When a permittee chooses to participate in the P&O Study under Option 2 – Alternative Option for Salt Permitting, they will be required to pay an annual fee to support the study. In general, P&O study participants must maintain current permit performance levels but will be allowed to defer more stringent and costly permitting requirements until such requirements are reevaluated after completion of the Phase 1 P&O Study, and Phase 2 of the Salt Control Program is implemented.

Fees are set by the Central Valley Salinity Coalition (CVSC) with representation from many industry and community permittees. The fees vary by Permit Type/Industry category. Most small dischargers have a minimal fee of a few hundred dollars, large dischargers have higher fees. For a chart showing fees, click here. 

The Central Valley Water Board mailed Notices to Comply for the Salt Control Program on January 5, 2021.  CLICK HERE to pay P&O Study Participation Fees.

CV-SALTS previously prepared the Strategic Salt Accumulation Land and Transportation Study (SSALTS) to identify and evaluate salt management strategies. Using the SSALTS findings as a foundation, the P&O Study will evaluate existing conditions, policies, and engineering alternatives to identify salt management projects and actions to achieve salt sustainability in the Central Valley.

The P&O Study will begin in early 2021 and be completed in 10 to 15 years.

The P&O study includes the following:

  • Evaluate existing conditions by hydrologic region, sources of salinity, and the impact of state and federal policies that affect the management of salt in surface and ground waters.
  • Identify the types and locations of physical projects and develop conceptual designs for preferred projects. Physical projects could include regulated brine line(s), salt sinks, regional and/or subregional de‐salters, recharge areas, deep well injection, and others. 
  • Identify non‐physical actions and begin implementation. These actions may include changes in water supply, use, and management, as well as changes in salt management policies, practices, or regulations.
  • Identify governance structure(s) and seek state and federal funding for preferred physical projects.
  • Determine if Basin Plan amendments are necessary to support the implementation of Phases 2 and 3 of the Salt Control Program.

A copy of the P&O Study work plan is available for download -  Prioritization and Optimization Study: Final Workplan

To learn more about the Salinity Control Program and permitting options, click here.