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AB-2238 Public water systems: drinking water.(2011-2012)

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Amended  IN  Senate  August 24, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  June 25, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  June 20, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 01, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 11, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2238


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Perea
(Principal Coauthor(s): Senator Rubio)

February 24, 2012


An act to add Section 116760.85 to amend Sections 116475 and 116760.30 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to public water systems, making an appropriation therefor, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2238, as amended, Perea. Public water systems: drinking water.
Existing law establishes the Emergency Clean Water Grant Fund (Grant Fund), which is continuously appropriated for the purpose of providing financial assistance to public water systems and funding emergency actions, as defined by the department, to ensure the availability of safe drinking water supplies. Existing law requires the department to determine the definition of what constitutes an emergency requiring an alternative or improved water supply. Existing law authorizes the State Department of Public Health to expend funds from the Grant Fund for these purposes, including, but not limited to, the payment of specified actions.
This bill would eliminate the requirement that the department develop a definition of what constitutes an emergency and would instead provide a definition of a public health emergency as an unexpected event that requires immediate action, as specified. This bill would authorize the department to expend the moneys from the Grant Fund if the department determines that a public health emergency has occurred and would list the provision of interim water treatment as one of the listed specified actions for which the department may provide payment. By revising and expanding the application of funds in the Grant Fund, the bill would make an appropriation. This bill would limit the provision of an alternative water supply to $50,000 per public water system per public health emergency.
Existing law creates the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (Revolving Fund) and authorizes the department to provide grants or revolving fund loans for public water system projects that enable suppliers to meet safe drinking water standards. Existing law requires the department to report at least once every 2 years to specified committees of the Legislature on the implementation of these provisions and expenditures from the Revolving Fund. Existing law requires the report to include, among other things, the number and types of projects funded and the reduction in risks to public health from contaminants in drinking water provided through the funding of the projects.
This bill would require the department to also post on its Internet Web site funding commitments made by the department for certain water system projects and other specified projects.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

Existing law, the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Law of 1997, requires the State Department of Public Health to administer programs to fund specified projects for public water systems that will enable suppliers to meet safe drinking water standards.

This bill would require the department to take specified actions in considering an application for funding pursuant to these provisions, including, but not limited to, reviewing and considering the determinations and recommendations made by the affected local agency formation commission within the previous 5 calendar years in certain specified studies.

Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 116475 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

116475.
 (a) The Emergency Clean Water Grant Fund is hereby established in the General Fund and, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, is continuously appropriated to the department, without regard to fiscal years, to provide financial assistance to public water systems and to fund emergency actions by the department to ensure that safe drinking water supplies are available to all Californians who are served by public water systems.
(b) The If the department determines that a public health emergency exists, the department may expend funds in the Emergency Clean Water Grant Fund for the purposes specified in subdivision (a), including, but not limited to, payment for all of the following actions:
(1) The provision of alternative water supplies and including bottled water.
(2) Improvements of the existing water supply system.
(3) Hookups with adjacent water systems.
(4) Design, purchase, installation, and operation and maintenance of water treatment technologies.
(5) The provision of interim water treatment.
(c) (1) The department shall develop and revise guidelines for the allocation and administration of moneys in the Emergency Clean Water Grant Fund. These guidelines shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1) A definition of what constitutes an emergency requiring an alternative or improved water supply.

(2)

(A) Priorities and procedures for allocating funds.

(3)

(B) Repayment provisions, as appropriate.

(4)

(C) Procedures for recovering funds from parties responsible for the contamination of public water supplies.

The

(2) The guidelines are not subject to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(d) As used in this section, “public health emergency” means a sudden or unexpected event which has occurred, is occurring, or is an imminent threat, and requires immediate action to avoid or mitigate serious health effects to persons served by a public water system due to the public water system’s inability to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water to its service area.
Public health emergency includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) A public water system that serves a severely disadvantaged community that either:
(A) Lacks the technical or financial capacity to deliver water that meets primary drinking water standards for which maximum contaminant levels have been established pursuant to this chapter.
(B) Has applied for funding for a project to address the public health emergency and the project is ranked on the project priority list established pursuant to Section 116760.70.
(2) Disruption or contamination of drinking water supplies caused by events, including, but not limited to, fire, flood, earthquake, drought, or other natural disaster.
(e) Direct expenditures, for the purposes of this section, shall be exempt from contracting and procurement requirements, including, but not limited to, requirements set forth by the Public Contract Code, to the extent necessary to take immediate action to protect public health and safety.
(f) Notwithstanding any other law, funding under this section, whether in the form of funding for emergency actions by the department or financial assistance to a public water system, for the provision of an alternative water supply, including bottled water, shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per public water system per public health emergency.

SEC. 2.

 Section 116760.30 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

116760.30.
 (a) There is hereby created in the State Treasury the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for the purpose of implementing this chapter, and, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, the fund is hereby continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal years, to the department to provide, from moneys available for this purpose, grants or revolving fund loans for the design and construction of projects for public water systems that will enable suppliers to meet safe drinking water standards. The department shall be responsible for administering the fund.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the department shall report at least once every two years to the policy and budget committees of the Legislature on the implementation of this chapter and expenditures from the fund. The report shall describe the numbers and types of projects funded, the reduction in risks to public health from contaminants in drinking water provided through the funding of the projects, and the criteria used by the department to determine funding priorities. Commencing with reports submitted on or after January 1, 2013, the report shall include the results of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent survey of the infrastructure needs of California’s public water systems, the amount of money available through the fund to finance those needs, the total dollar amount of all funding agreements executed pursuant to this chapter since the date of the previous report, the fund utilization rate, the amount of unliquidated obligations, and the total dollar amount paid to funding recipients since the previous report. The department shall post on its Internet Web site funding commitments made by the department in the previous two years for systems of less than 200 connections, for disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities, and for projects which achieve coordination or consolidation of multiple water systems. The department shall also identify, on its Internet Web site, projects which fall within the health-based funding categories of the priority list, as described in Section 116760.70, that have been bypassed for at least two years.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, the Controller may use the moneys in the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for loans to the General Fund as provided in Sections 16310 and 16381 of the Government Code. However, interest shall be paid on all moneys loaned to the General Fund from the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Interest payable shall be computed at a rate determined by the Pooled Money Investment Board to be the current earning rate of the fund from which loaned. This subdivision does not authorize any transfer that will interfere with the carrying out of the object for which the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund was created.

SEC. 3.

 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 Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
To ensure all Californians have access to safe drinking waters supplies, especially in the time of a public health emergency.
SECTION 1.Section 116760.85 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
116760.85.

In considering an application for funding pursuant to this chapter, the department shall do all of the following:

(a)Review and consider the determinations and recommendations made by the affected local agency formation commission within the previous five calendar years in any of the following:

(1)A special study conducted pursuant to Section 56378 of the Government Code.

(2)A sphere of influence study conducted pursuant to Section 56425 of the Government Code.

(3)A service review conducted pursuant to Section 56430 of the Government Code.

(b)Consult with the executive officer of the affected local agency formation commission to determine whether any circumstances have changed since the studies and review conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) were completed or if there is any additional information that would assist the department in its determination.

(c)Review and consider the conclusions and recommendations of other local and regional studies designed to develop and identify regional solutions to meet the goals of the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund Law of 1997.

(d)Report to the applicant regarding the review required pursuant to subdivision (a) and the consultation required pursuant to subdivision (b).