Governor Acts on Bills of Interest

The final outcome for the bills in the 2018 legislative session have now been determined. September 30 was the deadline for the Governor to sign or veto all the bills sent to him for consideration. Several bills CASA was involved with this year were acted on in the last month leading up to the final deadline.

We are pleased to report that Governor Brown signed our sponsored bill on microplastics, SB 1263 (Portantino). SB 1263 directs the California Ocean Protection Council to adopt and implement a statewide microplastics strategy by 2021. There are several important directives to be addressed in the proposed strategy including developing important scientific methodologies to measure and quantify sources of microplastic pollution, evaluating of source control options, and considering recommendations for additional research or policy changes that may be needed.

SB 1440 by Senator Hueso, supported by CASA, was also signed by the Governor. SB 1440 directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUS) to consider adopting a statewide biomethane procurement program, focusing on pipeline injection of biomethane from several specific sectors including the wastewater treatment sector. If the CPUC opts to adopt and implement a biomethane procurement program, it would be beneficial for wastewater agencies interested in pipeline injection projects because a procurement program with adequate parameters would help generate more market certainty for biomethane generated at wastewater treatment plants.

The Governor also signed SB 212 (Jackson) which creates a new pharmaceutical and sharps waste stewardship program in California. CASA supported this measure because of the source control and water quality benefits of proper medication disposal as well as for the worker safety components of the sharps waste management provisions.

Finally, Governor Brown signed SB 1215 (Hertzberg) which creates a new program under the State Water Resources Control Board for septic to sewer conversion projects in disadvantaged communities. While CASA does not disagree with the intent of the legislation, amendments taken in the Assembly resulted in CASA opting to oppose the bill. Despite our request for a veto, the Governor ultimately decided to sign the bill, which goes into effect January 1, 2019.

For a list of all of the bills CASA worked on this year, click here.


Senate Readies Final Debate and Vote on America’s Water Infrastructure Act

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring America’s Water Infrastructure Act (S. 3021) to the Senate floor for debate and final vote within the next week.

S. 3021 contains a number of provisions to address wastewater and water infrastructure financing needs through the SRF, WIFIA and a new loan program for state SRFs.  Additional means to assist with infrastructure needs include grant programs to address climate resiliency, a WaterSense Program to promote effective treatment technologies and grants for disadvantaged communities. Once the Senate approves the measure, it will be sent to the president for signature. All indications suggest he will sign the bill.