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SB-778 Water systems: consolidations: administrative and managerial services.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/26/2017 09:00 PM
SB778:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 05, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 23, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 778


Introduced by Senator Hertzberg

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 116682 of, and to add Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 116756) to Part 12 of Division 104 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to drinking water, and making an appropriation therefor. water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 778, as amended, Hertzberg. Water systems: consolidations: administrative and managerial services.
Existing law declares it to be the established policy of the state that every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.
Existing law, the California Safe Drinking Water Act, provides for the operation of public water systems and imposes on the State Water Resources Control Board various responsibilities and duties. The act authorizes the state board to order consolidation with a receiving water system where a public water system or a state small water system, serving a disadvantaged community, as defined, consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water. The act, if consolidation is either not appropriate or not technically or and economically feasible, authorizes the state board to contract with an administrator to provide administrative and managerial services to designated public water systems and to order the designated public water system to accept administrative and managerial services, as specified.
This bill would require, on or before March 1, 2018, the state board to submit a report to the Legislature on track and publish on its Internet Web site an analysis of all voluntary and ordered consolidations of water systems, including publishing information on the resulting outcomes of the consolidations and whether the consolidations have succeeded or failed in providing an adequate supply of safe drinking water to the communities served by the consolidated water systems.
This bill would create the Safe Drinking Water Fund, and would continuously appropriate make moneys in the fund available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purposes of contracting with an administrator to provide administrative and managerial services to designated public water systems and ordering the designated public water system to accept the administrative and managerial services.
Vote: TWO_THIRDSMAJORITY   Appropriation: YESNO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 116682 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

116682.
 (a) Where a public water system or a state small water system, serving a disadvantaged community, consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water, the state board may order consolidation with a receiving water system as provided in this section and Section 116684. The consolidation may be physical or operational. The state board may also order the extension of service to an area within a disadvantaged community that does not have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water so long as the extension of service is an interim extension of service in preparation for consolidation. The state board may set timelines and performance measures to facilitate completion of consolidation.
(b) Before ordering consolidation or extension of service as provided in this section, the state board shall do all of the following:
(1) Encourage voluntary consolidation or extension of service.
(2) Consider other enforcement remedies specified in this article.
(3) Consult with, and fully consider input from, the relevant local agency formation commission regarding the provision of water service in the affected area, the recommendations for improving service in a municipal service review, and any other relevant information.
(4) Consult with, and fully consider input from, the Public Utilities Commission when the consolidation would involve a water corporation subject to the commission’s jurisdiction.
(5) Consult with, and fully consider input from, the local government with land use planning authority over the affected area, particularly regarding any information in the general plan required by Section 65302.10 of the Government Code.
(6) Consult with, and fully consider input from, all public water systems in the chain of distribution of the potentially receiving water systems.
(7) (A) Notify the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system, if any, and establish a reasonable deadline of no less than six months, unless a shorter period is justified, for the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system, if any, to negotiate consolidation or another means of providing an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
(B) During this period, the state board shall provide technical assistance and work with the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system to develop a financing package that benefits both the water systems.
(C) Upon a showing of good cause, the deadline may be extended by the state board at the request of the potentially receiving water system, potentially subsumed water system, or the local agency formation commission with jurisdiction over the potentially subsumed water system.
(8) Obtain written consent from any domestic well owner for consolidation or extension of service. A domestic well owner within the consolidation or extended service area who does not provide written consent shall be ineligible, until the consent is provided, for any future water-related grant funding from the state other than funding to mitigate a well failure, disaster, or other emergency.
(9) (A) Hold at least one public meeting at the initiation of this process in a place as close as feasible to the affected areas. The state board shall make reasonable efforts to provide a 30-day notice of the meeting to the ratepayers, renters, and property owners to receive water service through service extension or in the area of the subsumed water system and all affected local government agencies and drinking water service providers. The meeting shall provide representatives of the potentially subsumed water system, affected ratepayers, renters, property owners, and the potentially receiving water system an opportunity to present testimony. The meeting shall provide an opportunity for public comment.
(B) An initial public meeting shall not be required for a potentially subsumed area that is served only by domestic wells.
(c) Upon expiration of the deadline set by the state board pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b), the state board shall do the following:
(1) Consult with the potentially receiving water system and the potentially subsumed water system, if any.
(2) (A) Conduct a public hearing, in a location as close as feasible to the affected communities.
(B) The state board shall make reasonable efforts to provide a 30-day notice of the hearing to the ratepayers, renters, and property owners to receive water service through service extension or in the area of the subsumed water system and to all affected local government agencies and drinking water service providers.
(C) The hearing shall provide representatives of the potentially subsumed water system, affected ratepayers, renters, property owners, and the potentially receiving water system an opportunity to present testimony.
(D) The hearing shall provide an opportunity for public comment.
(d) Before ordering consolidation or extension of service, the state board shall find all of the following:
(1) The potentially subsumed water system has consistently failed to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
(2) All reasonable efforts to negotiate consolidation or extension of service were made.
(3) Consolidation of the receiving water system and subsumed water system or extension of service is appropriate and technically and economically feasible.
(4) There is no pending local agency formation commission process that is likely to resolve the problem in a reasonable amount of time.
(5) Concerns regarding water rights and water contracts of the subsumed and receiving water systems have been adequately addressed.
(6) Consolidation or extension of service is the most effective and cost-effective means to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
(7) The capacity of the proposed interconnection needed to accomplish the consolidation is limited to serving the current customers of the subsumed water system.
(e) Upon ordering consolidation or extension of service, the state board shall do all of the following:
(1) As necessary and appropriate, make funds available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the receiving water system for the costs of completing the consolidation or extension of service, including, but not limited to, replacing any capacity lost as a result of the consolidation or extension of service, providing additional capacity needed as a result of the consolidation or extension of service, and legal fees. Funding pursuant to this paragraph is available for the general purpose of providing financial assistance for the infrastructure needed for the consolidation or extension of service and does not need to be specific to each individual consolidation project. The state board shall provide appropriate financial assistance for the infrastructure needed for the consolidation or extension of service. The state board’s existing financial assistance guidelines and policies shall be the basis for the financial assistance.
(2) Ensure payment of standard local agency formation commission fees caused by state board-ordered consolidation or extension of service.
(3) Adequately compensate the owners of a privately owned subsumed water system for the fair market value of the system, as determined by the Public Utilities Commission or the state board.
(4) Coordinate with the appropriate local agency formation commission and other relevant local agencies to facilitate the change of organization or reorganization.
(f) (1) For the purposes of this section, the consolidated water system shall not increase charges on existing customers of the receiving water system solely as a consequence of the consolidation or extension of service unless the customers receive a corresponding benefit.
(2) For purposes of this section, fees or charges imposed on a customer of a subsumed water system shall not exceed the cost of consolidating the water system with a receiving system or the extension of service to the area.
(g) Division 3 (commencing with Section 56000) of Title 5 of the Government Code shall not apply to an action taken by the state board pursuant to this section.
(h) On or before March 1, 2018, the state board shall submit a report to the Legislature analyzing track and publish on its Internet Web site an analysis of all voluntary and ordered consolidations of water systems systems, including, but not limited to, those under this article. The report information published shall include the resulting outcomes of consolidating the water systems and whether consolidations have succeeded or failed in providing an adequate supply of safe drinking water to the communities served by the consolidated water systems.
(i) (1) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under subdivision (h) is inoperative on March 1, 2022, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (h) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 116756) is added to Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4.1. Safe Drinking Water Fund

116756.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) It is an established state policy that all Californians have a right to safe, clean, and affordable water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
(2) Too many Californians, largely in the most disadvantaged communities, rely in whole or in part on contaminated groundwater for their drinking water. These communities often lack the resources needed to operate and maintain water treatment systems to deliver safe and affordable water.
(3) Thousands of families are in homes with tapwater that is so polluted that it cannot be safely consumed.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this chapter, to achieve the established state policy, to ensure that all Californians have access to safe, affordable drinking water, and to support the human right to water without overburdening low-income ratepayers.

116757.
 There is hereby created in the State Treasury the Safe Drinking Water Fund. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, moneys in the fund are hereby continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal years, Moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the state board for expenditure to implement Section 116686.