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AB-217 Safe Drinking Water for All Act.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.
 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Safe Drinking Water for All Act.

SEC. 2.

 Article 10.5 (commencing with Section 595) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

Article  10.5. Safe Drinking Water Fee for Nondairy Confined Animal Facilities
595.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Fee” means the safe drinking water fee for nondairy confined animal facilities.
(b) “Fund” means the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund established by Section 116767 of the Health and Safety Code.
(c) (1) “Nondairy confined animal facilities” means bovine operations, poultry operations, swine operations, and other livestock operations, excluding dairies, where all of the following apply:
(A) Operations are designed to corral, pen, or otherwise enclose or hold domestic livestock.
(B) Feeding is exclusively by means other than grazing.
(C) Facilities are subject to annual fees for confined animal facilities adopted in accordance with Section 13260 of the Water Code.
(2) “Nondairy confined animal facilities” does not include facilities subject to Article 14.5 (commencing with Section 62215) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 21.
596.
 (a) Beginning in the 2021 calendar year, each producer owning a nondairy confined animal facility shall pay annually to the secretary a safe drinking water fee. The amount of the fee paid annually to the secretary shall equal one thousand dollars ($1,000) for a producer that owns a single nondairy confined animal facility. For a producer that owns more than one nondairy confined animal facility, the amount of the fee paid annually to the secretary shall equal one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the first facility and seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) per each facility thereafter owned by the same producer.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the amount of the fee paid annually to the secretary by a producer that owns more than one nondairy confined animal facility shall not exceed twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) per year.
(c) The secretary may prescribe, adopt, and enforce regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this article.
597.
 The secretary shall deposit all moneys received under this article into the fund.

SEC. 3.

 Article 6.5 (commencing with Section 14615) is added to Chapter 5 of Division 7 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

Article  6.5. Fertilizer Safe Drinking Water Fee
14615.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to require licensees of bulk fertilizing materials, and to authorize licensees of packaged fertilizing materials, to pass the fertilizer safe drinking water fee on to the end user of the fertilizer.
(b) For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Bulk fertilizing material” has the same meaning as applies to “bulk material” in Section 14517.
(2) “Compost” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14525.
(3) “Fertilizing material” means any commercial fertilizer, agricultural mineral, auxiliary soil and plant substance, organic input material, or packaged soil amendment. “Fertilizing material” does not include compost.
(4) “Fund” means the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund established by Section 116767 of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) “Noncommercial use” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14549.
(6) “Packaged” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14551.
14616.
 (a) In addition to the assessments provided in Section 14611, during calendar years 2020 to 2034, inclusive, a licensee whose name appears on the label of packaged fertilizing materials labeled for noncommercial use shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of six mills ($0.006) per dollar of sales for all sales of fertilizing materials to be deposited into the fund.
(b) In addition to the assessments provided in Section 14611, during calendar years 2020 to 2034, inclusive, a licensee whose name appears on the label of fertilizing materials, excluding packaged fertilizing materials labeled for noncommercial use, shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of one cent ($0.01) per dollar of sales for all sales of fertilizing materials to be deposited into the fund.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2035, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2035, deletes or extends that date.
14617.
 (a) In addition to the assessments provided in Section 14611, beginning with calendar year 2035, a licensee whose name appears on the label of packaged fertilizing materials labeled for noncommercial use shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of two mills ($0.002) per dollar of sales for all sales of fertilizing materials to be deposited into the fund.
(b) In addition to the assessments provided in Section 14611, beginning with calendar year 2035, a licensee whose name appears on the label of a fertilizing material, excluding packaged fertilizing materials labeled for noncommercial use, shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of four mills ($0.004) per dollar of sales for all sales of fertilizing materials to be deposited into the fund.
(c) (1) The secretary may adjust the fertilizer safe drinking water fee through regular or emergency regulation as necessary to meet but not exceed 70 percent of the anticipated funding need for nitrate in the most recent assessment of funding need adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 116769 of the Health and Safety Code, or the sum of seven million dollars ($7,000,000), whichever is less. By October 1 of each year, the secretary shall notify all licensees of the amount of the fertilizer safe drinking water fee to be assessed in the following calendar year.
(2) An emergency regulation adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall be adopted by the secretary in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.  The adoption of these regulations is an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare. Any emergency regulations adopted by the secretary pursuant to this subdivision shall remain in effect until revised by the secretary.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2035.
14618.
 (a) (1) A licensee whose name appears on the label who sells or distributes bulk fertilizing materials shall charge an unlicensed purchaser the fertilizer safe drinking water fee as a charge that is separate from, and not included in, any other fee, charge, or other amount paid by the purchaser. This fee shall be included on the bill of sale as a separate line item.
(2) (A) A licensee whose name appears on the label of packaged fertilizing materials may include the fertilizer safe drinking water fee as a charge that is separate from, and not included in, any other fee, charge, or other amount paid by the purchaser or may include the charge with the assessment collected pursuant to Section 14611 as a separate line item on the bill of sale and identified as the California Regulatory and Safe Drinking Water Assessment.
(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a licensee whose name appears on the label who sells or distributes bulk fertilizing material may include the fertilizer safe drinking water fee with the assessment collected pursuant to Section 14611 as a separate line item on the bill of sale and identified as the California Regulatory and Safe Drinking Water Assessment.
(b) The secretary may prescribe, adopt, and enforce regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this article.
(c) Beginning July 1, 2022, the secretary may retain up to 5 percent of the moneys collected pursuant to this article for reasonable costs associated with the implementation and enforcement of this article.
14619.
 The secretary shall deposit all moneys received under this article into the fund.

SEC. 4.

 Article 14.5 (commencing with Section 62215) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 21 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

Article  14.5. Dairy Safe Drinking Water Fee
62215.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the dairy safe drinking water fee described in Section 62216 be paid for all milk produced in the state, regardless of grade.
(b) For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Fee” means the dairy safe drinking water fee.
(2) “Fund” means the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund established by Section 116767 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) “Manufacturing milk” has the same meaning as defined in Section 32509.
(4) “Market milk” has the same meaning as defined in Section 32510.
(5) “Milk” includes market milk and manufacturing milk.
62216.
 (a) Beginning January 1, 2022, each handler, including a producer-handler, shall deduct the sum of two cents and three hundred twenty-five-tenths mills ($0.020325) per hundredweight of milk from payments made to producers for milk, including the handler’s own production, as a dairy safe drinking water fee.
(b) The secretary shall adopt regulations necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of this section by January 1, 2022.
62217.
 (a) A handler shall pay the dairy safe drinking water fee to the secretary on or before the 45th day following the last day of the month in which the milk was received.
(b) The secretary shall deposit all moneys received under this article into the fund.
(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the secretary may retain up to 4 percent of the total amount that is paid to the secretary pursuant to this article for reasonable costs of the secretary associated with the implementation and enforcement of this article.
(2) Beginning July 1, 2022, the secretary may retain up to 2 percent of the moneys collected pursuant to this article for reasonable costs of the secretary associated with the implementation and enforcement of this article.
(d) The secretary may require handlers, including cooperative associations acting as handlers, to make reports at any intervals and in any detail that the secretary finds necessary for the accurate collection of the fee.
(e) For the purposes of enforcing this article, the secretary, through the secretary’s duly authorized representatives and agents, shall have access to the records of every producer and handler. The secretary shall have at all times free and unimpeded access to any building, yard, warehouse, store, manufacturing facility, or transportation facility in which any milk or milk product is produced, bought, sold, stored, bottled, handled, or manufactured.
(f) Any books, papers, records, documents, or reports made to, acquired by, prepared by, or maintained by the secretary pursuant to this article that would disclose any information about finances, financial status, financial worth, composition, market share, or business operations of any producer or handler, excluding information that solely reflects transfers of production base and pool quota among producers, is confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person other than the person from whom the information was received, except pursuant to the final order of a court with jurisdiction, or as necessary for the proper determination of any proceeding before the secretary.

SEC. 5.

 Chapter 4.6 (commencing with Section 116765) is added to Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

CHAPTER  4.6. Safe and Affordable Drinking Water
Article  1. Legislative Findings and Declarations
116765.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to secure safe drinking water for all Californians by establishing the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in order to address current barriers to safe drinking water, including, but not limited to, lack of funding for interim and long-term drinking water solutions, the need for funding for technical assistance, and funding for long-term operation and maintenance costs.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that revenue from fees deposited in the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund be available annually for the purposes of this chapter.
Article  2. Definitions
116766.
 For the purposes of this chapter:
(a) “Administrator” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116686.
(b) “Board” means the State Water Resources Control Board.
(c) “Community water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275.
(d) “Disadvantaged community” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275.
(e) “Domestic well” means a groundwater well used to supply water for the domestic needs of an individual residence or water systems that are not public water systems and that have no more than four service connections.
(f) “Eligible applicant” means a public water system, including, but not limited to, a mutual water company; a public utility; a public agency, including, but not limited to, a local educational agency that owns or operates a public water system; a nonprofit organization; a federally recognized Indian tribe; a state Indian tribe listed on the Native American Heritage Commission’s California Tribal Consultation List; an administrator; or a groundwater sustainability agency.
(g) “Fund” means the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund established pursuant to Section 116767.
(h) “Fund implementation plan” means the fund implementation plan adopted pursuant to Section 116769.
(i) “Groundwater sustainability agency” has the same meaning as defined in Section 10721 of the Water Code.
(j) “Low-income household” means a household with an income that is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
(k) “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275.
(l) “Replacement water” includes, but is not limited to, bottled water, vended water, point-of-use, or point-of-entry treatment units.
(m) “Retail water system” has the same meaning as provided in Section 116455.
(n) “Safe drinking water” means drinking water that meets primary and secondary drinking water standards and applicable regulations and does not contain unhealthy levels of copper or lead.
(o) “Service connection” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275.
(p) “State small water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275.
(q) “Vended water” has the same meaning as defined in Section 111070.
Article  3. Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund
116767.
 (a) The Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, all moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the board without regard to fiscal years, in accordance with this chapter. Moneys in the fund at the close of the fiscal year shall remain in the fund and shall not revert to the General Fund. Moneys in the fund shall not be available for appropriation or borrowed for use for any purpose not established in this chapter unless that use of the moneys receives an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership in each house of the Legislature.
(b) The board shall report annually in the Governor’s budget fund revenues, including interest revenues, expenditures, and fund balances.
116768.
 (a) The board shall administer the fund for the purposes of this chapter to provide a source of funding to secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure. The board shall prioritize the use of this funding to assist disadvantaged communities and low-income households. In order to maximize the use of other funding sources for capital construction projects when available, the board shall prioritize use of this funding for costs other than those related to capital construction costs, except for capital construction costs associated with consolidation and service extension to reduce the ongoing unit cost of service and to increase sustainability of drinking water infrastructure and service delivery. Beginning January 1, 2020, an expenditure from the fund shall be consistent with the annual fund implementation plan.
(b) In accordance with subdivision (a), the board shall expend moneys in the fund for grants, loans, contracts, or services to assist eligible applicants with any of the following:
(1) The provision of replacement water, as needed, to ensure immediate protection of health and safety as a short-term solution.
(2) The development, implementation, and sustainability of long-term drinking water solutions that include, but are not limited to, the following:
(A) Technical assistance, planning, construction, repair, and operation and maintenance costs associated with replacing, blending, or treating drinking water or with fixing or replacing failing water system infrastructure, pipes, or fixtures. Technical assistance and planning costs may include, but are not limited to, analyses to identify, and efforts to further, opportunities to reduce the unit cost of providing drinking water through organizational and operational efficiency improvements, system consolidation and service extension, implementation of new technology, and other options and approaches to reduce costs.
(B) Operations and maintenance costs associated with consolidated water systems, extended drinking water services, or reliance on a substituted drinking water source.
(C) Creating and maintaining natural means and green infrastructure solutions that contribute to sustainable drinking water.
(D) Consolidating water systems.
(E) Extending drinking water services to other public water systems, domestic wells, or state small water systems.
(F) The satisfaction of outstanding long-term debt obligations of public water systems where the board determines that a system’s lack of access to capital markets renders this solution the most cost effective for removing a financial barrier to the system’s sustainable, long-term provision of drinking water.
(3) Identifying and providing outreach to Californians who are eligible to receive assistance from the fund.
(4) Testing the drinking water quality of domestic wells serving low-income households in high-risk areas identified pursuant to Section 117211.
(5) The provision of administrative and managerial services under Section 116686.
(6) Provision of wastewater treatment plant operations and maintenance for areas in which polluted water originates from outside the state.
(c) The board may provide money from the fund to the Attorney General for the purpose of litigation brought against parties responsible for contamination of drinking water supplies to recover the costs of remediation, replacement drinking water supplies, or other board activities that restore safe drinking water to communities, including the costs of litigation. All funds recovered through litigation shall be deposited into the fund.
(d) The board may expend moneys from the fund for reasonable costs associated with administration of the fund. Beginning July 1, 2022, the board may expend no more than 5 percent of the annual revenues from the fund for reasonable costs associated with administration of the fund.
(e) The board may undertake any of the following actions to implement the fund:
(1) Provide for the deposit of any of the following moneys into the fund:
(A) Federal contributions.
(B) Voluntary contributions, gifts, grants, or bequests.
(C) Settlements from parties responsible for contamination of drinking water supplies.
(2) Enter into agreements for contributions to the fund from the federal government, local or state agencies, and private corporations or nonprofit organizations.
(3) Provide for appropriate audit, accounting, and fiscal management services, plans, and reports relative to the fund.
(4) Direct portions of the fund to a subset of eligible applicants as required or appropriate based on funding source and consistent with the annual fund implementation plan.
(5) Direct moneys deposited into the fund described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) towards a specific project, program, or study.
(6) Contribute funding available from other sources related to water quality to the fund or combine funding from the other sources with money from the fund to support activities otherwise authorized by this article.
(7) Take additional action as may be appropriate for adequate administration and operation of the fund.
(f) In administering the fund, the board shall make reasonable efforts to ensure all of the following:
(1) That parties responsible for contamination of drinking water supplies affecting an eligible applicant who can be directly or easily identified by the board pay or reimburse costs associated with contamination.
(2) That funds are used to secure the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure, including, but not limited to, requiring adequate technical, managerial, and financial capacity of eligible applicants as part of funding agreement outcomes. Funding shall be prioritized to implement consolidations and service extensions when feasible, and administrative and managerial contracts or grants entered into pursuant to Section 116686 where applicable. Funds shall not be used to delay, prevent, or avoid the consolidation or extension of service to public water systems where it is feasible and the least-cost alternative. The board may set appropriate requirements as a condition of funding, including, but not limited to, a system technical, managerial, or financial capacity audit, improvements to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, an evaluation of alternative treatment technologies, and a consolidation or service extension feasibility study. As a condition of funding, the board may require a domestic well with nitrate contamination where ongoing septic system failure may be causing or contributing to contamination of a drinking water source to conduct an investigation and project to address the septic system failure if adequate funding sources are identified and accessible.
(3) That funds are not used to subsidize large-scale nonpotable use.
(4) That the total uncommitted amount in the fund does not exceed two times the anticipated funding need in the most recent assessment of funding need.
(g) In administering the fund, the board shall ensure that all moneys deposited into the fund from the safe drinking water fee for nondairy confined animal facilities pursuant to Article 10.5 (commencing with Section 595) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code, the fertilizer safe drinking water fee pursuant to Article 6.5 (commencing with Section 14615) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 of the Food and Agricultural Code, and the dairy safe drinking water fee pursuant to Article 14.5 (commencing with Section 62215) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 21 of the Food and Agricultural Code shall be used to address nitrate-related contamination issues.
(h) At least once every 10 years, the board shall conduct a public review and assessment of the fund to determine all of the following:
(1) The effectiveness of the fund in securing access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.
(2) If the fees deposited into the fund have been appropriately expended.
(3) For community water systems that have received funding for 10 years or more and for which self-sufficiency has not been achieved, the actions that have been taken, the reasons why self-sufficiency has not been achieved, and, if available, ways in which the community water system may become self-sufficient.
(4) What other actions are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(i) Neither the board nor any employee of the board may be held liable for any act that is necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The board or any authorized person shall not be deemed to have incurred or to be required to incur any obligation to provide additional funding or undertake additional action solely as a result of having undertaken an action pursuant to this chapter.
(j) (1) The board shall convene an environmental justice advisory committee, for the purposes of this section, consisting of at least three members, to advise it in conducting the public review and assessment pursuant to subdivision (h) and any other pertinent matter in implementing this chapter. The advisory committee shall be comprised of representatives from communities in the state with the most significant exposure to water pollution, including, but not limited to, communities with minority populations or low-income populations, or both.
(2) The board shall appoint committee members to the environmental justice advisory committee from nominations received from environmental justice organizations and community groups.
(3) The board shall provide reasonable per diem for attendance at environmental justice advisory committee meetings by committee members from nonprofit organizations.
116769.
 By July 1 of each year, the board shall do all of the following:
(a) Prepare and make available a report of expenditures from the fund.
(b) Adopt, after a public hearing, an assessment of funding need, based on available data, that includes all of the following:
(1) Identification of systems and populations potentially in need of assistance, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) A list of systems that consistently fail to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water. The list shall include all of the following:
(i) Any public water system that consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
(ii) Any community water system that serves a disadvantaged community that must charge fees that exceed the affordability threshold established in the board’s Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan in order to supply, treat, and distribute potable water that complies with federal and state drinking water standards.
(iii) Any state small water system that consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
(B) A list of programs that assist, or that will assist, households supplied by a domestic well that consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water. This list shall include the number and approximate location of households served by each program without identifying exact addresses or other personal information.
(C) A list of public water systems and state small water systems that may be at risk of failing to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
(D) An estimate of the number of households that are served by domestic wells or state small water systems in high-risk areas identified pursuant to Section 117211. The estimate shall identify approximate locations of households, without identifying exact addresses or other personal information, in order to identify potential target areas for outreach and assistance programs.
(E) An estimate of the need related to drinking water containing unhealthy levels of copper or lead that includes, but is not limited to, unhealthy levels of lead and copper in drinking water in schools and daycare facilities.
(2) An analysis of anticipated funding, per contaminant, needed for known projects, services, or programs by eligible applicants, consistent with the fund implementation plan, including any funding needed for existing long-term funding commitments from the fund. The board shall identify and consider other existing funding sources able to support any projects, services, or programs identified, including, but not limited to, local funding capacity, state or federal funding sources for capital projects, funding from responsible parties, and specialized funding sources contributing to the fund.
(3) An estimate of the funding needed for the next fiscal year based on the amount available in the fund, anticipated funding needs, other existing funding sources, and other relevant data and information.
(c) (1) Adopt, after a public hearing, a fund implementation plan and policy handbook with priorities and guidelines for expenditures of the fund.
(2) The board shall work with a multistakeholder advisory group to establish priorities and guidelines for the fund implementation plan and policy handbook. The multistakeholder advisory group shall be open to participation by all of the following:
(A) Representatives of entities paying into the fund.
(B) Public water systems.
(C) Technical assistance providers.
(D) Local agencies.
(E) Nongovernmental organizations.
(F) Residents served by community water systems in disadvantaged communities, state small water systems, and domestic wells.
(G) The public.
(3) The adoption of a fund implementation plan and policy handbook and the implementation of the fund pursuant to the policy handbook are not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
Article  5. Statewide Safe and Affordable Drinking Water System Charge
116771.
 (a) There is hereby imposed a statewide safe and affordable drinking water system charge of fifty cents ($0.50) per service connection per month on all retail water systems.
(b) (1) By July 1, 2020, and annually by each July 1 thereafter, each retail water system shall remit to the board the amount of the system charge imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) for their retail water system.
(2) To the extent that a public water system seeks to recover the costs of the system charge from its ratepayers, it shall incorporate the costs into its water rates and shall not impose a per-connection fee. A public water system may draw on other available financial resources to pay the system charge.
(c) The executive director of the board shall deposit all moneys received pursuant to this section in the fund. The board may expend moneys from the fund for reasonable costs associated with the implementation and enforcement of this section.
116772.
 (a) The board, in consultation with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, shall administer and collect the system charge imposed by this article in accordance with the Fee Collection Procedures Law (Part 30 (commencing with Section 55001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code).
(b) For purposes of administration of the system charge imposed by this article, the following references in the Fee Collection Procedures Law shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Board” or “State Board of Equalization” means the State Water Resources Control Board.
(2) “Fee” means the safe and affordable drinking water system charge imposed pursuant to this article.
(3) “Feepayer” means a customer liable to pay the fee.
(c) The board, in consultation with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, may prescribe, adopt, and enforce regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this article, including, but not limited to, collections, reporting, refunds, and appeals.
(d) The initial regulations adopted by the board to implement this article shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and shall not rely on the statutory declaration of emergency in subdivision (e).
(e) Except as provided in subdivision (d), the regulations adopted pursuant to this section, any amendment to those regulations, or subsequent adjustments to the annual fees or adoption of fee schedule, shall be adopted by the board as emergency regulations in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.  The adoption of these regulations is an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare. Any emergency regulations adopted by the board, or adjustments to the annual fees made by the board pursuant to this section, shall remain in effect until revised by the board.
Article  6. Regional Distribution
116773.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(1) Water quality problems occur in all areas of the state, including rural and urban areas.
(2) In particular, aging school infrastructure, including lead pipes, puts at risk thousands of children per year.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a region-specific program to address the purposes of this chapter.
(c) (1) The board may allocate to each regional office sufficient funds to pay for the development of sustainable plans for restoring safe drinking water to the communities identified by the board as provided in Article 3 (commencing with Section 117220) of Chapter 8.
(2) The board may allocate funding to a regional office for implementation of an approved sustainable plan for restoring safe drinking water to an identified community.
(d) The board shall annually allocate 20 percent of the annual revenues originating in each of the Division of Drinking Water regions from the statewide safe and affordable drinking water system charge imposed pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 116771) to the region from which the revenues originate pursuant to subdivision (c). Funding allocated to a region that the regional engineer does not expend in the region for two or more years shall revert to the fund.

SEC. 6.

 Section 79724.5 is added to the Water Code, to read:

79724.5.
 Priority is a preference and not a necessary element for an award of funding available pursuant to Section 79724.
SEC. 7.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SEC. 8.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure public health and safety relative to the funding for and provision of safe drinking water, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.