BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 918
                                                                  Page 1

          Date of Hearing:   June 15, 2010

           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY AND TOXIC MATERIALS
                                  Pedro Nava, Chair
                     SB 918 (Pavley) - As Amended:  June 1, 2010

          SENATE VOTE:   24-12

          SUBJECT:   Water recycling standards.

          SUMMARY:  Requires the State Department of Public Health (DPH)  
          to establish standards for various types of water recycling.    
          Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Requires the DPH to adopt uniform water recycling criteria for  
            indirect potable use for groundwater recharge, by December 31,  
            2013.

          2)Requires the DPH to adopt uniform water recycling criteria for  
            surface water augmentation by December 31, 2016.  The criteria  
            for surface water augmentation would be subject to review and  
            approval by an expert panel on uniform water recycling  
            criteria for indirect potable reuse through surface water  
            augmentation convened by the DPH. 

               i)     The expert panel made up of members with specified  
                 expertise; include at least 6 members with following  
                 experts:
                    (a)         Toxicologist 
                    (b)         Engineer with at least 3 years of  
                      experience in wastewater treatment
                    (c)         Engineer with at least 3 years experience  
                      in treatment of drinking water supplies and  
                      knowledge of drinking water standards;
                    (d)         Epidemiologist
                    (e)         Microbiologist; and 
                    (f)         Chemist

               ii)    Provides that members of the panel may be  
                 compensated for travel expenses. 

               iii)   Authorizes the DPH to convene an advisory group or  
                 task force on the development of uniform water recycling  
                 criteria for indirect potable reuse through surface water  
                 augmentation that must include at least 9 representatives  








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                 of water agencies, local governments, environmental,  
                 public health, environmental justice and business.   
                 Environmental, environmental justice and non-governmental  
                 public health Member may be compensated for travel  
                 expenses. 

               iv)    Requires that the criteria for indirect potable  
                 reuse through surface water augmentation developed by DHS  
                 shall consider 10 specified sources of information on  
                 water reuse.

          3)Requires the Department to investigate and then report to the  
            Legislature on the feasibility of developing uniform water  
            recycling criteria for direct potable reuse, by December 31,  
            2016.  The investigation and report to the legislature shall  
            include a consideration of a 10 specific factors related to  
            direct potable reuse.
          4)The bill authorizes the expenditure from July 1, 2011 until  
            June 30, 2017 for the implementation of the bill from the  
            Waste Discharge Permit Fund currently allocated for use by the  
            State Water Resources Control Board.

           EXISTING LAW:
           
          1)Requires DPH to establish uniform statewide recycling criteria  
            for each type of use of recycled water where the use involves  
            the protection of public health.

          2)Requires funds generated by these civil penalties to be  
            deposited into the Waste Discharge Permit Fund, to be expended  
            by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) upon  
            appropriation by the Legislature, to assist Regional Water  
            Quality Control Boards in cleaning up or abating the effects  
            of waste in waters in the state.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, this bill would result in an annual cost of $171,000  
          to $226,000 to be paid from the State Water Resources Control  
          Board Waste Discharge Permit Fund.

           COMMENTS: 
           
           1)Need for the bill  .  According to the author, this bill  
            addresses the need for the increased use of recycled water.   
            Specifically, the author points out that "California  








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            discharges nearly 4 million acre feet of wastewater into the  
            ocean - more than the State Water Project delivers to the Bay  
            Area, the Central Valley, and Southern California.  Much of  
            that water could be recycled.  However, because the state has  
            not adopted uniform safety standards, the permitting and  
            design processes for building and operating water recycling  
            facilities are unpredictable, discouraging local communities  
            from tapping into this major water source."

           2)Recycled water  .  Recycled water, sometimes called reclaimed  
            water, is former wastewater (sewage) that has been treated to  
            remove solids and certain impurities, and then allowed to  
            recharge the aquifer rather than being discharged to surface  
            water.  This recharging is often done by using the treated  
            wastewater for irrigation.  Recycled water is used for many  
            purposes including agricultural irrigation, landscape  
            irrigation, groundwater recharge, and seawater intrusion  
            barriers.  Before recycled water can be used for these  
            beneficial uses, the Regional Water Quality Control Boards and  
            DPH require treatment to remove pollutants that could be  
            harmful to the beneficial use.

           3)State regulation for groundwater recharge  .  DPH regulates  
            projects under the State Water Recycling Criteria (Title 22)  
            and draft groundwater recharge regulations.  The draft  
            recharge regulations, which are used as guidance in evaluating  
            projects, specifically address protection of public health. 

             a)   In January 2007, DPH posted a revised draft of the  
               groundwater recharge regulations on its website and formed  
               an expanded Groundwater Recharge Regulations Working Group  
               to discuss and revise the draft regulations.  In August  
               2008, DPH posted a revised draft of the regulations on its  
               website and asked for public comments to be submitted in  
               October 2008.

             b)   In 2009, DPH submitted the draft regulations to DPH's  
               legal services group for review. Once a final draft has  
               been prepared based on the legal services input, the  
               complete regulatory package must be prepared and the formal  
               regulatory process can begin. 

           4)Does this bill limit existing DPH authority to establish  
            recycled water regulations?   The existing statute (H&S code  
            13560) authorizes the DPH to adopt standards for multiple uses  








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            of recycled water.  The provisions of SB 918 provide specific  
            dates for the completion of new regulations.  Both of these  
            categories will be further limited by this bill by requiring  
            the approval of an independent technical committee of the  
            criteria for surface water augmentation and direct potable use  
            will require a specific investigation and report.  The bill  
            may have the effect of limiting the authority of the DPH to  
            adopt standards for both recycling criteria for surface water  
            augmentation and for direct potable reuse. 
           
          5)Double-referral to the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife  
            Committee  .  Should this measure be approved by this Committee,  
            the do pass motion must include the action to re-refer the  
            bill to the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.

          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

           Support:

           Planning & Conservation League (Co-Sponsor)
          WateReuse (Co-Sponsor)
          Association of California Water Agencies
          California Association of Sanitation Agencies
          California Municipal Utilities Association
          California Water Association
          City of Roseville
          City of San Jose
          County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
          East Bay Municipal Utility District
          Eastern Municipal Water District
          Las Virgenes Water District
          Irvine Ranch Water District
          Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
          San Diego Coastkeeper
          San Diego County Water Authority
          San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
          Sierra Club California

           Opposition: 
           
          None on file.


          Analysis Prepared by:    Bob Fredenburg / E.S. & T.M. / (916)  
          319-3965 








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