Amended in Assembly April 10, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1251

Introduced by Assembly Member Gorell

February 22, 2013

An act to add Chapter 5.10 (commencing with Section 13399.50) to Division 7 of, and to repeal Section 13399.51 of, the Water Code, relating to water quality.


AB 1251, as amended, Gorell. Water quality: stormwater.

Under existing law, the State Water Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality control boards prescribe waste discharge requirements for the discharge of stormwater in accordance with the national pollutant discharge elimination system permit program established by the federal Clean Water Act and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.

This bill would require the Secretary for Environmental Protection to convene a stormwater task force to review, plan, and coordinate stormwater-related activity to maximize regulatory effectiveness in reducing water pollution. The bill would require the task force to meet on a quarterly basis.

This bill would require the task force, on or before January 1, 2017, to submit to the Legislature a statewide stormwater plan regarding stormwater management. The bill would require the task force, in developing the plan, to consider specified issues. The bill would repeal this provision on January 1, 2021.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

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

P2    1


The Legislature finds and declares all of the

3(a) begin deleteCalifornia end deletebegin insertThe current regulatory scheme that guides
4California’s stormwater clean-up efforts primarily focuses on
5end-of-pipe requirements. The State Water Resources Control
6Board and the California regional water quality control boards,
7which, among other duties, implement the Federal Clean Water
8Act, are limited in jurisdiction only to those matters that those
9agencies are authorized to regulate. While the State Water
10Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality
11control boards are fully authorized to regulate permitholders,
12those agencies are not authorized to regulate industries that
13produce materials that result in the creation of pollutants when
14stormwater runs off a permitholder’s property and which
15permitholders are then required to clean up. As compliance
16standards increase, the burden of cleanup has disproportionally
17fallen on property owners who are tasked with cleaning up
18pollutants that they did not initially create.end insert

19begin insert(b)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertCaliforniaend insert possesses a world-leading air pollution control
20program that continues to strive toward meeting aggressive air
21quality goals through holistic approaches and strategies. While the
22air pollution cleanup effort started in the 1970s through strict
23command-and-control regulations, the second stage required state
24and local air quality management districts and air pollution control
25districts to consider market-based approaches in conjunction with
26source control practices that helped California meet state and
27federal air pollution reduction goals. This holistic effort required
28a redesigning of our transportation network and a redesigning of

begin delete


end delete

31begin insert(end insertbegin insertc)end insert In a similar way, the state’s approach to water quality issues
32should require a comprehensive approach that will make
33stormwater cleanup manageable and achievable. For example, the
34Legislature and various state agencies should consider how brake
35pad dust (copper), tire wear (zinc), vehicular fluids (oil, coolants,
36etc.), building materials, and other pollutantsbegin delete significantly
37contribute to stormwater pollutionend delete
begin insert from products can contribute
38to stormwater pollutionend insert
. Often, stormwater permitholders face a
P3    1significant burden trying to clean these pollutants from stormwater
2runoff, over which they have no control.

begin delete

3(c) Cities in California are taking legal action to challenge state
4and federal stormwater quality requirements. A long-term approach
5is needed to ensure cleaner water is entering our waterways without
6crippling the entities that are held responsible for cleaning up the
7discharges into our waterways. A

end delete

8begin insert(d)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertTo address water quality concerns, end insertbegin insertan equitable and efficient
9long-term approach not only considers conveyance but also source
10controlsend insert
begin insert. Aend insert viable long-term approach will require coordination
11among existing regulatory programs, which will provide a more
12effective mechanism to achieve the goals of state and federal
13statutes, while minimizing costs for stakeholders.


SEC. 2.  

Chapter 5.10 (commencing with Section 13399.50) is
15added to Division 7 of the Water Code, to read:


17Chapter  5.10. Stormwater Task Force




(a) The Secretary for Environmental Protection
20shall convene a Stormwater Task Force to review, plan, and
21coordinate stormwater-related activity to maximize regulatory
22effectiveness in reducing water pollution.

23(b) The task force shall include all of the following members:

24(1) Representatives from appropriate agencies and departments
25within the California Environmental Protection Agency.

26(2) The Secretary of Food and Agriculture.

27(3) A representative from the Office of Planning and Research.

28(c) The task force shall meet on a quarterly basis.



(a) On or before January 1, 2017, the stormwater
30task force shall submit to the Legislature, pursuant to Section 9795
31of the Government Code, a statewide stormwater plan that makes
32recommendations on appropriate legislation to integrate the control
33of sources of stormwater pollutants with existing programs related
34to water quality in an efficient manner. In developing the plan, the
35task force shall consider all of the following:

36(1) The full spectrum of stormwater constituents that are
37considered pollutants and all potential methods to address and
38control the sources of those pollutants.

39(2) The cost-effectiveness and the economic impacts of the
40control measures.

P4    1(3) The costs and benefits of stormwater capture andbegin delete reuseend deletebegin insert use end insert
2 systems as compared to stormwater discharge regulations.

3(4) The beneficial uses of water.

4(5) The benefits to public health.

5(6) Consistency with the fundamentals of the federal Clean
6Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq.).

7(b) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this
8section shall be repealed on January 1, 2021.