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Improving Environmental Regulation: Learning from the San Francisquito Creek Flood Control Program

Gabriela Greig
Zachary Johnson
Vihan Khanna
Tremaine Kirkman
Tebello Qhotsokoane
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board
2015

On September 28, 2015, the Autumn Quarter Stanford Public Policy Senior Practicum team began work with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board). The Water Board charged us with analyzing the case of the San Francisquito Creek Flood Control Project, for which they had issued a conditional 401 Certification earlier in the year. A number of problems had arisen during the process, and we were to determine what lessons could be learned, and how the permitting process could be improved to better meet the needs of applicants and the Water Board.

Our research consisted of analyzing the Water Board’s 401 Certification process and official documents related to the San Francisquito Creek case, conducting interviews with various stakeholders in the San Francisquito Creek project—the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA, the applicant), the Water Board, professors, representatives from environmental agencies, and concerned members of the public—and examining best practices for permitting in other states. ...

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