Federal, State and Local Regulations

Striped bass in SF Bay (illustration from US Fish & Wildlife Service)

Many agencies have taken legal and practical steps to reduce PCBs and mercury contamination:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    • The Clean Air Act
    • The Clean Water Act
      • 303(d) impaired waters list
      • National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit program
    • Specific bans and restrictions on PCBs and mercury
  • CA Department of Health
    • Mercury and fish contamination advisory and outreach for SF Bay
  • San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board
    • Declared SF Bay and local waters to be impaired, after years of fish tissue monitoring
    • Set Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), creating healthy limits and pollution reduction goals – for municipal agencies to work toward protecting sport fishing, human health, and wildlife
    • NPDES Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit
  • Santa Clara Valley cities and counties
    • Local ordinances to prevent non-stormwater discharges
    • Requiring Low-Impact Development and transitioning to Green Stormwater Infrastructure to reduce/treat PCBs & mercury in stormwater runoff
    • Finding management areas and source properties