Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-1195 Drinking water.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 05/24/2021 10:16 AM
AB1195:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 24, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 06, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1195


Introduced by Assembly Member Cristina Garcia

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Section 116681 of, to add Section 116351 to, and to add Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 116688) to Chapter 4 of Part 12 of Division 104 of, and to repeal Section 116690 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1195, as amended, Cristina Garcia. Drinking water.
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 relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health. The act authorizes the state board to order consolidation with, or extension of service from, a receiving water system if a public water system or state small water system serving a disadvantaged community consistently fails to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water or if a disadvantaged community is substantially reliant on domestic wells that consistently fail to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
Existing law establishes the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury to help water systems provide an adequate and affordable supply of safe drinking water in both the near and long terms. Existing law authorizes the state board to provide for the deposit into the fund of certain moneys and continuously appropriates the moneys in the fund to the state board for grants, loans, contracts, or services to assist eligible recipients.
This bill would prohibit, once an operator of a public water system exercises water rights for the benefit of the public water system, those surface water rights or groundwater rights from being severed or otherwise separated from the public water system. prohibit a public water system from transferring or abandoning a water right held by the public water system except upon approval of the state board, as prescribed.
The bill would enact the Southern Los Angeles County Human Right to Water Collaboration Act, which would require the state board to appoint a commissioner commissioner, from its own staff located in the County of Los Angeles, to, among other things, expend moneys from the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund on behalf of the state board for eligible purposes and recipients in southern Los Angeles County, within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California California, excluding the area overlying the West Coast Groundwater Basin, and in collaboration with the communities and operators of public water systems in the region. The bill would require the commissioner, on or before December 31, 2024, to develop and submit to the state board a plan for the long-term sustainability of public water systems in southern Los Angeles County, in collaboration with a technical advisory board, which the bill would create. The bill would require the technical advisory board to be composed of an unspecified number of members, with one member appointed by the state board and the remaining members authorized to be appointed by specified and unspecified entities.
In preparing the plan, the bill would require the commissioner, among other things, to oversee and collaborate with the state-funded work of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California in a specified assessment and to consult with the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission regarding effective public water system governance strategies in the region, as specified. region. The bill would authorize the state board to adopt and implement the plan, subject to specified requirements. The bill would require the commissioner to oversee the expenditure of all state funding for groundwater cleanup in the region and to oversee the operations of the Central Basin Municipal Water District in selling drinking water and recycled water to public water systems in its jurisdiction. The bill would authorize the commissioner to require order an audit or a financial review of the Central Basin Municipal Water District to pay for an audit directed by the commissioner. By imposing or an operator of a public water system that seeks or has received state funding or benefits. To the extent this would impose additional requirements on the Central Basin Municipal Water District, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

The bill would establish a pilot program, until January 1, 2027, pursuant to which the commissioner would be required to submit an application to the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission proposing a plan for extension of service from, or consolidation and dissolution of, public water systems, as prescribed. The bill would require the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission, no later than 120 days after receipt of a completed application, to hold 2 public hearings and make final its approval, approval with condition, or denial of the consolidation or extension of service. By imposing additional requirements on the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.Section 116351 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
116351.

Once an operator of a public water system exercises water rights for the benefit of the public water system, those surface water rights or groundwater rights shall not be severed or otherwise separated from the public water system.

SECTION 1.

 Section 116351 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

116351.
 A public water system shall not transfer or abandon a water right held by the public water system except upon approval of the state board, which may condition an approval in furtherance of the policies of this chapter and Sections 106.3, 113, and 85023 of the Water Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 116681 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

116681.
 The following definitions shall apply to this section, Sections 116682, 116684, and 116686, and Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 116688):
(a) “Adequate supply” means sufficient water to meet residents’ health and safety needs at all times.
(b) “Affected residence” means a residence within a disadvantaged community that is reliant on a water supply that is either inadequate or unsafe and that is not served by a public water system or state small water system.
(c) “At-risk domestic wells” means domestic wells that serve a disadvantaged community and are at risk of consistently failing to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water as determined by the state board pursuant to the methodology established in the 2021 Drinking Water Needs Assessment referenced in subdivision (b) of Section 116769, or a substantially similar methodology adopted by the state board in an update to the Drinking Water Needs Assessment.
(d) “At-risk water system” means a water system that meets all the following conditions:
(1) The water system is either a public water system with 3,300 or fewer connections or a state small water system.
(2) The system serves a disadvantaged community.
(3) The system is at risk of consistently failing to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water, as determined by the state board pursuant to the methodology established in the 2021 Drinking Water Needs Assessment referenced in subdivision (b) of Section 116769, or a substantially similar methodology adopted by the state board in an update to the Drinking Water Needs Assessment.

(c)

(e) “Consistently fails” means a failure to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.

(d)

(f) “Consolidated water system” means the public water system resulting from the consolidation of a public water system with another public water system, state small water system, or affected residences.

(e)

(g) “Consolidation” means joining two or more public water systems, state small water systems, or affected residences into a single public water system.

(f)

(h) “Disadvantaged community” means a disadvantaged community, as defined in Section 79505.5 of the Water Code.

(g)

(i) “Domestic well” means a groundwater well used to supply water for the domestic needs of an individual residence or a water system that is not a public water system and that has no more than four service connections.

(h)

(j) “Extension of service” means the provision of service through any physical or operational infrastructure arrangement other than consolidation.

(i)

(k) “Infill site” means a site within the area served by a subsumed water system that, as of the date of consolidation, is adjacent to a parcel that is developed for qualified urban uses.
(l) “Los Angeles commission” means the local agency formation commission of the County of Los Angeles.

(j)

(m) “Qualified urban use” means any residential, commercial, public institutional, industrial, transit or transportation facility, or retail use, or any combination of those uses.

(k)

(n) “Receiving water system” means the public water system that provides service to a subsumed water system through consolidation or extension of service.

(l)

(o) “Safe drinking water” means water that meets all primary and secondary drinking water standards.

(m)

(p) “State small water system” has the same meaning as provided in Section 116275.

(n)

(q) “Subsumed water system” means the public water system, state small water system, or affected residences served by domestic wells consolidated into or receiving service from the receiving water system.

SEC. 3.

 Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 116688) is added to Chapter 4 of Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  9.5. Southern Los Angeles County Human Right to Water Collaboration Act

116688.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Southern Los Angeles County Human Right to Water Collaboration Act.

116689.
 (a) The state board shall appoint a commissioner commissioner, from its own staff located in the County of Los Angeles, to implement the state board’s Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) Program established pursuant to Chapter 120 of the Statutes of 2019 in southern Los Angeles County, within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California California, excluding the area overlying the West Coast Groundwater Basin, and in collaboration with the communities and operators of public water systems in the region.
(b) In implementing the SAFER Program in southern Los Angeles County, the commissioner shall, on behalf of the state board, expend moneys from the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund established pursuant to Section 116766, subject to the state board’s approval, for the purposes, and to the eligible recipients, identified in Section 116766. The commissioner may take any reasonable action to accomplish those purposes. Pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 116766, the commissioner shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that funds are used to secure the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure, including, but not limited to, requiring adequate technical, managerial, and financial capacity of eligible applicants as part of funding agreement outcomes.
(c) (1) In addition to the authority established in subdivision (b), the commissioner may do either of the following:
(A) Assist operators of public water systems in operating and managing their public water systems, including, but not limited to, funding, technical assistance, and other collaboration that promotes economies of scale.
(B) Serve as an administrator of a public water system pursuant to Section 116686, or as a receiver of a public water system pursuant to court order, for a public water system that serves a disadvantaged community or that consistently fails or is at risk of doing so, as determined by the commissioner.
(2) The commissioner shall seek available funding from state and local sources to fund its activities.
(d) The commissioner shall, on or before December 31, 2024, develop and submit to the state board a plan for the long-term sustainability of public water systems in southern Los Angeles County, in collaboration with the technical advisory board established pursuant to Section 116690. In preparing the plan, the commissioner shall do all of the following:
(1) Oversee and collaborate with the state-funded work of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California in assessing the conditions of small public water systems in its jurisdiction pursuant to Item 3860-101-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2019 (Chapter 23 of the Statutes of 2019), including the sufficiency of each small public water system’s water quality and water rights. supply portfolio. The plan shall include evaluation of each small public water system’s technical, managerial, and financial conditions, which may qualify the small public water system for some types of financial assistance.
(2) Review the assessment described in paragraph (1) and evaluate public water systems and other water infrastructure in the region. The evaluation shall include assessment of the physical conditions of groundwater wells and groundwater quality.
(3) Identify projects, processes, and systems that may assist public water systems that consistently fail or are at risk of doing so, as determined by the commissioner. commissioner in accordance with the risk factors used in the SAFER Program. For a public water system in a disadvantaged community, the commissioner may consider groundwater wells or groundwater quality that pose a risk to the public water system of consistently failing and identify actions necessary to either assist that public water system or determine appropriate changes for the public water system in accordance with applicable law.
(4) (A) Plan for the consolidation of public water systems that either consistently fail or are at risk of doing so, as determined by the commissioner. The plan shall include identification of a receiving water system operated by a municipality or other public agency, without regard to jurisdictional boundaries. The commissioner shall propose receiving water systems to the state board for consolidation proceedings pursuant to Section 116682. This paragraph does not preclude the operator of a public water system or a state small water system from proposing a voluntary consolidation for the identified subsumed water system. commissioner after considering comments from stakeholders, the customers of the public water systems, and the public. The regional plan required by this subdivision shall identify the public water systems that may be subject to consolidation, however the decision to order consolidations or extensions of service remains with the state board pursuant to Section 116682 and subject to the local agency formation commission process in Section 116690.
(B) Before completion of the plan, the commissioner shall identify failing and at-risk water systems in the region and request the state board to determine, after a public hearing, whether each public water system meets the requirements for consolidation in Section 116682. The operator of the public water system may voluntarily acknowledge, without a public hearing, that it meets the requirements for consolidation.
(C) Upon a determination that a public water system qualifies for consolidation, the commissioner shall apply to the Los Angeles commission for a plan for extension of service, or consolidation and dissolution, as provided in Section 116690.
(D) If the Los Angeles commission has not completed its work under subparagraph (C) on a particular public water system by September 30, 2024, the commissioner’s plan may identify a public water system subject to consolidation without providing a plan for extension of service, or consolidation and dissolution of the public water system.
(E) This paragraph does not preclude the operator of a public water system or a state small water system from proposing a voluntary consolidation for the identified subsumed water system.
(5) Consult with the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission commission regarding effective public water system governance strategies in the region and how the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission may facilitate consolidation of public water systems that consistently fail or are at risk of doing so, as determined by the commissioner. region.
(e) The state board may adopt and implement the plan prepared by the commissioner, as required by subdivision (d). Before adopting the plan or approving any substantial revisions after the plan is adopted, the state board shall hold at least one public hearing in southern Los Angeles County, after public notice at least 30 days before the hearing. The state board shall post an adopted plan, as it may be amended, on its internet website. Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code does not apply to the state board’s adoption or amendment of the plan.

(e)

(f) The commissioner shall oversee the operations of may order an audit or a financial review of the Central Basin Municipal Water District in selling drinking water and recycled water to public water systems in its jurisdiction. The Central Basin Municipal Water District shall cooperate with the commissioner in exercising the commissioner’s oversight responsibilities. The commissioner may require the Central Basin Municipal Water District to pay for an audit directed by the commissioner. or an operator of a public water system that seeks or has received state funding or other benefits from the state board to support its public water system. The California State Auditor may cooperate with the commissioner regarding the an audit of the Central Basin Municipal Water District, using the findings of the California State Auditor’s 2015 audit of the Central Basin Municipal Water District. that district.

(f)

(g) The commissioner shall oversee, on behalf of the state board, the expenditure of all state funding for groundwater cleanup in the region. This oversight shall include identification, for basins in the region, of significant contaminants and potential remediation of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The commissioner shall investigate a range of options to pay for remediating groundwater contamination in the region, including methods to hold polluters accountable for their groundwater contamination.

116690.
 (a) For purposes of this article, a pilot program is hereby established for the Los Angeles commission. The application to the Los Angeles commission proposing a plan for extension of service, or consolidation and dissolution if appropriate, as provided in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 116689, shall include all of the following:
(1) A plan for services pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 56653 of the Government Code.
(2) The public water system service areas affected by the consolidation, including boundary maps and legal descriptions.
(3) Identification of any adjacent agencies that could provide services in lieu of the proposed consolidation.
(4) The recorded violations of drinking water or other public water system standards causing the entity to consistently fail or be at risk of failing to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water.
(5) Indemnification of the Los Angeles commission.
(6) An application fee.
(b) No later than 120 days after receipt of a completed application pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 116689, the Los Angeles commission shall hold two public hearings in accordance with Section 56661 of the Government Code and make final its approval, approval with condition, or denial of the consolidation or extension of service. In deliberating on proposed receiving water systems, the Los Angeles commission shall prioritize the most affordable water rates, best customer service, and most effective plans for maintaining and improving infrastructure and management systems.
(c) If the Los Angeles commission fails to act on an application for consolidation or extension of service pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall propose receiving water systems to the state board for consolidation proceedings pursuant to Section 116682.
(d) For purposes of this section, the Los Angeles commission may also consider consolidation or extension of service to include any of the following, after first considering public water agency options:
(1) A local publicly owned utility that provides retail water service.
(2) A privately owned water company.
(3) A mutual water company.
(e) For purposes of this section, the Los Angeles commission may waive the property tax transfer process in Article 5 (commencing with Section 99) of Chapter 6 of Part 0.5 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(f) For purposes of this section, the Los Angeles commission may determine the structure of the governing board of any involved consolidated agency or successor agency.
(g) Actions taken by the Los Angeles commission pursuant to this section are not subject to Article 3 (commencing with Section 56895) of Chapter 6 of Part 3 of Division 3 of Title 5 of the Government Code or protest or election proceedings pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 57000) of Division 3 of Title 5 of the Government Code.
(h) The Los Angeles commission or the receiving water system may determine the legality of the existence of the receiving water system or validate the financial provisions of a proposal in an action brought pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 860) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(i) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2027, and as of that date is repealed.

116691.
 Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code does not apply to either of the following:
(a) A consolidation or extension of service pursuant to this article.
(b) The dissolution of a public water system pursuant to this article.

116690.116692.
 (a) (1) The commissioner shall be advised by a technical advisory board of experts in water management or water policy consisting of ____ members. Each member, except the member specified in paragraph (2), shall have at least five years of experience in a managerial level position with a water supplier, in operations, water quality, or finance, or as a general manager of a water supplier.
(2) One of the members shall be appointed by the state board and shall have at least one year of experience at a senior level of a nonprofit organization engaging communities in the region on water issues, which may include a member of the state board’s SAFER Advisory Group. Upon appropriation by the Legislature, the state board shall pay that member’s expenses and a reasonable stipend for the member’s participation in technical advisory board meetings.
(3) Each In addition to the member appointed under paragraph (2), each of the following entities shall may appoint one member to the technical advisory board: ____.
(A) The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works.
(B) The Water Replenishment District of Southern California.
(C) ____.
(b) The technical advisory board may promote regional collaboration by developing alternatives for creating sustainable public water systems in the region, which the commissioner may consider in preparing the plan pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 116689.
(c) (1) An entity appointing a member to the board may replace their member as required. If a board member office is declared vacant, the appointing entity shall appoint a successor.
(2) A majority of the members of the board may vote to request the replacement of another member of the board.
(d) An entity appointing a member to the board shall compensate the member commensurate with the entity’s compensation policies and shall provide for out-of-pocket expenses and travel associated with the member’s activities on the technical advisory board.
(e) (1) In December of each year, the technical advisory board shall select a president to serve a one-year term starting on the following January 1.
(2) The technical advisory board shall meet twice each month and as needed to address interventions and the need of the commissioner for the identification of operational and technical resources.

SEC. 4.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII   B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.