As discussed above, Congress enacted major legislation dealing with groundwater quality protection during the 1970s. Regulatory programs initiated by federal legislation, such as the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and its amendments, are administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Some administration and enforcement activities related to federal legislation have been delegated to California State agencies.
The California Legislature enacted legislation expanding efforts for groundwater quality protection in California beyond federal requirements. The Legislature assigned several State agencies various responsibilities for investigation, mitigation, and control of groundwater pollution and contamination.
The lead enforcement agency for most groundwater quality protection issues in California is the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) and the nine California Regional Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards). The State Board oversees the activities of the nine Regional Boards.
The EPA, the Department of Health Services, and the State Board have adopted regulations or standards establishing monitoring requirements for "waste facilities". These regulations or standards include requirements for design and performance of monitoring wells that are often more stringent than standards in this bulletin.
Other State government organizations concerned or directly involved with groundwater quality assessment or protection in California include:
The Division of Oil and Gas has authority and responsibility for geothermal wells and other special wells constructed in the State's Geothermal Resources Areas (pursuant to Chapter 4, Division 3, California Public Resources Code). Shallow wells drilled for geothermal observation are subject to regulations and standards established by DOG.
After July 17, 1991, the California Environmental Protection Agency will oversee the activities of the State Water Resources Control Board and the Integrated Waste Management Board. Some of the environmental protection activities of the Department of Health Services and the Department of Food and Agriculture will also come under the California Environmental Protection Agency.