Thursday, August 30, 2012

San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary Action Plan Released

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released an Action Plan that proposes seven measures for improving water quality, restoring aquatic habitat, and improving the management of the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary. The release of the Action Plan follows the agency’s analysis concluding that existing federal and state water quality programs are not adequately safeguarding the ecosystem.

The Action Plan responds to findings and recommendations made following EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2011 that sought public input on the effectiveness of existing federal and state water quality protection programs. The Action Plan prioritizes the following seven actions to be pursued in partnership with the State Water Resources Control Board, the Regional Water Boards for the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and numerous other state and federal agencies:

  • By 2013, propose a standard for selenium discharges from cities, farms, and oil refineries;
  • By 2013, achieve organophosphate pesticide water quality goals in Sacramento County urban streams;
  • By 2014, set new estuarine habitat standards, including salinity, to improve conditions for aquatic life;
  • By 2017 establish a monitoring and assessment program for water quality in the Delta;
  • Ensure that EPA’s pesticide regulation program more fully considers the effects that pesticides have on aquatic life;
  • Restore and rebuild wetlands and floodplains to sequester drinking water contaminants, methylmercury, and greenhouse gases and make the Delta more resilient to floods, earthquakes, and climate change;
  • Support the development and implementation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.
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