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SB-844 Water quality: agricultural safe drinking water fees.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/23/2018 04:00 AM
SB844:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  August 22, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 12, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 844


Introduced by Senator Monning
(Coauthor: Senator Vidak)

January 10, 2018


An act to add Article 10.5 (commencing with Section 595) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of, to add Article 6.5 (commencing with Section 14615) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 of, to add Article 14.5 (commencing with Section 62215) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 21 of, and to repeal Sections 596, 14616, and 62216 of, the Food and Agricultural Code, and to amend Section 13050 of, to add Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 13278) to Chapter 4 of Division 7 of, and to repeal Sections 13278.1 and 13278.2 of, the Water Code, relating to water, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 844, as amended, Monning. Water quality: agricultural safe drinking water fees.
(1) Existing law requires every person who manufactures or distributes fertilizing materials to be licensed by the Secretary of Food and Agriculture and to pay a license fee that does not exceed $300. Existing law requires every lot, parcel, or package of fertilizing material to have a label attached to it, as required by the secretary. Existing law requires a licensee who sells or distributes bulk fertilizing materials to pay to the secretary an assessment not to exceed $0.002 per dollar of sales for all sales of fertilizing materials, as prescribed, for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of provisions relating to fertilizing materials. In addition to that assessment, existing law authorizes the secretary to impose an assessment in an amount not to exceed $0.001 per dollar of sales for all sales of fertilizing materials for the purpose of providing funding for research and education regarding the use of fertilizing materials. Existing law specifies that a violation of the fertilizing material laws or the regulations adopted pursuant to those laws is a misdemeanor.
This bill, during calendar years 2019 to 2033, inclusive, would require a licensee to pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of $0.008 per dollar of sale for all sales of fertilizing materials intended for farm noncommercial use and $0.004 per dollar of sale for all sales of packaged fertilizing materials intended for noncommercial use. The bill, beginning calendar year 2034, would reduce the fee to $0.004 per dollar of sale intended for farm noncommercial use and $0.002 per dollar of sale of packaged materials intended for noncommercial use. The bill, on and after January 1, 2034, would authorize the secretary to adjust the fee as necessary to meet but not exceed 70% of the anticipated funding need for nitrate in the most recent assessment of funding need adopted by the state board pursuant to Senate Bill 845 of the 2017–18 Regular Session or the sum of $7,000,0000, $7,000,000, whichever is less and would authorize the secretary to adopt regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of these provisions. Because a violation of these provisions or regulations adopted pursuant to these provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law regulates the production, handling, and marketing of milk and dairy products and requires every milk handler subject to that regulatory scheme to pay specified assessments and fees to the Secretary of Food and Agriculture to cover the costs of regulating milk. Existing law governing milk defines “handler” as any person who, either directly or indirectly, receives, purchases, or otherwise acquires ownership, possession, or control of market milk from a producer, a producer-handler, or another handler for the purpose of manufacture, processing, sale, or other handling. Existing law defines “market milk” as milk conforming to specified standards and “manufacturing milk” as milk that does not conform to the requirements of market milk. Existing law provides that a violation of that regulatory scheme or a regulation adopted pursuant to that regulatory scheme is a misdemeanor.
This bill would require, beginning January 1, 2021, until January 1, 2036, each handler subject to that regulatory scheme to deduct from payments made to producers for market and manufacturing milk the sum of $0.01355 per hundredweight of milk as a dairy safe drinking water fee. On and after January 1, 2036, the bill would reduce the fee to $0.00678 per hundredweight of milk. The bill would authorize the secretary to take specified enforcement actions and would require the secretary to adopt regulations for the administration and enforcement of these provisions. Because a violation of these provisions or regulations adopted pursuant to these provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) Existing law requires the Secretary of Food and Agriculture to enforce provisions governing livestock operations. Existing law generally provides that a violation of a provision of the Food and Agricultural Code is a misdemeanor.
This bill, during calendar years 2021 to 2035, inclusive, would require each producer owning a nondairy confined animal facility, as defined, to pay annually to the secretary a safe drinking water fee of $1,000 for the first facility and $750 per each facility thereafter owned by the same producer, not to exceed $12,000. The bill, beginning calendar year 2036, would require the each producer owning a nondairy confined animal facility to pay annually to the secretary a safe drinking water fee of $500 for the first facility and $375 per each facility thereafter owned by the same producer, not to exceed $6,000. Because a violation of these provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) Senate Bill SB 845 of the 2017–18 Regular Session, if enacted, would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury and would provide that moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the board State Water Resources Control Board for grants, loans, contracts, or services to assist eligible applicants with projects relating to the provision of safe and affordable drinking water.
Existing law, the Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Trust Fund Act of 1989, establishes the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund. The act authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to expend the moneys in the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for various purposes relating to underground storage tanks.
This bill would require the Controller to transfer $3,658,000 from the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund to the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and would require the transferred funds to be used for administrative costs to implement provisions of this bill and SB 845 of the 2017–18 Regular Session. The bill would provide that the transfer is a loan to the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to be repaid by June 30, 2021, as prescribed. The bill would require moneys collected pursuant to the fertilizer safe drinking water fee, the dairy safe drinking water fee, and the safe drinking water fee for nondairy confined animal livestock facilities to be deposited in the fund. Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. By depositing these amounts in a continuously appropriated fund, this the bill would make an appropriation.
(5) Under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, the state board State Water Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality control boards are the principal state agencies with authority over matters relating to water quality. The act requires the state board to formulate and adopt state policies for water quality control and requires the regional boards to adopt regional water quality control plans in compliance with the state policies. Under the act, the state board and the regional boards prescribe waste discharge requirements for the discharge of waste that could affect the quality of the waters of the state. The act requires, upon the order of a regional board, a person who has caused or permitted, causes or permits, or threatens to cause or permit any waste to be discharged or deposited where it is, or probably will be, discharged into the waters of the state and creates, or threatens to create, a condition of pollution or nuisance, to clean up the waste or abate the effects of the waste, or in the case of threatened pollution or nuisance, to take other remedial action.
This bill would prohibit the state board or a regional board, until January 1, 2029, from subjecting an agricultural operation, as defined, to specified enforcement for causing or contributing to an accedence of a water quality objective for nitrate in groundwater or for causing or contributing to a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater if that agricultural operation meets certain requirements. The bill would prohibit the state board or a regional board, beginning January 1, 2029, until January 1, 2034, from subjecting an agricultural operation to specified enforcement for creating or threatening to create a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater if that agricultural operation meets the prescribed requirements. The bill would require the state board, by January 1, 2028, to conduct a public review of regulatory and basin plan amendment implementation programs to evaluate progress toward achieving water quality objectives with respect to nitrate in groundwater and assess compliance with adopted timelines, monitoring requirements, and implementation of best practicable treatment or control.
(6) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
(7) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
(8) This bill would make its operation contingent on the enactment of Senate Bill SB 845 of the 2017–18 Regular Session.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 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 persons subject to Article 14.5 (commencing with Section 62215) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 21.

596.
 (a) During calendar years 2021 to 2035, inclusive, 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.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2036, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2036, deletes or extends that date.

597.
 (a) Beginning calendar year 2036, 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 five hundred dollars ($500) for a producer that owns a single 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 five hundred dollars ($500) for the first facility and three hundred seventy-five dollars ($375) 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 six thousand dollars ($6,000) per year.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2036.

598.
 The secretary shall deposit all moneys received under this article into the fund.

599.
 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, number of facilities, or business operations of any producer or handler 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.

599.600.
 The Legislature shall not increase the fees established by Sections 596 and 597 except by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership in each house of the Legislature.

SEC. 2.

 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)“Farm use” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14532.

(3)

(2) “Fertilizing material” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14533.

(4)

(3) “Fund” means the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund established by Section 116767 of the Health and Safety Code.

(5)

(4) “Noncommercial use” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14549.

(6)

(5) “Packaged” has the same meaning as defined in Section 14551.

14616.
 (a) In addition to the assessments provided in Section 14611, during calendar years 2019 to 2033, inclusive, a licensee whose name appears on the label of bulk or packaged fertilizing materials intended labeled for farm noncommercial use shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of eight mills ($0.008) four mills ($0.004) 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 2019 to 2033, inclusive, a licensee whose name appears on the label of bulk or fertilizing materials, excluding packaged fertilizing material intended materials labeled for noncommercial use shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of four mills ($0.004) eight mills ($0.008) 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, 2034, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2034, deletes or extends that date.

14617.
 (a) In addition to the assessments provided in Section 14611, beginning calendar year 2034, a licensee whose name appears on the label of bulk or packaged fertilizing materials intended for farm labeled for noncommercial use shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of four mills ($0.004) 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 calendar year 2034, a licensee whose name appears on the label of bulk or packaged fertilizing material intended for noncommercial use a fertilizing material, excluding packaged fertilizing materials labeled for noncommercial use, shall pay to the secretary a fertilizer safe drinking water fee of two mills ($0.002) 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 ($7,000,0000), ($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, 2034.

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, 2021, 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 Legislature shall not increase the fees established by this article except by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership in each house of the Legislature.

SEC. 3.

 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 be paid for all milk purchased 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, 2021, each handler, including a producer-handler, shall deduct the sum of one cent and three hundred fifty-five mills ($0.01355) 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 may prescribe, adopt, and enforce regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this article.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2036, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2036, deletes or extends that date.

62217.
 (a) Each handler, including a producer-handler, shall deduct the sum of six hundred seventy-eight mills ($0.00678) 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 may prescribe, adopt, and enforce regulations relating to the administration and enforcement of this article.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2036.

62218.
 (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) Beginning July 1, 2021, 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.
(d) The secretary may require handlers, including cooperative associations acting as handlers, to make reports at any intervals and in any detail necessary for the accurate collection of the fee.
(e) For the purposes of enforcing this article, the secretary 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 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.

62219.
 The Legislature shall not increase the fees established by this article except by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership in each house of the Legislature.

SEC. 4.

 Section 13050 of the Water Code is amended to read:

13050.
 As used in this division:
(a) “State board” means the State Water Resources Control Board.
(b) “Regional board” means any California regional water quality control board for a region as specified in Section 13200.
(c) “Person” includes any city, county, district, the state, and the United States, to the extent authorized by federal law.
(d) “Waste” includes sewage and any and all other waste substances, liquid, solid, gaseous, or radioactive, associated with human habitation, or of human or animal origin, or from any producing, manufacturing, or processing operation, including waste placed within containers of whatever nature prior to, and for purposes of, disposal.
(e) “Waters of the state” means any surface water or groundwater, including saline waters, within the boundaries of the state.
(f) “Beneficial uses” of the waters of the state that may be protected against quality degradation include, but are not limited to, domestic, municipal, agricultural, and industrial supply; power generation; recreation; aesthetic enjoyment; navigation; and preservation and enhancement of fish, wildlife, and other aquatic resources or preserves.
(g) “Quality of the water” refers to chemical, physical, biological, bacteriological, radiological, and other properties and characteristics of water which affect its use.
(h) “Water quality objectives” means the limits or levels of water quality constituents or characteristics which are established for the reasonable protection of beneficial uses of water or the prevention of nuisance within a specific area.
(i) “Water quality control” means the regulation of any activity or factor which may affect the quality of the waters of the state and includes the prevention and correction of water pollution and nuisance.
(j) “Water quality control plan” consists of a designation or establishment for the waters within a specified area of all of the following:
(1) Beneficial uses to be protected.
(2) Water quality objectives.
(3) A program of implementation needed for achieving water quality objectives.
(k) “Contamination” means an impairment of the quality of the waters of the state by waste to a degree which creates a hazard to the public health through poisoning or through the spread of disease. “Contamination” includes any equivalent effect resulting from the disposal of waste, whether or not waters of the state are affected.
(l) (1) “Pollution” means an alteration of the quality of the waters of the state by waste to a degree which unreasonably affects either of the following:
(A) The waters for beneficial uses.
(B) Facilities which serve these beneficial uses.
(2) “Pollution” may include “contamination.”
(m) “Nuisance” means anything which meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Is injurious to health, or is indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.
(2) Affects at the same time an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal.
(3) Occurs during, or as a result of, the treatment or disposal of wastes.
(n) “Recycled water” means water which, as a result of treatment of waste, is suitable for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that would not otherwise occur and is therefore considered a valuable resource.
(o) “Citizen or domiciliary” of the state includes a foreign corporation having substantial business contacts in the state or which is subject to service of process in this state.
(p) (1) “Hazardous substance” means either of the following:
(A) For discharge to surface waters, any substance determined to be a hazardous substance pursuant to Section 311(b)(2) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq.).
(B) For discharge to groundwater, any substance listed as a hazardous waste or hazardous material pursuant to Section 25140 of the Health and Safety Code, without regard to whether the substance is intended to be used, reused, or discarded, except that “hazardous substance” does not include any substance excluded from Section 311(b)(2) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act because it is within the scope of Section 311(a)(1) of that act.
(2) “Hazardous substance” does not include any of the following:
(A) Nontoxic, nonflammable, and noncorrosive stormwater runoff drained from underground vaults, chambers, or manholes into gutters or storm sewers.
(B) Any pesticide which is applied for agricultural purposes or is applied in accordance with a cooperative agreement authorized by Section 116180 of the Health and Safety Code, and is not discharged accidentally or for purposes of disposal, the application of which is in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
(C) Any discharge to surface water of a quantity less than a reportable quantity as determined by regulations issued pursuant to Section 311(b)(4) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
(D) Any discharge to land which results, or probably will result, in a discharge to groundwater if the amount of the discharge to land is less than a reportable quantity, as determined by regulations adopted pursuant to Section 13271, for substances listed as hazardous pursuant to Section 25140 of the Health and Safety Code. No discharge shall be deemed a discharge of a reportable quantity until regulations set a reportable quantity for the substance discharged.
(q) (1) “Mining waste” means all solid, semisolid, and liquid waste materials from the extraction, beneficiation, and processing of ores and minerals. Mining waste includes, but is not limited to, soil, waste rock, and overburden, as defined in Section 2732 of the Public Resources Code, and tailings, slag, and other processed waste materials, including cementitious materials that are managed at the cement manufacturing facility where the materials were generated.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, “cementitious material” means cement, cement kiln dust, clinker, and clinker dust.
(r) “Master recycling permit” means a permit issued to a supplier or a distributor, or both, of recycled water, that includes waste discharge requirements prescribed pursuant to Section 13263 and water recycling requirements prescribed pursuant to Section 13523.1.
(s) (1) “Agricultural operation” means either of the following:
(A) A discharger that satisfies both of the following conditions:
(i) The discharger is an owner, operator, or both, of land that is irrigated to produce crops or pasture for commercial purposes or a nursery.
(ii) The discharger is enrolled or named in an irrigated lands regulatory program order adopted by the state board or a regional board pursuant to Section 13263 or 13269.
(B) A discharger that satisfies both of the following conditions:
(i) The discharger is an owner, operator, or both of a facility that is used for the raising or harvesting of livestock.
(ii) The discharger is enrolled or named in an order adopted by the state board or a regional board pursuant to Section 13263 or 13269 that regulates the discharges of waste from a facility identified in clause (i) to protect ground and surface water.
(2) “Agricultural operation” does not include any of the following:
(A) An off-farm facility that processes crops or livestock.
(B) An off-farm facility that manufacturers, synthesizes, stores, or processes fertilizer.
(C) Any portions of land or activities occurring on portions of land that are not covered by an order adopted by the state board or a regional board identified in clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) or clause (ii) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1).

SEC. 5.

 Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 13278) is added to Chapter 4 of Division 7 of the Water Code, to read:
Article  4.5. Discharges of Nitrate to Groundwater from Agricultural Operations

13278.
 (a) For the purposes of this article, the Legislature finds all of the following:
(1) Implementation of currently known best management practices for some crops under some circumstances can reduce but not always completely prevent nitrogen in organic and synthetic fertilizers that transform to nitrate from reaching groundwater at concentrations above the water quality objectives established pursuant to this division.
(2) It is acknowledged that discharges of nitrate from agricultural operations could reach groundwater and could cause or contribute to exceedances of drinking water standards for nitrate, and could cause conditions of pollution of or nuisance in those waters as defined and applied in accordance with this division, or both.
(3) Nitrate pollution of groundwater impacts drinking water sources for hundreds of thousands of Californians and it is necessary to protect current and future drinking water users from the impacts of nitrate pollution.
(4) Despite progress in controlling discharges of nitrogen that lead to nitrate formation, some groundwater sources of drinking water will continue to be adversely impacted by nitrate and it is important to have in place a program for mitigating these impacts.
(5) The regional boards will continue to regulate discharges to reduce nitrogen loading and protect beneficial uses of water and groundwater basins; the state board, regional boards, and courts will ensure compliance with those orders; and dischargers will pay for mitigation of nitrate pollution by funding projects that provide both immediate and long-term drinking water solutions for affected communities and affected domestic wells.
(b) The Legislature declares its intent in establishing this article to limit certain enforcement actions that a regional board or the state board could otherwise initiate during a 15-year period against an agricultural operation that meets specified requirements, while maintaining the overall framework of this division to protect beneficial uses, implement water quality objectives in waters of the state, and regulate activities and factors that affect water quality to attain the highest water quality that is reasonable.

13278.1.
 (a) An agricultural operation shall not be subject to enforcement undertaken or initiated by the state board or a regional board, under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13300), for causing or contributing to an exceedance of a water quality objective for nitrate in groundwater or for causing or contributing to a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater if an agricultural operation that discharges or threatens to discharge, or has discharged or previously threatened to discharge, nitrate to groundwater meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The agricultural operation is in compliance with all applicable provisions prescribed by a regional board or the state board in an order adopted pursuant to Section 13263 or 13269, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Requirements to implement best practicable treatment or control.
(B) Requirements to implement best efforts.
(C) Monitoring and reporting requirements.
(D) Applicable timelines.
(2) The agricultural operation is in compliance with an applicable program of implementation for achieving groundwater quality objectives for nitrate that is part of an applicable water quality control plan adopted by the state board or a regional board pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 13240).
(3) The requirement contained in paragraph (1) excludes any provision contained in an order adopted under Section 13263 or 13269 that prohibits in general terms a discharge from causing or contributing, or threatening to cause or contribute, to an exceedance of a water quality objective for nitrate in groundwater or a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater.
(b) (1) An agricultural operation is not in compliance with the requirement in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) if the agricultural operation has been subject to an enforcement order under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13300) within the preceding 12 months for violation of an order adopted under Section 13263 or 13269 authorizing discharges from agricultural operations.
(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to an enforcement order issued after January 1, 2016, and before January 1, 2019, inclusive, alleging that a discharge from an agricultural operation caused or contributed, or threatened to cause or contribute, to an exceedance of a water quality objective for nitrate in groundwater, conditions of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater, or both.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (d), both of the following apply to a discharge of nitrogen to groundwater by an agricultural operation that occurs when the discharger is in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a):
(1) The discharge of nitrogen to groundwater shall not be admissible in a future enforcement action against the agricultural operation by the state board or a regional board, pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13300), to support a claim that the agricultural operation is causing or contributing, or threatening to cause or contribute, to an exceedance of a water quality objective for nitrate in groundwater or a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater.
(2) The discharge of nitrogen to groundwater shall not be considered by the state board or a regional board to apportion responsibility and shall not be used by any person to diminish responsibility in any enforcement action initiated pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13300) with respect to discharges of nitrogen, regardless of source, that did not occur in compliance with the mitigation requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
(d) Nothing in this section alters the state board’s or a regional board’s authority to do both of the following:
(1) To require or conduct investigations, to require reports on or to establish other requirements for best practicable treatment or control or best efforts, or to require monitoring and reporting requirements to protect water quality.
(2) To take or initiate enforcement action pursuant to Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 13370), without regard to whether the agricultural operation met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) at any time.
(e) This section shall not be deemed to change or alter a water quality objective that is part of a water quality control plan adopted by the state board or a regional board pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 13240).
(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2029, and as of that date is repealed.

13278.2.
 (a) An agricultural operation shall not be subject to enforcement undertaken or initiated by the state board or a regional board, under Section 13304, for creating or threatening to create a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater if an agricultural operation that discharges or threatens to discharge, or has discharged or previously threatened to discharge, nitrate to groundwater meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The agricultural operation is in compliance with all applicable provisions prescribed by a regional board or the state board in an order adopted pursuant to Section 13263 or 13269, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Requirements to implement best practicable treatment or control.
(B) Requirements to implement best efforts.
(C) Monitoring and reporting requirements.
(D) Applicable timelines.
(2) The agricultural operation is in compliance with an applicable program of implementation for achieving groundwater quality objectives for nitrate that is part of an applicable water quality control plan adopted by the state board or a regional board pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 13240).
(3) The requirement contained in paragraph (1) excludes any provision contained in an order adopted under Section 13263 or 13269 that prohibits in general terms a discharge from causing or contributing, or threatening to cause or contribute, to an exceedance of a water quality objective for nitrate in groundwater or a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater.
(b) An agricultural operation is not in compliance with the mitigation requirement in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) if the agricultural operation has been subject to an enforcement order under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13330) within the preceding 12 months for violation of an order adopted under Section 13263 or 13269 authorizing discharges from agricultural operations.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (d), both of the following apply to a discharge of nitrogen to groundwater by an agricultural operation that occurs when the discharger is in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a):
(1) The discharge of nitrogen to groundwater shall not be admissible in a future enforcement action against the agricultural operation by the state board or a regional board, pursuant to Section 13304 to support a claim that the agricultural operation is causing or contributing, or threatening to cause or contribute, to an exceedance of a water quality objective for nitrate in groundwater or a condition of pollution or nuisance for nitrate in groundwater.
(2) The discharge of nitrogen to groundwater shall not be considered by the state board or a regional board to apportion responsibility and shall not be used by any person to diminish responsibility in any enforcement action initiated pursuant to Section 13304 with respect to discharges of nitrogen to groundwater, regardless of source, that did not occur in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
(d) Nothing in this section alters the state board’s or a regional board’s authority to do both of the following:
(1) To require or conduct investigations, to require reports on or to establish other requirements for best practicable treatment or control or best efforts, or to require monitoring and reporting requirements to protect water quality.
(2) To take or initiate enforcement action pursuant to Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 13370), without regard to whether the agricultural operation met the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) at any time.
(e) This section shall not be deemed to change or alter a water quality objective that is part of a water quality control plan adopted by the state board or a regional board pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 13240).
(f) (1) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2029.
(2) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2034, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2034, deletes or extends that date.

13278.3.
 By January 1, 2028, the state board shall conduct a public review of regulatory and basin plan amendment implementation programs to evaluate progress toward achieving water quality objectives with respect to nitrate in groundwater and assess compliance with adopted timelines, monitoring requirements, and implementation of best practicable treatment or control.

13278.4.
 Nothing in this article limits the liability of a discharger under any other law, including, but not limited to, Part 3 (commencing with Section 3479) of Division 4 of the Civil Code.

13278.5.
 As long as 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 are in effect, the Legislature may not amend the provisions in this article except by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership in each house of the Legislature.

SEC. 6.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section Sections 1 and 3 of this act, which adds Section add Sections 599 and 62218 of to the Food and Agricultural Code, imposes impose a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
In order to protect the personal and financial information of a person subject to the act, it is necessary that this act limit the public’s right of access to that information.

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.

 Three million six hundred fifty-eight thousand dollars ($3,658,000) is hereby transferred from the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund created by Section 25299.50 of the Health and Safety Code to the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund established by Section 116767 of the Health and Safety Code. The Controller shall implement this transfer. Funds transferred pursuant to this section shall be used for administrative costs to implement provisions of this bill and Senate Bill 845 of the 2017–18 Regular Session. The transfer is a loan to the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and shall be repaid by June 30, 2021, unless the repayment is extended through the annual budget act or other legislation. The loan shall be repaid with interest at the rate earned by the Pooled Money Investment Account at the time of transfer.

SEC. 8.SEC. 9.

 This act shall become operative only if Senate Bill 845 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted and takes effect on or before January 1, 2019.