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AB-637 State Water Resources Control Board: disadvantaged communities: drinking water.(2019-2020)

Date Published: 04/11/2019 09:00 PM
AB637:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 637


Introduced by Assembly Member Gray

February 15, 2019


An act to add Section 186.5 to the Water Code, relating to water resources.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 637, as amended, Gray. State Water Resources Control Board: minority and low-income communities: disadvantaged communities: drinking water.
Existing law establishes the State Water Resources Control Board and states the intent of the Legislature that the state board administer the water rights, water quality, and drinking water functions of the state government to provide for coordinated consideration of water rights, water quality, and safe and reliable drinking water. Existing law provides to the state board any powers that may be necessary or convenient for the exercise of its duties authorized by law. Existing law establishes 9 California regional water quality control boards to coordinate with the state board with respect to water quality control matters. Existing law, the California Safe Drinking Water Act, requires the board to administer provisions relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health.
This bill would require the state board, before taking actions that impact an action that significantly impacts drinking water, to identify potential adverse human health effects that the proposed action may have on minority and low-income populations use existing information to identify impacted disadvantaged communities and to seek to reduce those effects impacts to those communities to the greatest extent practicable. The bill would also require the board to ensure that disadvantaged communities are provided an opportunity to participate in the public process for a decision that significantly impacts drinking water by holding a public hearing in or near an impacted community.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 186.5 is added to the Water Code, to read:

186.5.
 (a) Before taking an action that significantly impacts drinking water, the state board shall identify potential adverse human health effects that the proposed action may have on minority and low-income populations and shall seek to reduce those effects use existing information such as CalEnviroScreen to identify impacted disadvantaged communities and shall seek to reduce impacts to those communities to the greatest extent practicable and as permitted by law.

(b)The state board shall promote nondiscrimination and shall provide minority and low-income communities with opportunities for public participation in implementing subdivision (a).

(b) When making a decision that significantly impacts drinking water and when not otherwise required by law or regulation, the board shall ensure that disadvantaged communities, such as those identified by CalEnviroScreen, are provided an opportunity to participate in the public process for a decision that significantly impacts drinking water by holding a public hearing in or near an impacted community.