BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 322
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 13, 2013

                                Anthony Rendon, Chair
                      SB 322 (Hueso) - As Amended:  July 3, 2013

           SENATE VOTE  :   39-0
          SUBJECT  :   Recycled water

           SUMMARY  :  Modifies deadlines and consulting requirements  
          applicable to the existing California Department of Public Health  
          (DPH) mandate to develop uniform water recycling criteria for  
          indirect and direct potable reuse.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Requires DPH to consult with the State Water Resources Control  
            Board (State Water Board) on recycling criteria for direct  
            potable reuse and allows DPH two additional months (until  
            September 1, 2016) to issue a draft feasibility report on  
            direct potable reuse (draft report).

          2)Requires DPH, in developing uniform water recycling criteria  
            for surface water augmentation, to consult with the State and  
            consider the National Research Council of the National  
            Academies' report titled "Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding  
            the Nation's Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal  
            Wastewater," in addition to other relevant research and  

          3)Requires DPH, by February 15, 2014, to convene and administer  
            an expert panel to advise it on public health issues and  
            scientific and technical matters regarding the development of  
            uniform water recycling criteria for indirect potable reuse  
            through surface water augmentation, and to investigate the  
            feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria for  
            direct potable reuse.  Adds a requirement for a limnologist  
            (one who studies bodies of fresh water) to the expert panel and  
            specifies DPH shall prepare a draft report summarizing the  
            recommendations of the expert panel by June 30, 2016.

          4)Mandates, instead of permits, DPH to convene, an advisory group  
            no later than January 15, 2015, and directs that advisory group  
            to advise the expert panel as well as DPH with respect to the  
            draft report.  Adds DPH as an advisory group member as well as  
            the State Water Board, the United States Environmental  


                                                                  SB 322
                                                                  Page  2

            Protection Agency (USEPA), and ratepayer or taxpayer advocate  

          5)Requires the advisory group to hold public meetings in  
            accordance with the requirements of the state's open meetings  

          6)Authorizes DPH to contract with a public university or other  
            research institution to convene the expert panel, advisory  
            group, or both, should DPH find that would be more efficient  
            and timely.

          7)Allows DPH to accept funds from non-state sources, rather than  
            from any source, and to expend these funds, upon appropriation  
            by the Legislature, to develop and adopt uniform water  
            recycling criteria for indirect potable reuse for groundwater  
            recharge and for surface water augmentation.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations Committee  
          analysis, since DPH has not yet commenced developing the criteria  
          on using recycled water for surface water augmentation and direct  
          potable reuse, the additional workload required by this bill will  
          likely be minimal.  At most, Senate Appropriations staff  
          anticipates the costs to be in the low tens of thousands.  These  
          costs can be covered either by future appropriations from the  
          Waste Discharge Permit Fund or by non-state funds received by DPH  
          for this purpose.

           COMMENTS  :  The purpose of this bill is to promote the development  
          of timely and credible uniform criteria and regulations for  
          direct potable water reuse and indirect potable water reuse  
          through surface augmentation in order to help the state achieve  
          its goal of increasing the use of recycled water. 

          In 2009, the State Water Board adopted Resolution No. 2009-0011  
          to update the state's water recycling policy.  This state policy  
          includes the goal of increasing the use of recycled water in the  
          state over 2002 levels by at least 1 million acre feet per year  
          by 2020 and by at least 2 million acre feet per year by 2030.   
          State law recognizes that the use of recycled water for indirect  
          potable reuse is critical to achieving the State Water Board's  
          goals for increased use of recycled water for the state.  State  
          law also declares that the achievement of the state's goals  
          depends on the timely development of uniform statewide recycling  
          criteria for indirect and direct potable water reuse.


                                                                  SB 322
                                                                  Page  3

          Prior legislation  :  In 2010, the Legislature passed SB 918  
          (Pavley, Chapter 700, Statutes of 2010) which requires DPH to  
          adopt uniform water recycling criteria for indirect potable use  
          for groundwater recharge by December 31, 2013, and to adopt  
          uniform water recycling criteria for surface water augmentation  
          by December 31, 2016.  That legislation specifies that DPH shall  
          not adopt uniform water recycling criteria for surface water  
          augmentation unless the expert panel adopts a finding that the  
          proposed criteria would adequately protect public health.  

          In November 2011, DPH released revised draft regulations  
          addressing groundwater replenishment using recycled water from  
          domestic wastewater sources, for aquifers designated as a source  
          of drinking water.  In December 2011, DPH held workshops  
          throughout the state and requested written comments from  
          interested parties.  The proposed regulations are designed to  
          replace the existing regulations, adopted in 1978.  DPH states on  
          its website that although SB 918 requires the adopting of revised  
          groundwater replenishment regulations by December 31, 2013, it is  
          unlikely to meet this deadline since DPH has not received the  
          additional resources necessary to do so.  Nevertheless, proposed  
          groundwater replenishment (and surface water augmentation)  
          projects continue to move forward.

           Supporting arguments  :  According to the author and supporters of  
          this bill, the timely completion of an expert panel report and  
          recommendations from DPH on the ability to ensure a safe water  
          supply through direct potable reuse projects is critical for the  
          planning of potable reuse projects in California.  They also  
          state that while no agencies are currently proposing direct  
          potable reuse projects, the safe use of advanced treated purified  
          water for direct potable water would result in significant cost  
          savings when constructing and operating infrastructure, and  
          reducing energy consumption.  

           Bill was double-referred.   This bill was heard by the Assembly  
          Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on July 2,  
          2013 and passed with a vote of 6-0.

          San Diego County Water Authority (sponsor)


                                                                  SB 322
                                                                  Page  4

          Association of California Water Agencies
          California Groundwater Coalition
          East Bay Municipal Utility District
          Irvine Ranch Water District
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Tina Cannon Leahy / W., P. & W. / (916)