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AB-1671 Backflow protection and cross-connection controls: standards.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 10/06/2017 09:00 PM
AB1671:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1671
CHAPTER 533

An act to amend Section 116810 of, and to add Sections 116407 and 116555.5 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to drinking water.

[ Approved by Governor  October 06, 2017. Filed with Secretary of State  October 06, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1671, Caballero. Backflow protection and cross-connection controls: standards.
(1) Existing law, the California Safe Drinking Water Act, requires the State Water Resources Control Board to administer provisions relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health, including, but not limited to, conducting research, studies, and demonstration projects relating to the provision of a dependable, safe supply of drinking water, enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, adopting regulations, and conducting studies and investigations to assess the quality of private domestic water wells. Existing law makes certain violations of the act a misdemeanor.
Existing law requires any person who owns a public water system to ensure that the system does certain things, including, but not limited to, that it will not be subject to backflow under normal operating conditions. Existing law, to ensure that testing and maintenance of backflow prevention devices are performed by persons qualified to do testing and maintenance, authorizes local health officers to maintain programs for certification of backflow prevention device testers and requires the certification program to be consistent with backflow protection regulations adopted by the state board. A violation of these provisions, or an order by a local health officer pursuant to these provisions, is a misdemeanor.
This bill would require a public water system to implement a cross-connection control program that complies with, and would require the certification program to be consistent with, applicable regulations and the standards described in (2).
(2) Existing regulations establish standards for a backflow prevention device and cross-connection control.
This bill, on or before January 1, 2020, would require the state board to adopt standards for backflow protection and cross-connection control and would authorize the state board to do so through the adoption of a policy handbook, as specified. By authorizing the state board to adopt standards, the violation of which would be a crime, the bill would create a new crime and impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 116407 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

116407.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2020, the state board shall adopt standards for backflow protection and cross-connection control.
(b) The state board may implement subdivision (a) through the adoption of a policy handbook that is not subject to the requirements of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The policy handbook shall include standards for backflow protection and cross-connection control. In developing the standards and any amendments to those standards, the state board shall consult with state and local agencies and other persons whom the state board has identified as having expertise in the subject of backflow protection and cross-connection control. The state board shall hold at least two public hearings before adopting the policy handbook. The policy handbook shall be posted on the board’s Internet Web site.
(c) (1) Upon the effective date of a policy handbook adopted by the state board pursuant to subdivision (b), the regulations set forth in Article 1 (commencing with Section 7583) and Article 2 (commencing with Section 7601) of Group 4 of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 5 of Division 1 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations shall become inoperative, and, 90 days thereafter, are repealed, unless the state board makes a determination not to repeal a specific regulation.
(2) If the state board determines not to repeal a specific regulation pursuant to paragraph (1), the state board shall provide to the Office of Administrative Law and the Secretary of State written notice of its determination, including identification of the specific regulation that is not repealed. That regulation, upon the provision of that written notice to the Office of Administrative Law and the Secretary of State, shall become operative.

SEC. 2.

 Section 116555.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

116555.5.
 A public water system shall implement a cross-connection control program that complies with applicable regulations and with standards adopted by the board pursuant to Section 116407.

SEC. 3.

 Section 116810 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

116810.
 To ensure that testing and maintenance of backflow prevention devices are performed by persons qualified to do testing and maintenance, local health officers may maintain programs for certification of backflow prevention device testers. The local health officer may suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew the certificate of a tester, if, after a hearing before the local health officer or his or her designee, the local health officer or his or her designee finds that the tester has practiced fraud or deception or has displayed gross negligence or misconduct in the performance of his or her duties as a certified backflow prevention device tester. The local health officer may collect fees from certified testers to offset the cost of the certification program provided pursuant to this section. The certification standards shall be consistent with standards adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 116407 and any other applicable backflow protection regulations.

SEC. 4.

 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.