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SB-230 State Water Resources Control Board: Constituents of Emerging Concern Program.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 01/19/2021 09:00 PM
SB230:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 230


Introduced by Senator Portantino

January 19, 2021


An act to add Article 3.6 (commencing with Section 116416) to Chapter 4 of Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to drinking water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 230, as introduced, Portantino. State Water Resources Control Board: Constituents of Emerging Concern Program.
Existing law, the California Safe Drinking Water Act, requires the State Water Resources Control Board to administer provisions relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health. The state board’s duties include, but are not limited to, conducting research, studies, and demonstration programs relating to the provision of a dependable and safe supply of drinking water, enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and adopting and enforcing regulations.
This bill would require the state board to establish, maintain, and direct an ongoing, dedicated program called the Constituents of Emerging Concern Program to assess the state of information and recommend areas for further study on, among other things, the occurrence of constituents of emerging concern (CEC) in drinking water sources and treated drinking water. The bill would require the state board to convene, by an unspecified date, the Science Advisory Panel to review and provide recommendations to the state board on CEC for further action, among other duties. The bill would require the state board to provide an annual report to the Legislature on the ongoing work conducted by the panel.
The bill would establish in the State Treasury the CEC Action Fund and would require moneys in the fund to be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for costs associated with implementing and administering the program, as specified.
The bill would authorize the state board, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to provide financial assistance to certain public water systems upon a showing that the costs of testing drinking water in compliance with CEC monitoring requirements based on the recommendations of the panel would impose a financial hardship.
The bill would impose requirements on the state board in connection with the program, including, among others, maintaining a program internet website and making relevant research, reports, and data available to the public.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The United States Environmental Protection Agency identifies potential contaminants through the federal Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program.
(b) California adopts federally required monitoring from the federal Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program.
(c) California establishes drinking water standards through the State Water Resources Control Board, after the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment establishes a public health goal.
(d) California administratively establishes notification levels and response levels as precautionary measures for contaminants that have not yet undergone or completed the regulatory standard setting process.
(e) The process to identify, monitor, and consider a contaminant for regulation may take many years.
(f) Analytical methods and technologies continue to advance and allow detection of compounds at increasingly lower levels.
(g) The public’s concern and engagement with constituents of emerging concern has increased in recent years.
(h) The Legislature has implemented separate requirements for certain chemicals.
(i) A unified, consistent, and science-based framework is desired to more rapidly assess the public health and drinking water consequences of a broad spectrum of constituents of emerging concern.
(j) Proactive measures to support existing regulatory processes are needed without interfering with or duplicating other state efforts on constituents of emerging concern.
(k) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 116350 of the Health and Safety Code gives the State Water Resources Control Board the responsibility to conduct research relating to the provision of a dependable, safe supply of drinking water.
(l) A Constituents of Emerging Concern Action Fund should be established to maintain a program to improve the timeliness of understanding the occurrence and public health effects of constituents of emerging concern and to support the creation of a science advisory panel to assist the State Water Resources Control Board in its considerations for prioritizing and making regulatory determinations for constituents of emerging concern.

SEC. 2.

 Article 3.6 (commencing with Section 116416) is added to Chapter 4 of Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  3.6. Constituents of Emerging Concern Program

116416.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “CEC” means a constituent or constituents of emerging concern.
(b) “Panel” means the Science Advisory Panel convened pursuant to Section 116418.
(c) “Program” means the Constituents of Emerging Concern Program established pursuant to Section 116417.

116417.
 (a) The state board shall establish, maintain, and direct an ongoing, dedicated program called the Constituents of Emerging Concern Program to assess the state of information and recommend areas for further study on all of the following:
(1) The occurrence of CEC in drinking water sources and treated drinking water.
(2) Fate, transport, and biodegradation of CEC.
(3) Water treatment and laboratory analyses.
(4) The potential effects on public health of CEC in drinking water sources and treated drinking water.
(b) Nothing in this article limits the state board’s existing authority to act on CEC.

116418.
 (a) The state board shall convene by ____ the Science Advisory Panel for CEC in drinking water sources and treated drinking water.
(b) The panel shall include at least seven members comprised of experts from the fields of public health sciences, water and wastewater engineering, toxicology, epidemiology, chemical sciences, and biological sciences.
(c) The panel shall review and provide recommendations to the state board on CEC for further action in accordance with Section 116419.
(d) The state board may adjust panel membership numbers and composition, as necessary.
(e) The panel is not subject to Section 116725 or 116730.

116419.
 (a) The panel’s advisory duties may include all of the following activities at the state board’s request, in consultation, as needed, with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the Department of Toxic Substances Control:
(1) Review existing data for CEC collected by the state board and nationwide by the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program and recommend to the state board further actions based on state-specific conditions and the state’s CEC initiatives.
(2) Identify CEC candidates based on potential public health effects.
(3) Incorporate recommendations from other ongoing state efforts evaluating CEC.
(4) Evaluate and recommend a framework for standardizing and validating detection methods, new screening methods, monitoring approaches, and reporting procedures for CEC.
(5) Recommend a framework for a risk-based screening program for CEC and appropriate indicators and surrogates that consider their occurrence in drinking water sources and treated drinking water supplies, contribution and fate in the environment, and potential for human exposure.
(6) Recommend a process to ensure CEC data is integrated with existing state databases.
(7) Review the results of any screening program and provide recommendations to assist the state board in prioritizing, monitoring, and making regulatory determinations for CEC.
(b) The state board shall provide an annual report to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code on the ongoing work conducted by the panel. The state board shall complete a public review of an annual report before submitting it to the Legislature.
(c) Nothing in this section duplicates, changes, or interferes with the state board’s ongoing efforts on CEC in recycled water.

116420.
 If the state board imposes CEC monitoring requirements based on the recommendations of the panel, the state board may provide financial assistance, upon appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose, to a public water system upon a showing that the costs associated with testing drinking water in compliance with those requirements would impose a financial hardship. These funds shall be dedicated for use by public water systems serving fewer than 10,000 individuals and located in disadvantaged communities.

116421.
 The Legislature finds and declares that the program is intended to help inform the state board in making regulatory determinations for CEC and is not intended to supersede any requirements related to setting a maximum contaminant level or a public health goal as prescribed in Section 116365.

116422.
 (a) The CEC Action Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. The state board shall administer the CEC Action Fund.
(b) All moneys deposited in the CEC Action Fund shall be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, in support of all of the following:
(1) Costs associated with establishing and maintaining the panel, developing standardized methods and a risk-based screening program, collecting occurrence data, and reporting on those activities.
(2) Costs associated with developing standardized analytical methods internally by the state board or through external contracts or grants.
(3) Costs associated with contracts or grants to public or private external research organizations to fill research gaps.
(4) Other state board costs associated with implementing and administering the program.
(c) The state board shall provide for the deposit into the CEC Action Fund of federal contributions, voluntary contributions, gifts, grants, bequests, transfers by the Legislature from the General Fund, and funding from authorized general obligation bond acts. All moneys remitted to the state board pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the CEC Action Fund.

116423.
 (a) The program shall provide opportunities for public participation. The state board may use models used by other panels or programs administered by the state board for community and stakeholder outreach pursuant to this section. Public participation shall include, but not be limited to, conducting periodic stakeholder meetings and workshops to solicit relevant information, data, suggestions, and feedback for the development and implementation of the program.
(b) The state board shall maintain a program internet website and make relevant research, reports, and data available to the public.
(c) The state board shall provide an annual program update, as an informational item, at a regularly noticed meeting of the state board.