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SB-589 Municipal separate storm sewer systems: financial capability analysis: pilot project.(2017-2018)



Current Version: 04/26/17 - Amended Senate        


SB589:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 06, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 589


Introduced by Senator Hernandez

February 17, 2017


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


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 589, as amended, Hernandez. Municipal separate storm sewer systems: financial capability analysis: pilot project.
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 apply and ensure compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and 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 board, in conjunction with an educational institution, to establish financial capability assessment guidelines for municipal separate storm sewer system permittees by an unspecified date. The bill would require the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles region to use the guidelines in a pilot project conducted by an independent or educational entity for assessing the to assess if a financial capability of analysis can be effectively used to help municipalities to implement a municipal separate storm sewer system permit. The bill would require the state board to oversee the use of the guidelines and to make statewide recommendations upon the completion of the financial capability analysis. pilot project.
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) A financial capability assessment is necessary to set achievable schedules for water quality objectives in water quality control plans under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code) and to develop integrated regional water management plans.
(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 as 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 board, in conjunction with an educational institution, shall establish financial capability assessment guidelines for municipal separate storm sewer system permittees by ____. The state board shall consider 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.
(b) The regional board for the Los Angeles region shall use the guidelines developed by the state board in a pilot project conducted by an independent or educational entity for assessing the to assess if a financial capability of analysis can be effectively used to help municipalities to implement a municipal separate storm sewer system permit. The state board shall oversee the use of the guidelines and shall make statewide recommendations upon the completion of the financial capability analysis. pilot project.