(a) A regional board, in establishing or reviewing any water quality control plan or waste discharge requirements, or in connection with any action relating to any plan or requirement authorized by this division, may investigate the quality of any waters of the state within its region.
(b)(1) In conducting an investigation specified in subdivision (a), the regional board may require that any person who has discharged, discharges, or is suspected of having discharged or discharging, or who proposes to discharge waste within its region, or any citizen or domiciliary, or political agency or entity of this state who has discharged, discharges, or is suspected of having discharged or discharging, or who proposes to discharge, waste outside of its region that could affect the quality of waters within its region shall furnish, under penalty of perjury, technical or monitoring program reports which the regional board requires. The burden, including costs, of these reports shall bear a reasonable relationship to the need for the report and the benefits to be obtained from the reports. In requiring those reports, the regional board shall provide the person with a written explanation with regard to the need for the reports, and shall identify the evidence that supports requiring that person to provide the reports.
(2) When requested by the person furnishing a report, the portions of a report that might disclose trade secrets or secret processes may not be made available for inspection by the public but shall be made available to governmental agencies for use in making studies. However, these portions of a report shall be available for use by the state or any state agency in judicial review or enforcement proceedings involving the person furnishing the report.
(c) In conducting an investigation pursuant to subdivision (a), the regional board may inspect the facilities of any person to ascertain whether the purposes of this division are being met and waste discharge requirements are being complied with. The inspection shall be made with the consent of the owner or possessor of the facilities or, if the consent is withheld, with a warrant duly issued pursuant to the procedure set forth in Title 13 (commencing with Section 1822.50 ) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. However, in the event of an emergency affecting the public health or safety, an inspection may be performed without consent or the issuance of a warrant.
(d) The state board or a regional board may require any person, including a person subject to a waste discharge requirement under Section 13263 , who is discharging, or who proposes to discharge, wastes or fluid into an injection well, to furnish the state board or regional board with a complete report on the condition and operation of the facility or injection well, or any other information that may be reasonably required to determine whether the injection well could affect the quality of the waters of the state.
(e) As used in this section, “evidence” means any relevant evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of the evidence over objection in a civil action.
(f) The state board may carry out the authority granted to a regional board pursuant to this section if, after consulting with the regional board, the state board determines that it will not duplicate the efforts of the regional board.
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