Legal Alerts Oct 13, 2014

State Water Board Releases Draft Safe Drinking Water Plan

Comments on Draft Plan Due Dec. 15

State Water Board Releases Draft Safe Drinking Water Plan

The State Water Resources Control Board released a draft Safe Drinking Water Plan for California. The draft plan assesses the quality of the state's drinking water, identifies specific water quality problems, analyzes known and potential health risks that may be associated with drinking water contamination, and provides specific recommendations to improve drinking water quality.

With the transition of the Drinking Water Program from the California Department of Public Health on July 1 the State Water Board now has the primary authority to enforce federal and state safe drinking water acts, and is responsible for the regulatory oversight of about 8,000 public water systems throughout the state. One of the goals in transferring the program was to promote safe drinking water through more integrated water quality management, from source to tap.

The draft plan contains 32 practical recommendations in nine areas that would expand the State Water Board’s efforts to bring a greater number of systems into compliance. Recommendations include consolidating small water systems with larger systems wherever feasible, increasing funding to small and disadvantaged communities, and increased emergency preparedness.

The State Water Board is accepting comments on the draft plan until Dec. 15. If your agency is concerned about the contents of the draft plan or would like assistance submitting comments, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the Environmental and Natural Resources or Municipal practice groups, or your BB&K attorney.

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