On August 21, 2012, CASA’s Executive Director and representatives of many CASA agencies appeared at the State Water Resources Control Board hearing to provide testimony regarding the proposed Policy For Toxicity Assessment and Control. The proposed policy would significantly change the way in which toxicity is regulated in California and require the imposition of numeric effluent limitations for toxicity in most POTW permits. For over three hours, the Board members heard concerns from stakeholders regarding a number of elements of the proposed policy. These included:
- The requirement to use a new toxicity testing method, the test of significant toxicity (TST) that has not been adopted by any other state and that is not federally promulgated.
- The imposition of single test and monthly median numeric effluent limits
- Proposed numeric chronic and acute water quality objectives and the implications for listing a large number of additional state waters as impaired for unknown toxicity
- Increased monitoring frequencies for most POTWs and the costs associated with these additional tests.
No action was taken at the hearing. The Board members were very engaged and asked many questions of both staff and stakeholders. Each of the Board members articulated issues on which they would like further information before considering a revised policy for adoption. Staff indicated that the policy could be brought back to the Board for adoption as early as October 3, 2012, but it is possible that date might slip.
CASA, along with a number of statewide and regional clean water associations, also submitted detailed written comments on the policy for the Board’s consideration.