BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 803
                                                                  Page 1

          Date of Hearing:   April 30, 2013

           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY AND TOXIC MATERIALS
                                  Luis Alejo, Chair
                     AB 803 (Gomez) - As Amended:  April 22, 2013
           
          SUBJECT  :   Water recycling.

           SUMMARY  :   Modifies the State Water Resources Control Board  
          (SWRCB) and Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs)  
          regulation of recycled water.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Designates this act as the Water Recycling Act of 2013.

          2)Modifies recycled water spill reporting thresholds by making  
            those in the Health and Safety Code the same as those in the  
            Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Porter-Cologne).

          3)Authorizes the SWRCB and the RWQCBs to permit Advanced Treated  
            Purified Water (ATPW) projects at the point where the highly  
            treated water enters a conveyance facility exiting the  
            treatment plant.

          4)Provides that ATPW means water of wastewater origin treated  
            with a treatment method at least as effective as membrane  
            filtration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation, disinfection,  
            and engineered reliability features or other suitable  
            treatment as approved by the State Department of Public Health  
            (DPH).

           EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Pursuant to the Porter -Cologne Act, the SWRCB has the  
            authority over State water rights and water quality policy.   
            Establishes nine RWQCBs to oversee water quality on a  
            day-to-day basis at the local and regional level.

          2)Requires, under Porter-Cologne, that tertiary treated recycled  
            water is only reportable at 50,000 gallons or more and that  
            recycled water that is treated to less than a tertiary level  
            is reportable at 1,000 gallons.

          3)Requires the DPH to enforce laws and regulations related to  
            drinking water safety.









                                                                  AB 803
                                                                  Page 2

          4)Requires DPH to establish uniform statewide recycling criteria  
            for each type of use of recycled water use.

          5)Requires any person proposing to discharge waste within any  
            region to file a report of waste discharge with the  
            appropriate RWQCB.  No discharge may take place until the  
            RWQCB issues waste discharge requirements or a waiver of the  
            waste discharge requirements.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :

           Need for the bill.   According to the author, "This bill will  
          remove barriers to the increased use of recycled water and  
          insure protection of public health and safety by Aligning  
          existing provisions in law to reduce unnecessary paperwork that  
          results from the reporting of incidental run-off from recycled  
          water projects.  The bill clarifies existing Regional Water  
          Quality Control Board authority to permit Advanced Treated  
          Purified Water projects at the point where the highly treated  
          water exits the treatment plant and enters a conveyance  
          facility.  In the case of the City of San Diego, the permitting  
          approach acknowledged in the bill will avoid the cost and  
          environmental impact of a $220 million pipeline.

           Water recycling in California  :  According to the California  
          Association of Water Agencies, California is among the major  
          players worldwide in water recycling.  There are over 250 water  
          recycling plants currently operating in the state.  According to  
          the California Department of Water Resources, the state recycles  
          anywhere from 450,000 acre-feet to 580,000 acre-feet of  
          wastewater annually, which is almost three times the amount  
          recycled in 1970.  About two-thirds of the state's recycled  
          water is used for irrigation, with about 46% used for  
          agriculture and another 21% used for landscaping.  About 14% is  
          used for groundwater recharge, while 19% goes to all other uses.  
           The SWRCB has identified the potential to reuse an additional  
          1.5 million acre-feet in the future.


           City of San Diego project  :  The city of San Diego is currently  
          considering the final phase of the water reuse program which is  
          the construction of a full-scale advanced water treatment plant  
          and transmission pipeline.  According the City, the treatment  








                                                                 AB 803
                                                                  Page 3

          plant would take recycled water (acceptable for irrigation and  
          industrial applications) from the North City Water Reclamation  
          Plant and apply additional treatment to produce high quality  
          advanced treated water.  A 22-mile pipeline would then transport  
          this advanced treated recycled water to San Vicente Reservoir,  
          where it would blend with imported untreated water and reside  
          for several months prior to being sent to water treatment plants  
          for additional treatment and distribution as potable water.


           Advanced treated purified water  :  The bill requires recycled  
          water to meet ATPW standards approved the DPH.  There is  
          currently not a specific DPH standard or process for approving  
          ATPW.  The DPH may be applying the current regulations for  
          filtered and disinfected wastewater meeting California's Water  
          Recycling Criteria for unrestricted reuse (California Title 22  
          Requirements for Unrestricted Reuse).
           
          Chemicals of emerging concern  :  The SWRCB adopted a Recycled  
          Water Policy in February 2009 intended to provide permitting  
          clarity for recycled water projects.  One challenge in  
          developing that policy was how to address new classes of  
          chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals, current use pesticides, and  
          industrial chemicals, collectively referred to as chemicals of  
          emerging concern (CECs).  Many CECs are potentially present in  
          recycled water, but the detection of many of these chemicals is  
          so recent that robust methods for their quantification and  
          toxicological data for interpreting potential human or ecosystem  
          health effects are unavailable.  
           
           Related current legislation:
           
          SB 322 (Hueso).  Requires the National Water Research Institute  
          to convene and administer the expert panel to advise the DPH  
          regarding the development of uniform water recycling criteria  
          for direct potable reuse.  SB322 is set to be heard in the  
          Senate Environmental Quality Committee on May 1, 2013.

          AB 1200 (Levine).  Establishes a water recycling pilot project  
          in Sonoma County for the storage of recycled water in  
          agricultural ponds.  AB 1200 is set to be heard in the  
          Environmental Safety and Toxic Material Committee on April 30,  
          2013.

           Prior legislation  :








                                                                  AB 803
                                                                  Page 4


          AB 2398 (Hueso) 2012, would have comprehensively reorganized the  
          State's recycled water statutes into a new Division of the Water  
          Code.  This bill was held in the Senate Natural Resources and  
          Water Committee.

           Dual Referral  :  This bill was heard by the Assembly Water Parks  
          and Wildlife Committee on April 18, 2013, and passed with a 15  
          to 0 vote.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support

           WateReuse (sponsor)
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,  
          AFL-CIO
          Association of California Water Agencies
          California Association of Sanitation Agents
          California Coastkeeper Alliance
          California Municipal Utilities Association
          California Water Association
          Desert Water Agency
          East Bay Municipal Utility District
          Eastern Municipal Water District
          El Dorado Irrigation District
          Irvine Ranch Water District
          Olivenhain Municipal Water District
          Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District
          San Diego County Water Authority
          West Basin Municipal Water District

           Opposition 
           
          Russian River Watershed Protection Committee

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