BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             `SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
                          Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., Chair

          BILL NO:       AB 119
          AUTHOR:        Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic  
          AMENDED:       April 16, 2013
          HEARING DATE:  June 26, 2013
          CONSULTANT:    Moreno

           SUBJECT  :  Water treatment devices.
          SUMMARY  :  Deletes the requirement in existing law that water  
          treatment devices be certified by the Department of Public  
          Health and instead, requires device manufacturers be certified  
          by an independent accrediting organization and provide the  
          Department of Public Health with documentation to that fact.   
          Requires the Department of Public Health to post, on its  
          website, a list of certified devices. 

          Existing law:
          1.Requires, under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA),  
            the federal Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to set  
            standards for drinking water quality and oversee the states,  
            localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.  

          2.Establishes the Drinking Water Program within the Department  
            of Public Health (DPH) to regulate public drinking water  
            systems under delegated authority from the US EPA.

          3.Requires a water treatment device manufacturer who claims that  
            a drinking water treatment device will reduce contaminants or  
            makes other health related performance claims, to be certified  
            by DPH as to that effect.

          4.Requires water treatment device manufacturers to pay a fee to  
            DPH for each treatment device application for certification.
          This bill:
          1.Deletes the requirement in existing law that water treatment  
            devices be certified by DPH. 

          2.Repeals all regulations adopted pursuant to existing law  
            related to water treatment devices prior to January 1, 2014.  



          AB 119 | Page 2

          3.Requires, commencing January 1, 2014, water treatment device  
            manufacturers making a health or safety claim to submit the  
            following information to DPH along with an annual fee, as  
            specified, by March 1 of each calendar year, for the purposes  
            of posting on the DPH website:

             a.   The name, address, telephone number, and Internet Web  
               site address, if any, of the manufacturer;
             b.   The name, address, and telephone number of a contact  
               person for the manufacturer;
             c.   The name and model number of the water treatment device,  
               and any other product identification used by the  
               manufacturer to describe the water treatment device or  
               treatment component; and,
             d.   Each specific contaminant claimed to be removed or  
               reduced by the device and the name of the organization that  
               certified the device to verify its removal or reduction  
               performance for that contaminant, the name of the testing  
               protocol or standard used to test the device, a statement  
               from the testing laboratory giving the date of the test, a  
               summary of the results, and the date, if any, by which the  
               device must be retested for verification of the removal or  
               reduction performance to remain effective.

          4.Repeals existing law related to the prohibition of the sale or  
            distribution of un-certified water treatment devices and  
            instead prohibits the sale or distribution of a water  
            treatment device for which a health or safety claim is made  
            unless it has a valid certificate issued on or before December  
            31, 2013 or it: 

             a.   Has been certified by an independent certification  
               organization that has been accredited by the American  
               National Standards Institute;
              b.    Has been tested and the test results verify the health  
                or safety claim; or, 
              c.    Is included on the list of water treatment devices  
                published on the DPH website.
          5.Requires, before July 1, 2015, the exterior packaging of a  
            water treatment device for which a health or safety claim is  
            made, and that is offered for sale in a retail establishment  
            in California, to clearly identify the contaminant or  
            contaminants that the device has been certified pursuant to 4)  
            above to remove or reduce.  Requires, if a device has been  
            certified to remove or reduce more than five contaminants, at  


                                                             AB 119 | Page  


            least five contaminants to be listed on the exterior packaging  
            followed by a statement directing consumers to visit the  
            manufacturer's web site to obtain information regarding  
            additional contaminants that the device is certified to remove  
            or reduce.

          6.Requires, before July 1, 2015, the manufacturer of a water  
            treatment device for which it makes a health or safety claim  
            to include with each water treatment device sold in California  
            a decal that may be affixed to the device by the consumer that  
            states, at a minimum:
            "Please refer to the owner's manual for proper maintenance and  
            operation. If this device is not maintained and operated as  
            specified in the owner's manual, there is a risk of exposure  
            to contaminants. For more information, visit the  
            manufacturer's Internet Web site at Manufacturer's Internet  
            Web Site or the California Department of Public Health's  
            Internet Web site at"
          7.Prohibits a certificate issued by DPH from being valid unless  
            the application for certification was filed on or before  
            November 1, 2013.  Makes a currently valid certificate issued  
            on or before December 31, 2013 valid for five years following  
            the date of initial issuance, except that any certification  
            that was renewed on or before January 1, 2014, is valid only  
            for the remaining period of that certification.

          8.Permits DPH, rather than suspend, revoke, or deny a  
            certificate, to remove a water treatment device from, or  
            determine not to include a water treatment device on, the list  
            of water treatment devices on its website upon its  
            determination that the devices was not certified pursuant to  
            4) above, the manufacturer has violated specified existing  
            law, any of the information submitted pursuant to 3) above is  
            not true, or a certificate issued by DPH prior to December 31,  
            2013, has expired.

          9.Deletes the requirement in existing law that DPH publish a  
            list of water treatment devices certified, as specified, and  
            instead requires DPH to post on its website:

             a.   A list of water treatment devices for which a valid  
               certification was issued on or before December 31, 2013;
             b.   A list of water treatment devices for which a  
               manufacturer has submitted information pursuant to 3)  


          AB 119 | Page 4

               above, except for those water treatment devices that DPH  
               has determined to remove from, or not include on, the list  
               pursuant to 8) above;
             c.   A product worksheet for each water treatment device;  
             d.   Consumer information, in English and Spanish, regarding  
               the appropriate use of water treatment devices.

          10.Repeals existing law that requires DPH to charge and collect  
            a fee for each certificate for an amount reasonably necessary  
            to produce sufficient revenue and instead requires DPH to  
            collect an annual fee of up to $4,000 per manufacturer.  
            Prohibits the fee from exceeding the amount necessary to  
            recoup the reasonable regulatory costs incurred in publishing  
            and maintaining the information on its website and in  
            conducting enforcement actions, including, but not limited to,  
            referring matters for enforcement to other agencies, as  

          11.Permits DPH to establish and periodically adjust the fee by  
            publishing it on its website.  Exempts this action from the  
            rulemaking procedure of the Administrative Procedure Act. 

          12.Exempts residential self-regenerating water softeners, as  
            specified, from the provisions of this bill and existing law  
            related to water treatment devices.

          13.Defines "health or safety claim" as a claim that the water  
            treatment device will remove or reduce a contaminant, as  

          14.Defines "manufacturer" as a person that: 

             a.   Makes, converts, constructs, or produces water treatment  
               devices for the purposes of sale, lease, or rental to  
               individuals, corporations, associations, or other entities;  

             b.   Assembles water treatment devices or treatment  
               components from components manufactured by another entity;  
             c.   Adds its own product name or product identification to  
               water treatment devices or       treatment components that  
               have been manufactured or assembled by another entity.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, the proposed $4,000 fee on manufacturers is  


                                                             AB 119 | Page  


          sufficient to fund the administrative costs to DPH.  An  
          estimated 35 manufacturers will pay the $4,000 fee annually  
          resulting in $140,000 revenue collected by DPH.  The current fee  
          is $1,200 for the initial approval, with a $400 renewal each  
          year for up to four years per device (rather than manufacturer).  
           The new fee will result in reduced revenues offset by a  
          corresponding decrease in workload.

           PRIOR VOTES  :  
          Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials:7- 0
          Assembly Health:    19- 0
          Assembly Appropriations:17- 0
          Assembly Floor:     73- 0
          COMMENTS  :  
           1.Author's statement.  AB 119 would modify existing law to  
            require "approval" rather than "certification" of water  
            treatment devices offered for sale in California that make  
            health claims.  That approval would be provided by an  
            independent testing organization that has been accredited by  
            American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or by the federal  

          2.Point of Use (POU)/ Point of Entry Treatment (POE).  A POU  
            treatment device is any unit installed on a single water  
            faucet or bubbler that changes the water quality.  A POE  
            treatment device is any unit installed that changes the water  
            quality of all potable water entering a building.  POE and POU  
            treatment devices such as carbon filters are sometimes  
            installed to enhance the aesthetic quality (taste and odor) of  
            potable water supplied by a local water system.  In other  
            cases, POE and POU treatment devices have been authorized to  
            be installed to meet drinking water standards in place of  
            centralized treatment.

          3.Household water treatment devices.  According to DPH, there  
            are hundreds of California-certified drinking water treatment  
            devices.  Certified devices include POU and POE systems, which  
            range from pour-through pitchers and faucet-mount,  
            carbon-filter systems to reverse osmosis, ultraviolet  
            disinfection and household water softeners.  Contaminants  
            removed by certified devices include organic chemicals such as  
            MTBE, pesticides, herbicides and solvents; inorganics such as  
            lead, mercury, and perchlorate; and waterborne pathogens, such  
            as bacteria, virus and protozoan cysts, such as Giardia and  


          AB 119 | Page 6


          4.Limitations of POU/POE treatment.  While POU/POE treatment has  
            advanced in recent years it does not provide treatment  
            equivalent to centralized treatment.  POU/POE treatment  
            technologies can provide sufficient treatment for one specific  
            contaminant.  However, they are not designed to treat the  
            complex myriad of contaminants that may be in drinking water.   
             Additionally, contaminants in water affect the water quality  
            individually and cumulatively and POU/POE treatment systems  
            are not designed to address the cumulative impacts to water  

            Water quality levels are not static.  Centralized treatment  
            systems are regularly monitored and the treatment is adjusted  
            as changes in the water quality and levels of the range of  
            contaminants change.  POU/POE treatment systems cannot be  
            adjusted as the water quality changes, so their efficacy may  

            Because POU treatment systems attach to the faucet, their  
            treatment is limited to water that comes through that faucet.   
            Showers, washing machines and other faucets, such as those in  
            bathrooms, are not treated.  POU treatment devices are not  
            appropriate in households where the treated contaminant  
            presents health risks when inhaled, such as volatile organic  
            compounds or hexavalent chromium, which may be released into  
            the air, especially in warm water.  With many contaminants  
            that could pose an additional risk, especially in homes with  
            children, these systems are meant as a very temporary stopgap  
            measure until centralized water treatment can be provided.  

            Finally, centralized treatment facilities are regularly  
            inspected and monitored to ensure sufficient maintenance by  
            either DPH or the county environmental health jurisdictions.   
            There is no built in inspection, monitoring or maintenance  
            when water systems use POU/POE treatment.  Ensuring proper  
            working order of POU/POE systems is crucial.  If filters are  
            not changed when needed, some systems can build up  
            contaminants in the system and release them into the water in  
            high concentrations.  

          5.Double referral.  This bill was heard in the Senate  
            Environmental Quality Committee on June 12, 2013, and passed  
            with a 9-0 vote.


                                                             AB 119 | Page  


          6.Support.  A number of manufacturers write that the current  
            certification system is unduly interrupting product innovation  
            cycles constructed around consumer demands, and that in many  
            cases these are products that have already been rigorously  
            examined by accredited certification agencies and they are  
            being delayed for months and even year from consumers.   
            Culligan writes that the current certification process  
            provides no additional value to California consumers and has  
            prevented Californians, particularly those living in areas  
            where centralized water treatment plans are cost-prohibitive,  
            from being able to purchase state-of-the-art at-home water  
            treatment devices.  Clean Water Action contends that while the  
            purpose of the current certification program was laudable, in  
            fact it provides no added value, as it simply duplicates  
            testing already performed by third party accrediting entities  
            and services to delay the availability of new devices in the  
            state.  The Association of Water Agencies states that this  
            bill deletes current redundant certification requirements for  
            water treatment devices and would streamline the regulatory  
            requirements that currently apply to those devices. 

            a.  On page 4 delete lines 10-19 and instead amend existing  
              law as follows: 
              (c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), make product  
              performance claims or product benefit claims that the device  
              affects  the  health or the safety of drinking water, unless  
              the device has been  certified   approved  by the State  
              Department of Health Services pursuant Article 3 (commencing  
              with Section 116825) of Chapter 5 of Part 12 of Division 104  
              of the Health and Safety Code  to make that claim  . This  
              subdivision does not apply to the making of truthful and  
              nonmisleading claims regarding the removal or reduction of  
              contaminants for which certification is not  available   
               associated with a health or safety claim  pursuant to Article  
              3 (commencing with Section 116825) of Chapter 5 of Part 12  
              of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code.
            b.  On page 6, line 1, after "March 1" insert "and September  
            c.  On page 7, lines 1 and 12, delete "Before" and insert  
            d.  On page 8, delete lines 5-7
          Support:  Clean Water Action (sponsor)


          AB 119 | Page 8

                    Culligan (sponsor)
                    Association of California Water Agencies
                    Barrier North America, LLC
                    Dow Chemical Company
                    Ecowater Systems
                    OKO H2O Div. -Worldway Industrial Corp.
                    Pacific Water Quality Association
                    Pentair Water Purification
                    The Clorox Company
                    TST Water, LLC - Temecula
                    Water Quality Association
                    3M Purification, Inc.

          Oppose:   None received

                                      -- END --