Mike Rogge

Amended environmental bill still a problem

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, June 10, 2016 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

SB 163 by Senator Bob Herzberg (D-Van Nuys) initially required wastewater treatment plants to find an alternative use for 50 percent of the wastewater that they release to the ocean or bays by 2026 and 100 percent by 2033. Sanitation agencies reported that the technology to accomplish that goal is not currently available and that residents and commercial and industrial users could see as much as a six-fold increase in their rates if they tried to comply.

The bill has been sitting in the Assembly Rules Committee since it was shelved last September. On June 8th, however, Senator Hertzberg amended the bill to move the deadline for achieving the mandatory 50 percent reduction from 2026 to 2033 and removed the 100 percent mandate altogether. It also now requires the State Water Resources Control Board to promulgate regulations by January 1, 2020 to require each National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit-holder to achieve beneficial reuse to the maximum extent possible by the above dates. It remains to be seen if there is or will be technology available to achieve these lofty goals.

While this bill is well intended, CMTA believes there should be off-ramps built into the bill if costs prove prohibitive or if the technology does not develop. CMTA remains opposed.

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