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State Water Board Office of Enforcement

State Water Board Office of Enforcement

Supplemental Environmental Project (SEPs)

Background Information

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and its nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards, collectively, the Water Boards) have a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Policy. The Water Boards may allow a discharger to satisfy part of the monetary assessment imposed in an administrative civil liability (ACL) order by completing or funding one or more eligible SEPs. SEPs are projects that enhance the beneficial uses of the waters of the State, have a nexus to the violation(s) cited in the ACL, that provide a benefit to the public at large and that, at the time they are included in the resolution of an ACL action, are not otherwise required of the discharger.

Updates to SEP Policy

The State Water Board’s Office of Enforcement is in the process of revising the current SEP Policy to more clearly incorporate the requirements of Assembly Bill 1071 (AB 1071), pertaining to the CalEPA and its Boards, Departments, and Office (BDOs). The policy will be revised to clarify and include each of the following:

  1. A public process to solicit potential SEPs from disadvantaged communities.
  2. Allowing the amount of a SEP to be up to 50 percent of the enforcement action brought under the jurisdiction of a board, department, or office within the agency.
  3. An annual list of SEPs that may be selected to settle a portion of an enforcement action under the jurisdiction of a board, department, or office within the agency.
  4. A consideration of the relationship between the location of the violation and the location of the proposed SEP.

The SEP Policy revision planned timeline is as follows (to be updated as details become available): public workshop(s) in Spring/Summer 2017, public comment period in Summer 2017, and State Water Board hearing in Fall 2017.

Submitting Project Ideas and Proposals

The Water Boards are currently seeking ideas and proposals for potential SEPs to be reviewed for eligibility and then compiled into a statewide proposed SEP list. This list will be available to the public and updated on a quarterly basis. Most importantly, the proposed SEP list will be provided to dischargers who are issued ACL orders should they choose to implement a SEP as part of their settlement.

Current Proposed SEP List (updated January 2017)

A more defined public process for soliciting potential SEPs will be part of the upcoming policy revision. In the meantime, please contact Ms. Jasmine Oaxaca at Jasmine.Oaxaca@waterboards.ca.gov who can assist in connecting you with the appropriate Regional Board contact.

Additional Information