CASA Connects Newsletter for May 2017

May 29, 2017

State Controller to Speak at CASA Annual Conference

Betty Yee, California State Controller, will speak during the closing session of CASA’s annual conference, taking place August 22-24, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego. As the chief fiscal officer of California, the sixth largest economy in the world, Ms. Yee is responsible for accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources. She has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy and previously served in the Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget. [more…]

CASA Opposes Legislation Impacting Agencies in the Coastal Zone

CASA is opposing AB 1129 by Assembly Member Mark Stone.  The bill makes several changes to the Coastal Act relating to permitting for “coastal armoring” structures such as seawalls, revetments, breakwaters, harbor channels, groins, cliff retaining walls and other such construction that alters natural shorelines.  Additionally, the bill limits emergency permits to temporary authorizations and requires structures constructed under temporary permits to be removed at the end of the emergency permit term, unless a Coastal Development Permit is granted for the structure to remain permanent.  Finally, the bill language only requires the Coastal Commission to issue Coastal Development Permits [more…]

Water Recycling Legislation Moves Forward

Friday, May 26th was the fiscal committee deadline for bills to be passed from the Appropriations Committees in both houses.  The Senate and Assembly held their notorious “suspense file” hearings on Thursday and Friday to decide which of the hundreds of bills being considered for their fiscal impacts would move forward and which would be held in committee for the remainder of the year.
There were several bills of interest to CASA being considered at last week’s hearings.  Significantly, AB 574 by Assembly Member Quirk was passed from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and now moves to the Assembly Floor for a vote of the entire Assembly.  AB 574 is sponsored by WateReuse California and California Coastkeeper Alliance and makes several important changes to the law to promote the advancement of water recycling in California.  CASA supports the legislation and will continue our strong support in the Senate. [more…]

Citizen Suit Reform Legislation Re-Introduced

Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has again introduced legislation to reform the Clean Water Act’s citizen suits provisions. Co-sponsors Representatives Ken Calvert and Tom McClintock joined Mr. Hunter in sponsoring the measure. CASA worked very closely with the congressman on the legislation, which proposes reasonable revisions to the law with regard to attorneys fees, state enforcement primacy and affirmative defenses. No number has yet been assigned to the bill, which we expect will receive consideration by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment in the coming months.  CASA will continue to work with Rep. Hunter’s office to identify additional cosponsors and seek a hearing on the legislation.

CASA Awarded Grant to Study Biochar

CASA has received a $238,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to evaluate the use of wood biochar as a wastewater filtration medium. This project will test biochar produced as a byproduct from forest biomass gasification for renewable energy production. California’s forests have experienced an unprecedented tree mortality crisis, with over 100 million trees lost due to drought-related insect infestations in the last 6 years. The dead trees pose hazards to infrastructure and communities, and increase the threat of destructive mega-fires. Removing those trees is cost-prohibitive unless the biomass can be turned into useful products.

The grant is intended to develop and expand the market for biochar through [more…]

Water Board Reconvenes CEC Expert Panel

In preparation for revising the 2009 Recycled Water Policy, the State Water Board will reconvene the expert panel on constituents of emerging concern. In addition to updating their recommendations for CEC monitoring for landscape irrigation and groundwater recharge, the panel will be asked to weigh in on surface water augmentation with recycled water and antibiotic resistance.  CASA is participating in a Stakeholder Advisory Group formed to assist the panel. The first panel meeting is scheduled for July 19-21, 2017 in Orange County.

Mixed Bag

  • The State Water Board is presenting a free seminar on enhancing groundwater recharge with stormwater on May 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  You can attend in person or via webcast.  For more information.

  • The National Association of Clean Water agencies has released its 2016 Cost of Clean Water Index. The report indicates that for the 15th consecutive year, the increase in the cost of sewer services nationally has outpaced the rate of inflation.

Now Hiring!

CASA members have numerous opportunities available. Visit our Job Board for details.

Member News

Welcome to the following new member:
  • City of San Luis Obispo
We look forward to meeting this new member at the Annual Conference.
  • The Inland Empire Utilities Agency will be receiving a $5.2 million grant from the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse program. IEUA will use the grant to help fund the Chino Desalter Phase 3 Expansion of the Lower Chino Dairy Area Desalination and Reclamation Project. The project will improve both the quality of the groundwater and surface water in the Chino Basin by removing salts, nitrates and other volatile organic compounds. The expansion is expected to create 10,600 acre feet per year of additional drinkable water.
  • Congratulations to Delta Diablo’s Angela Lowrey, who was named 2016 Community Engagement & Outreach Person of the Year by CWEA in recognition of her community engagement and communications work at the local, regional and state national levels.

In Memoriam

Joan Arneson, Irvine Ranch Water District general counsel and a past Chair of the CASA Attorneys Committee, passed away May 20. Joan was a partner in the law firm of Bowie, Arneson, Wiles and Gianone.  She was recently bestowed a Certificate of Commendation as a key partner in service from the Board of Directors of IRWD for more than 25 years of excellent service. Joan will be remembered for her intellect, insight and thoughtfulness.  We will miss her very much.

Events

2017 Dates
Organization
Event
Location
June 11-13 CASA  W3170 Meeting Los Angeles
June 27-29 US Water Alliance  One Water Summit New Orleans
July 23-26
NACWA
St. Louis
July 23-27 IWA  International Conference Long Beach
August 22-24
CASA
San Diego
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