Your Water and Wastewater Updates for May 1


CASA Legislative Advocacy at Work
CASA’s team, with our members’ support, is off to a great start with several recent legislative wins. Here are a few highlights of several bills we influenced and advocacy advancements we’ve made over the past few weeks.
Bills We Opposed
SB 831 (Wieckowski), SB 1469 (Skinner) and AB 2890 (Ting and Skinner): All three bills were originally introduced with identical language. As a result of our advocacy and opposition-led testimony, connection and capacity fees are no longer included in Accessory Dwelling Unit Bills.
Bills We Support
SB 1263 (Portantino): This is a CASA sponsored bill related to microplastic pollution. The legislation builds on work currently underway by the Ocean Protection Council to combat ocean litter. It directs the Council to develop a statewide microplastics strategy, facilitate needed research and methodologies and make policy recommendations to the Legislature for potential remedies for dealing with microplastic pollution. 
SB 1263 was heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on April 18 and in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on April 24. The bill passed unanimously out of both policy committees and will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AB 2379 (Bloom): This legislation aims to curb the introduction of microfibers in the wastewater stream by encouraging hand washing of clothing with high microfiber content. AB 2379 passed two policy committees in the Assembly this month and is awaiting action on the Assembly Floor.
Legislative & Regulatory
CASA Engages on Collection System Permit Update
The State Water Board intends to revise the Sanitary Sewer System Waste Discharge Requirements, the primary regulation governing collection systems in California. Although no specific revisions have been released, we, in coordination with the Bay Area of Clean Water Agencies and the Southern California Alliance of Publicly Owned Treatment Works, submitted a series of preliminary suggestions for the update. The Board plans to host a series of workshops in May followed with a release draft for public review in the fall of 2018. Read more.
CASA Raises Concerns about Changes to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard
CASA submitted comments to the California Air Resources Board objecting to several proposed changes to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program. We also testified before the Board at its April 27 meeting. As a result of our advocacy, Air Board staff have already indicated they will address one of our key concerns. Under the draft, all “biomethane” must meet the pipeline injection standards even if injection never occurs. This would be problematic for existing and proposed wastewater projects. Instead, the Board will include the definition recommended by CASA in our letter.
New Jersey Considers “Do Not Flush” Law for Bathroom Wipes
New Jersey lawmakers are working to pass legislation that would require non-flushable disposable wipes to be labeled “Do Not Flush.” The bill is now in a New Jersey Senate Committee. We will keep a close eye on this legislations as it aligns with our nonflushables campaign. Read more about the New Jersey bill.
CASA’s Awards of Excellence Deadline Fast Approaching
Are you planning to submit a nomination for our Awards of Excellence program? If so, we need your application by the May 18. Apply today. Need inspiration? Take a look at some of last year’s award contenders.
Member News
OCSD and OCWD Recognized for Recycled Water Project & Campaign
The Orange County Sanitation District and Orange County Water District recently received the Grand Prize for environmental communications from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. The agencies were recognized for their outreach efforts on the Groundwater Replenishment System Bottled Water Campaign.
The GWRS was the first facility in the Western Hemisphere to bottle highly purified recycled water to demonstrate that the water is safe and reliable. Over the last ten years, OCWD’s and OCSD’s public outreach efforts have been instrumental in reducing the “Toilet to Tap” stigma associated with potable reuse projects.
Silicon Valley Clean Water Receives Outstanding EIR Award
Congratulations to Silicon Valley Clean Water! The California Association of Environmental Professionals recently recognized its Wastewater Conveyance System and Treatment Plant Reliability Improvement Project Environmental Impact Report with an Outstanding Environmental Analysis Award.
According to AEP’s award summary, “For a complex infrastructure project to be built over multiple years involving multiple components in multiple jurisdictions, the environmental analysis was concise and not overly technical. Overall, the SVCW project’s best features are its community-driven process, incorporation of context-sensitive design (in particular construction using a tunneling option). The design responded to community and private sector interests for minimal disruption to the public as compared to alternatives located in a levee or roadway and extensive collaboration efforts focused on reducing impacts put forth by the entire project team.”
CASA Members invited to Union Sanitary District’s Centennial Anniversary Event
The Union Sanitary District will celebrate 100 years of providing wastewater collection, treatment and disposal services to its communities with an Open House event. USD invites its fellow CASA colleagues to join the party that will feature treatment plant tours, kid-friendly activities, demonstrations, displays, giveaways and refreshments. Join in the fun!
Mark Your Calendar
2018 Special Districts Legislative Days: May 22-23
As a partner of the 2018 Special Districts Legislative Days, we encourage you to join this dynamic two-day conference at the Sacramento Convention Center. This is your opportunity to gain an edge on policy changes impacting your agency and exchange ideas with California’s top decision-makers. Register here.
July 8-10
July 23-26
August 8-10
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