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AB-1093 Municipal separate storm sewer systems: financial capability analysis.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/09/2019 09:00 PM
AB1093:v97#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 09, 2019
Passed  IN  Senate  September 05, 2019
Passed  IN  Assembly  May 24, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 17, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1093


Introduced by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio

February 21, 2019


An act to add Section 13185 to the Water Code, relating to water quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1093, Blanca Rubio. Municipal separate storm sewer systems: financial capability analysis.
Under existing law, the State Water Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality control boards prescribe waste discharge requirements for the discharge of stormwater in accordance with the federal national pollutant discharge elimination system permit program. Existing law requires the state board or the regional boards to issue waste discharge requirements that ensure compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and apply any more stringent effluent standards or limitations necessary to implement water quality control plans, or for the protection of beneficial uses, or to prevent nuisance.
This bill would require the state board, by July 1, 2020, to establish financial capability assessment guidelines for municipal separate storm sewer system permittees that are adequate and consistent when considering the costs to local jurisdictions. The bill would require the state board and the regional boards to continue using available regulatory tools and other approaches to foster collaboration with permittees to implement permit requirements in light of the costs of implementation.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(1) On November 24, 2014, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, announced it had adopted a refined financial capability assessment framework to aid in negotiating schedules for compliance with the municipal federal Clean Water Act requirements and in developing integrated management plans.
(2) The financial capability assessment framework does not alter or waive water quality standards, but offers alternative compliance pathways to municipal separate storm sewer system permittees and achievable schedules for compliance for disadvantaged communities.
(3) The State Water Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality control boards actively work with municipalities to adjust the timeframes for municipalities to come into compliance with their stormwater permits, taking into account each municipality’s costs of compliance and ability to pay, as well as the need to make demonstrable improvements in water quality over time.
(4) The state board and regional boards also have worked with permittees to create new ways to reduce costs or spread the costs, such as permits that cover entire regions. For example, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles region, has worked with municipal permittees to build partnerships with state and other local agencies and to identify opportunities for funding stormwater projects.
(5) At the November 6, 2018, statewide general election, voters in the County of Los Angeles approved Measure W to create and provide parcel tax revenue for the Safe Clean Water Program that is designed to support stormwater quality improvement projects.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this measure to do all of the following:
(1) Comply with the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq.).
(2) Help local governments that are making a good faith effort to be stewards of the environment but lack a dedicated revenue source for stormwater.
(3) Find solutions and share the cost of compliance for local governments that are participating in a watershed management program or an enhanced watershed management program.
(4) Not weaken environmental protections for lower income communities but rather to provide funding to achieve the same protections for all communities.
(5) Help the State Water Resources Control Board, the California regional water quality control boards, and local governments to prioritize the many competing requirements faced by communities dealing with funding drinking water, groundwater, sanitary sewer, flood protection, and stormwater improvements.
(6) Give communities time to apply for grants to overcome the financial constraints of local government without fear of fines and third-party litigation.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13185 is added to the Water Code, to read:

13185.
 (a) The state board and the regional boards shall continue using available regulatory tools and other approaches to foster collaboration with permittees to implement permit requirements in light of the costs of implementation.
(b) By July 1, 2020, the state board shall establish financial capability assessment guidelines for municipal separate storm sewer system permittees that are adequate and consistent when considering the costs to local jurisdictions, including costs incurred in previous years. In developing the guidelines, the state board shall document any source it uses to develop an estimate of local costs and the overall cost of stormwater management. The state board shall consider, but is not limited to considering, both of the following United States Environmental Protection Agency policies in drafting the financial capability assessment guidelines:
(1) Combined Sewer Overflows—Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development, dated February 1997.
(2) Affordability Criteria for Small Drinking Water Systems: An EPA Science Advisory Board Report, dated December 2002.