Supplemental Environmental Projects

Facilitating water quality improvement projects as restitution for violations under the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s enforcement process.

Supplemental Environmental Projects, or SEPs, allow a discharger to undertake an environmentally beneficial project as restitution for polluting water under the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board)’s enforcement process. For example, an unauthorized sewage or chemical spill into the Bay or a creek could result in a Water Board enforcement action and monetary fines known as Administrative Civil Liabilities (ACLs) levied against the discharger. The discharger may elect to suspend part of the fine by undertaking one or more Supplemental Environmental Projects. SEPs must be related to the location or nature of the violation and should remediate or reduce the probable overall environmental or public health impacts or risks to which the violation contributed, or reduce the likelihood that similar violations will occur in the future.

In the last few years, a number of SEP projects have been private sewer lateral improvement grant/loan funds; SEPs typically go to water quality, restoration, or habitat improvement projects.

This project advances the following Estuary Blueprint goals and actions

Habitat and Living Resources
Water Quality and Quantity



SFEP provides project oversight for active SEPs, to ensure that projects are completed according to agreements between the Water Board and dischargers. SFEP also assists in connecting projects to potential SEP opportunities.

Considering Undertaking an SEP? Use This List of Potential Projects

A list of potential projects is available here.

If you’re considering any of these projects and would like further information, please contact us.

How to Get Your Project Considered for an SEP

SEP opportunities arise when a violation or spill event occurs, the Water Board successfully pursues enforcement action, and the discharger elects to resolve the enforcement action through an SEP rather than simply paying an ACL liability, or fine. Because only a few SEPs may be approved in any given year, chances are low that any one project will be selected. In order to minimize the effort involved for project proponents, we ask for a simple concept proposal initially. If your project is selected by a discharger for consideration, you will be asked to develop a broader proposal including a detailed project description, budget, milestones, description of benefit, and performance measures. The full proposal must demonstrate consistency with the State Water Board SEP Policy.

SEPs are generally considered for projects exceeding $20,000. There is no upper limit; however, most funded projects fall in the $100,000-$250,000 range.

To submit a project concept, or if you have questions, please contact us.

Ongoing Projects

Peyton Slough Hydraulic Relief Project

This project will remove a hydraulic restriction in Peyton Slough caused by the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, and replace the railroad bridge with a wider and deeper structure. The railroad bridge is too narrow and too shallow to provide sufficient water exchange between McNabney Marsh and Suisun Bay.

Discharger: Mt. View Sanitary District
SEP Amount: $125,000
Start Date: 12/14/2010                              Completion Date: 10/01/2019

Southeastern Creekside Marsh Habitat Enhancement Project

The goal of this project is to improve the habitat for flora and fauna in the eastern portion of Creekside Marsh by increasing the size of the existing single culvert near Bon Air Road to increase flushing action in the marsh..

Discharger: Ross Valley Sanitary District
SEP Amount: $249,370
Start Date: 10/15/2012                                    Completion Date: 01/15/2021

Sonoma Valley County Sanitary District - Private Sewer Lateral Replacement Incentive Program

This program will offer reimbursement for repair and/or replacement of sewer laterals for single family residences.

Discharger: Sonoma Valley County Sanitary District
SEP Amount: $50,000
Start Date: 09/30/2015                                    Completion Date: 09/30/2019

Yosemite Slough Shoreline Restoration Visitor Interpretive Center

The SEP will fill a funding gap for the construction of a Visitor Interpretive Center that will be an integral part of Phase II of the Yosemite Slough Restoration Project, a three-phase $28.8 million plan to create the largest contiguous wetland in the county of San Francisco.

Discharger: San Francisco Public Utility Commission
SEP Amount: $611,100
Start Date: 01/31/2017                                    Completion Date: 10/31/2018

Petaluma River Cleanup Program: A partnership of Citizens and the City of Petaluma

The City of Petaluma proposes to enhance existing efforts to remove trash and debris from the Petaluma River and its watershed by expanding annual cleanup event efforts led by the Friends of the Petaluma River, and by supporting Petaluma Police Department efforts to identify and cleanup homeless encampments.

Discharger: City of Petaluma
SEP Amount: $117,600
Start Date: 10/15/2017                                    Completion Date: $12/15/2019

Water Distribution Pipe Leak Monitoring and Response Near Creeks Project

This is a Enhanced Compliance Action (ECA). ECAs are defined as projects that enable a discharger to make capital or operational improvements beyond those required by law and are separate from projects designed to merely bring a discharger into compliance. ECAs are intended to prevent additional or future impacts to beneficial uses. The goal of this project is to minimize the risk of unplanned discharges of potable water to local creeks by installing leak detection loggers on water distribution pipes to detect and repair leaks near creeks when they are small, and detect pipe breaks faster than the current approach.

Discharger: East Bay Municipal Utility District
SEP Amount: $382,095
Start Date: 12/31/2017                                    Completion Date: 09/30/2020

Cascade Canyon Preserve Stream Crossings

Discharger: Marin Municipal Water District
SEP Amount: $63,000
Start Date: 04/09/2018                                   Completion Date: 12/31/2021

Wet Weather Storage Expansion Project

Discharger: SAM (Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside)
SEP Amount: $300,000
Start Date: 08/27/2018                                  Completion Date: 03/31/2020

Update the 2014 Best Management Practices Manual for Drinking Water System Releases, Publicize the Update, and Provide Training on the Updated Manual

Discharger: San Jose Water Company
SEP Amount: $37,500
Start Date: 08/27/2018                                Completion Date: 09/30/2021

Drinking Water Distribution Reservoir Chlorine Analyzer Installation Project

Discharger: East Bay Municipal Utility District
SEP Amount: $60,050
Start Date: 05/24/2019                                  Completion Date: 09/30/2020