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SB-1133 California regional water quality control board: water quality control plans: funding: Los Angeles region. (2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/19/2018 02:00 PM
SB1133:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 19, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1133


Introduced by Senator Portantino

February 13, 2018


An act to amend add Section 23 of the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act (Chapter 755 of the Statutes of 1915), relating to the Los Angeles County Flood Control District. 13249 to the Water Code, relating to water quality, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1133, as amended, Portantino. Los Angeles County Flood Control Act. California regional water quality control board: water quality control plans: funding: Los Angeles region.
Existing law, the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, requires each California regional water quality control board to adopt water quality control plans and to establish water quality objectives in those plans, considering certain factors, to ensure the reasonable protection of beneficial uses and the prevention of nuisance.
This bill would authorize a regional board to accept and spend donations of moneys from a permittee for the purpose of updating a water quality control plan, thereby making an appropriation. The bill would authorize the California regional water quality control board, Los Angeles region, to accept and spend certain funds from the Los Angeles County Flood Control District to prepare a major revision to the water quality control plan for the Los Angeles region, as prescribed.

Existing law, the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act, establishes the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and authorizes the district to control and conserve the flood, storm, and other wastewater of the district.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the provision naming the act.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) Consistent with Section 13000 of the Water Code, the quality of waters of the state should be regulated to attain the highest water quality which is reasonable considering the uses of the water and the values involved.
(b) The water quality control plans adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality control boards pursuant to Section 13240 of the Water Code need to be based on the best available science and consider the recommendations of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the recommendations of affected state and local agencies.
(c) Section 13241 of the Water Code lists several important factors that water boards are to consider when establishing water quality objectives that will ensure the reasonable protection of beneficial uses and the prevention of nuisance, and the section also recognizes that the quality of water may be changed to some degree without unreasonably affecting beneficial uses.
(d) At the request of the United States Congress, the National Research Council examined the basis of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program and explained its findings in a 2001 report titled Assessing the TMDL Approach to Water Quality Management.
(e) A finding of the council’s report was that scientific uncertainty cannot be avoided in water quality programs, and water quality regulations should recognize this inherent uncertainty by means of flexible adjustable implementation programs.
(f) The report recommended that states define appropriate beneficial use designations, and before TMDL development, refine these designations, and use and consider attainability analyses for all water bodies.
(g) The council also recommended that plans implementing TMDLs be adaptive, with TMDL goals to be periodically assessed and scientific data used to revise the plan, if necessary.
(h) Permittees and others funded an Environmental Defense Sciences report from February 2002, titled A Review of the Los Angeles Basin Plan Administrative Record, that provided a detailed analysis of the administrative record as had been provided to date of the water quality control plan for the Los Angeles region and identified four priority areas for water quality control plan reform, as follows:
(1) Incorporation of the Water Code Sections 13241 and 13242 requirements of the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code).
(2) Development and implementation of water quality objectives.
(3) Correction and revision of beneficial use designations.
(4) Revision of the tributary rule.
(i) The water quality control plan for the Los Angeles region was first developed in 1975 and the last major revision was in 1994.
(j) The water quality control plan for the Los Angeles region does not thoroughly distinguish between traditional point sources and stormwater discharges in the development and application of water quality standards.
(k) California regional water quality control boards have not completed major revisions of water quality control plans because of staff and financial resource shortages, although they have made revisions through the triennial review process.
(l) California needs to find a way to finance comprehensive water quality control plan revisions by all California regional water quality control boards.
(m) The County of Los Angeles is proposing a stormwater quality funding measure that could provide a source of funding for the California regional water quality control board, Los Angeles region, to conduct a major revision to its water quality control plan to improve the technical and scientific basis of the plan.
(n) Allowing the California regional water quality control board, Los Angeles region, to accept funds from a stormwater quality funding measure would provide funding for a pilot project on how to fund and structure necessary major revisions to water quality control plans to incorporate new criteria recommended by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and bring the plans up to date with current science and technology.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13249 is added to the Water Code, to read:

13249.
 (a) A regional board may accept and spend donations of moneys from a permittee for the purpose of updating a water quality control plan.
(b) If the proposed Safe, Clean Water Program is approved by the voters of the County of Los Angeles, the California regional water quality control board, Los Angeles region, may accept funds from the Los Angeles County Flood Control District to prepare a major revision to the water quality control plan for the Los Angeles region to strengthen the scientific and technical basis for the plan as a pilot project for the state. These funds shall be used by the regional board only for staff and consultants and direct costs to prepare a major revision to the water quality control plan that does all of the following:
(1) Develops a watershed chapter structured to be consistent with Sections 13241 and 13242 while integrating a fiscal capability assessment process to implement subdivision (d) of Section 13241.
(2) Recognizes that concrete-lined flood control channels are different from natural streams.
(3) Incorporates a compliance floor above which permittees are not expected to comply with water quality objectives.
(4) Incorporates applicable federal Environmental Protection Agency recommended revised water quality criteria.
(5) Incorporates stormwater-specific water quality objectives consistent with the episodic and highly variable nature of stormwater and urban runoff.
(6) Revises the beneficial use chapter to delete potential uses and replace them with probable future beneficial uses consistent with subdivision (a) of Section 13241.
(7) Modifies the strategic planning and implementation chapter to include a section addressing stormwater and urban runoff, as well as a source control strategy and implementation program.
(8) Develops a thoroughly revised water quality control plan treating stormwater as a resource and includes a scientific advisory panel and a stakeholder advisory committee.

SECTION 1.Section 23 of the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act (Chapter 755 of the Statutes of 1915) is amended to read:
23.

This act may be designated and referred to as the “Los Angeles County Flood Control Act,” and any reference designation to the act by that shall be deemed sufficient for all purposes.