2020 Legislative Session Wrap-up
The final deadline for Governor Newsom to sign or veto all legislation sent to him in 2020 was Wednesday, September 30. There were notably fewer bills in the mix this year after the COVID pandemic forced the legislature to pare down legislative business significantly. The Governor signed 457 bills and vetoed 56 in 2020: a stark contrast to the 1169 signed and 172 vetoed in 2019. Due to the disruption in the legislative process, there were many bills pertaining to policy issues of interest to CASA that were held over for future consideration this year. Nonetheless, there were a handful of bills that were signed that are of interest, including the following:
AB 2560 (Quirk): Notification and Response Levels: Procedures
This bill requires the State Water Resources Control Board to both email stakeholders and post on its website when it has initiated the development of a Notification Level (NL) or Response Level (RL) for a contaminant, and would further require the notification to stakeholders include both the draft NL or RL and supporting documentation. CASA supported this legislation.
AB 2762 (Muratsuchi): Toxic Free Cosmetics Act of 2020
This bill prohibits, beginning January 1, 2025, the manufacture, sale, delivery, holding, or offering for sale in commerce of any cosmetic product containing specified intentionally added ingredients, conforming with existing policy in the European Union. Notably, the list of banned ingredients includes several CEC’s of interest to the water industry, including PFAS, PFOS, PFOA and Mercury. CASA supported this legislation.
AB 3163 (Salas): Biomethane Procurement
This bill expands the definition of “biomethane” to include methane that is produced from the non-combustion thermal conversion of eligible biomass feedstock, including sewage sludge and biosolids, for purposes of the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) consideration of adopting biomethane procurement targets. This bill was sponsored by the Bioenergy Association of California and CASA actively supported this legislation.
SB 865 (Hill): Subsurface Installations
This bill makes a number of changes to the Dig Safe Act of 2016 (Act) including requiring new subsurface installations be mapped using a geographic information system (GIS); renaming the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board as the “Dig Safe Board”; and requiring an excavator to notify the Regional Notification Center (RNC) within 48 hours of discovering or causing damage, among other things. CASA had a “watch” position on this legislation.
SB 1044 (Allen): PFAS: Advanced Fire Fighting Foam
This bill prohibits the manufacture, sale, distribution, and use of class B firefighting foam containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS chemicals) by January 1, 2022, with some exceptions, and requires notification of the presence of PFAS in the protective equipment of firefighters. CASA supported this legislation.
SB 1320 (Stern): California Climate Change Assessment
This bill directs the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP), to complete a California-specific climate change assessment no less frequently than every five years to assess the impacts and risks of climate change and identify potential solutions to inform legislative policy. CASA had a “watch” position on this legislation.
SB 1473 (Senate Governance and Finance Committee): Omnibus
This bill makes non-controversial technical and clarifying changes to statutes within the purview of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. This year’s omnibus bill includes an amendment requested by CASA to the statutes enacted by AB 1483 in 2019, and those changes clarify what types of rate and fee information water and wastewater agencies are required to post to their websites. CASA supported this legislation.
All of these bills become effective on January 1, 2021. A complete list of bill positions and dispositions for the 2019-20 Session is available here.