State Water Board: Meeting Regulations is “Essential Governmental Function”


From the State Water Board


Compliance with Water Board Requirements During the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Emergency

The State Water Resources Control Board and the nine California Regional Water Quality Control Boards (the Water Boards) are continuing their efforts to protect public health, safety, and the environment consistent with all federal, state, and local public health directives and guidelines related to COVID-19.

Please be aware that timely compliance by the regulated community with all Water Board orders and other requirements (including regulations, permits, contractual obligations, primacy delegations, and funding conditions) is generally considered to be an essential function during the COVID-19 response. As a result, the Water Boards consider compliance with board-established orders and other requirements to be within the essential activities, essential governmental functions, or comparable exceptions to shelter-in-place directives provided by local public health officials.

If there is a specific Water Board order or requirement that cannot be timely met because it would be inconsistent with current governmental directives or guidelines related to COVID-19, the entity responsible for compliance with the Water Board order or requirement must notify the applicable Water Board immediately. The notification shall be via electronic mail to the applicable Water Board using the appropriate email address identified below, and shall include:

  • the specific Water Board order, regulation, permit, or other requirement that cannot be timely met,
  • the inconsistent COVID-19 directive or guideline,
  • an explanation of why the responsible entity cannot timely meet the Water Board order or requirement, and
  • any action that the entity will take in lieu of complying with the specific Water Board order or requirement.

Water Board staff will do their best to respond within 24/48 hours.

Please note that more specific directions for certain types of Water Board orders and other requirements may also be provided.

Contacts for the Water Boards

State Water Board – Water Quality – Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order

[email protected]