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AB-1751 Water and sewer system corporations: consolidation of service.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/21/2019 09:00 PM
AB1751:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1751


Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 3150 of the Public Resources Code, relating to oil and gas. An act to add Section 853.5 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1751, as amended, Chiu. Oil and gas: definitions: additive. Water and sewer system corporations: consolidation of service.
The Public Utilities Act prohibits, with certain exemptions, any public utility from selling, leasing, assigning, mortgaging, or otherwise disposing of or encumbering specified property necessary or useful in the performance of the public utility’s duties to the public without first, for qualified transactions valued above $5,000,000, securing an order from the Public Utilities Commission authorizing it to do so or, for qualified transactions valued at $5,000,000 or less, filing an advice letter and obtaining approval from the commission.
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 related responsibilities and duties. Existing law authorizes the state board to order consolidation of public water systems where a public water system or state small water system serving a disadvantaged community consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water, as provided.
This bill, the Consolidation for Safe Drinking Water Act of 2019, would authorize a water or sewer system corporation to file an application and obtain approval from the commission through an order authorizing consolidation with a public water system or state small water system, or to implement rates for the subsumed water system. The bill would require the commission to approve or deny the application within 8 months, except as provided.
The bill would authorize, for consolidations meeting certain criteria, a water or sewer system corporation to instead file an advice letter and obtain approval from the commission through a resolution authorizing consolidation with a public water system or state small water system, or to implement rates for the subsumed water system. The bill would authorize the executive director of the commission or the director of the division of the commission having regulatory jurisdiction over the water or sewer system corporation to approve an uncontested advice letter and would require the commission to approve or deny the advice letter within 4 months, except as provided. The bill would authorize the commission to designate a different procedure if it determines that the consolidation warrants a more comprehensive review than the advice letter procedure provides.

Under existing law, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation regulates the drilling, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of oil and gas wells in the state. Existing law defines various terms for those purposes, including “additive.”

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to that definition.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Consolidation for Safe Drinking Water Act of 2019.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) It is the 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.
(2) Several public water systems and state small water systems in the state remain out of compliance with water quality standards established for various contaminants.
(3) Operation of public water systems presents opportunities for scale economies that could be used to implement available technologies to comply with applicable water quality standards.
(4) Many smaller public water systems and state small water systems have aging and failing infrastructure and are unable to bear the cost of replacing and upgrading their systems.
(5) Facilitating the consolidation of public water systems and state small water systems that consistently fail to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water would help to achieve these scale economies to provide benefits to the residents of California.
(6) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote timely consolidation of water systems to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water for all residents of California.

SEC. 2.

 Section 853.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

853.5.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Consolidate” means to join two or more public water systems, state small water systems, or affected residences not served by a public water system into a single public water system.
(2) “Disadvantaged community” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 79505.5 of the Water Code.
(3) “Public water system” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) “State small water system” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) “Subsumed water system” means the public water system or state small water system consolidated into the water or sewer system corporation.
(b) (1) A water or sewer system corporation may file an application and obtain approval from the commission through an order authorizing that water or sewer system corporation to consolidate with a public water system or state small water system, or to implement rates for the subsumed water system.
(2) The commission shall approve or deny an application filed pursuant to paragraph (1) within eight months of its filing, unless the commission makes a written determination that the deadline cannot be met, including findings as to the reason, and issues an order extending the deadline by up to an additional eight months.
(c) (1) (A) Notwithstanding Sections 851 and 854, a water or sewer system corporation may file an advice letter and obtain approval from the commission through a resolution authorizing that water or sewer system corporation to consolidate with a public water system or state small water system, or to implement rates for the subsumed water system, when any of the following occur:
(i) A water or sewer system corporation consolidates with a public water system or state small water system with fewer than 3,300 service connections.
(ii) A water or sewer system corporation consolidates with a public water system or state small water system serving a disadvantaged community.
(iii) A water or sewer system corporation consolidates with a public water system or state small water system that is subject to a compliance order issued pursuant to Section 116655 of the Health and Safety Code for failure to meet primary or secondary drinking water standards as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(iv) A water or sewer system corporation consolidates with a public water system or state small water system, the sale or transfer of which has been previously approved pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10061.
(B) If an advice letter filed pursuant to this subdivision is uncontested, approval may be given by the executive director or the director of the division of the commission having regulatory jurisdiction over the water or sewer system corporation.
(C) Absent incomplete documentation, the commission shall approve or deny the advice letter within four months of its filing by the applicant water or sewer system corporation unless the executive director makes a written determination that the deadline cannot be met, including findings as to the reason, and issues a response extending the deadline by up to an additional four months.
(2) For any consolidation that meets the criteria described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), the commission may designate a different procedure if it determines that the consolidation warrants a more comprehensive review than the advice letter procedure provides.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a public water system or state small water system that is not subject to the jurisdiction, control, and regulation of the commission to obtain authorization from the commission before consolidating with a public water system or state small water system.

SECTION 1.Section 3150 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
3150.

“Additive” means a substance or combination of substances added to a base fluid for purposes of preparing well stimulation treatment fluid that includes, but is not limited to, an acid stimulation treatment fluid or a hydraulic fracturing fluid. An additive may, but is not required to, serve additional purposes beyond the transmission of hydraulic pressure to the geologic formation. An additive may be of any phase and includes proppants.