional boards that one regional board be designated to regulate the matter.

(2) All affected regional boards agree in writing to the designation. Unless the board of any affected regional board denies the request, the executive officer of a regional board may grant a request submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) on behalf of that board.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any regional board that is affected by a matter for which a designation is made in accordance with subdivision (a) may take enforcement action with regard to that matter.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 536, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)


(a) Any hearing or investigation by a regional board relating to investigating the quality of waters of the state, prescribing waste discharge requirements, issuing cease and desist orders, requiring the cleanup or abatement of waste, or imposing administrative civil liabilities or penalties may be conducted by a panel of three or more members of the regional board, but any final action in the matter shall be taken by the regional board. Due notice of any hearing shall be given to all affected persons. After a hearing, the panel shall report its proposed decision and order to the regional board and shall supply a copy to all parties who appeared at the hearing and requested a copy.

(b) No party who appears before the panel is precluded from appearing before the regional board at any subsequent hearing relating to the matter. Members of the panel are not disqualified from sitting as members of the regional board in deciding the matter.

(c) The regional board, after making an independent review of the record and taking additional evidence as may be necessary, may adopt, with or without revision, or reject, the proposed decision and order of the panel.

(d) For each meeting agenda notice that a regional board provides pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 11125 of the Government Code, a regional board shall make the agenda notice available in both English and Spanish and may make the agenda notice available in any other language.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 551, Sec. 3. (SB 965) Effective January 1, 2013.)


The members of a regional board, or their designees, with respect to matters within the regional board’s jurisdiction, may carry out prehearing conferences to address any of the matters described in subdivision (b) of Section 11511.5 of the Government Code. No party who appears at a prehearing conference is precluded from appearing before the regional board at any subsequent hearing relating to the matter.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 420, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2003.)

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