Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills Oct. 8 addressing a variety of safe drinking water issues in California.
The bills include:
- AB 21 (Alejo), which creates the Safe Drinking Water Small Community Emergency Grant Fund to be administered by the California Department of Public Health;
- AB 30 (Perea), which removes the sunset date for a grant fund providing grants to small communities for the construction of wastewater collection, treatment or disposal projects;
- AB 115 (Perea), which assists small, disadvantaged communities seeking funds to construct clean drinking water infrastructure by allowing multiple water systems to apply for state funds as a single applicant;
- AB 118 (Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee), which declares certain water systems in severely disadvantaged communities as eligible for a grant instead of a loan from the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund;
- AB 240 (Rendon), which requires mutual water companies to comply with open meeting, public record, and budget requirements and allows them to impose liens to collect unpaid charges. It also allows the Water Replenishment District of Southern California to receive specified Department of Public Health grants to improve drinking water infrastructure in communities served by mutual water companies in the City of Maywood;
- AB 803 (Gomez), which modifies the State Water Resources Control Board’s and Regional Water Quality Control Boards' regulation of recycled water.
- SB 322 (Hueso), which requires the Department of Public Health in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board to investigate the feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse of recycled water and to provide a final report on that investigation to the Legislature no later than Dec. 31, 2016. It also requires DPH to complete the public review draft of its report by Sept. 1, 2016.
In a signing message for SB 322, the governor said information on criteria for direct potable reuse is “past due” and called recycling the key to creating more high quality water for California. He also signaled his interest in reorganizing the state’s drinking water program under the State Water Resources Control Board.
“In an effort to enhance the use of recycled water, I have proposed the consolidation of the management of the drinking water program and all other water quality programs, including recycled water, under the State Water Board,” the governor wrote.
ACWA supported AB 115, AB 118, AB 803 and SB 322 and had a watch position on the others.
Article originally submitted to ACWA Water News by Lisa Lien-Mager on 10/09/13