Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
Drought Emergency Rulemaking Available for Public Comment
On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) released the formal emergency regulatory package for implementing the state’s required 25% reduction in urban water use. Comments are due on Monday, May 4 at 10 a.m. The State Board is scheduled to take action on the package May 5 or 6. The package released Tuesday is the third iteration of the regulation, which was first released April 7, then again April 18 after modifications. CSAC’s comment letter on the April 18 version is available at: . The statewide 25% reduction was outlined in the April 1 Emergency_Executive_Order issued by Gov. Jerry Brown.
According to the formal notice, “The proposed regulation, as updated, consists of four main types of requirements: a prohibition on certain irrigation practices; an order that all urban water suppliers, as defined, reduce their total potable water production by a defined percentage; an order that other distributors of public water supply, as defined, reduce potable water consumption; and an order for all self-supplied commercial, industrial, and institutional water users to reduce potable water usage.”
The emergency regulation package can be found at the link below under the header that reads: “Emergency Regulation Supporting Documents (4/28/2015)”.
State Water Board – Marijuana Regulation
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is holding a public workshop on May 7, 2015 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm in Eureka, CA to discuss a draft order related to a water quality regulatory structure to address issues associated with marijuana cultivation. According to SWRCB, the purpose of the draft Order is to provide a water quality regulatory structure to prevent and/or address poor water quality conditions and adverse impacts to water resources associated with marijuana cultivation on private land in the North Coast region. Under the Order, any landowner or operator cultivating marijuana that results in a discharge of waste to an area that could affect waters of the State (including groundwater) will fall within one of three tiers depending on the nature of their operation and risk to water quality.
The draft Order requires control of erosion and drainage features; proper soil disposal; proper stream crossing parameters; water conservation; proper storage and handling of fertilizers and soil amendments, refuse and human waste, and petroleum products and other chemicals; and riparian management and protection.
The draft Order is currently scheduled to be considered for adoption by the Regional Water Board at the August 13, 2015, Regional Water Board meeting at 5550 Skylane Blvd., Ste. A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. For more information, visit the SWRCB website.
Household Hazardous Waste Bills Spar in Policy Committee
This week, the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee heard two competing measures on how the state should address household hazardous waste. AB 45, by Assembly Member Mullin, seeks to put additional costs and responsibilities on local governments by requiring jurisdictions to create a baseline of all household hazardous waste (HHW) collected in and meet specific collection targets. Cities and counties are already required by current law to manage HHW collection programs. Thus, jurisdictions across the state have developed comprehensive programs to collect and manage HHW, each tailored to the needs of their respective community. The problem lies in the fact that a number of HHW materials, like sharps, toxic chemicals and other substances require specific handling procedures and are very costly products to manage and dispose. CSAC opposes AB 45 as it would put the onus on local governments to pay for the end of life management of all of these products. AB 1159, by Assembly Member Gordon, takes a different approach. This bill embraces the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model- placing the end of life management of products on products by requiring the industries that profit from these products to have a stake in their proper management and disposal. CSAC supports AB 1159 because it would create a pilot EPR program for sharps and batteries – two products that too often end up in our landfills. Despite robust debate, both bills passed out of Committee with a commitment from both authors to work together to develop a solution. The bills now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Community Choice Aggregation Workshop
The Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC) in partnership with LEAN Energy US, Marin Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power and CSAC is organizing a day-long Community Choice Energy Forum for local government decision makers, staff members and key stakeholders on May 18th in downtown Los Angeles. Please join experts and local Government leaders from around the state for a day of practical information, lessons learned, and information on how to get started.
The meeting will take place at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA from 8:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. For more information, please visit the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition website.