Federal and State Water Quality Laws


The Federal Clean Water Act, passed in 1977, is the basis for our water quality laws today.

California State

California’s primary law granting the authority to implement storm water regulations is the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act. This law allowed our California Environmental Protection Agency to create the State Water Resources Control Board and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards.

San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the Comprehensive Water Quality Plan for the San Diego Basin (Basin Plan) in 1994

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board issued regulations concerning storm water discharges in December 2009, affecting all industrial and commercial businesses, construction sites, residents and municipal agencies. These Municipal Storm Water Discharge Requirements have become the basis for the City of Laguna Niguel’s local ordinances.

Construction activity resulting in a land disturbance of one acre or more, or less than one acre but part of a larger common plan of development or sale must obtain the Construction Activities Storm Water General Permit (General Permit). Construction activity includes clearing, grading, excavation, stockpiling, and reconstruction of existing facilities involving removal and replacement. Construction activity does not include routine maintenance such as, maintenance of original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of the facility.

Stormwater Runoff Control Ordinance – Section 6-3-400

This section of the Municipal Code is commonly referred to as the "Water Quality Ordinance," and defines and prohibits illicit connections and discharges. According to Section 6-3-404, no person shall:

•Construct, maintain, operate and/or utilize any illicit connection.

• Cause, allow or facilitate any prohibited discharge

• Act, cause, permit or suffer any agent, employee, or independent contractor, to construct, maintain, operate or utilize any illicit connection, or cause, allow or facilitate any prohibited discharge

Section 6-3-405 states that all new development and significant redevelopment shall be done in accordance with the Local Implementation Plan and any conditions and requirements established by the Community Development Department.