PWQA Legislative Update 2019-2020
By Pacific Water Quality Association
Twenty nineteen was another busy year for the Pacific Water Quality Association. Its May legislative event in Sacramento, CA was very productive and with the assistance of WQA’s Dave Loveday and Churchwell White LLP, association representatives were able to visit with several state representatives to inform and educate about the importance of safe drinking water and the industries involved in supplying affordable water to all. Chris Layton and Mark Wakefield represented PWQA at the city of Malibu’s Council meeting to voice association objection to that city’s upcoming prohibition on the installation or use of self-regenerating water for properties connected to the Civic Center Water Treatment Facility. The subject of chloride discharge regulation and preemptive restrictions on ion exchange systems remains a subject of concern to PWQA and the association continues to work diligently to help promote sensible management practices.
PWQA board members were also involved in successful visits to the US Capitol, US EPA headquarters, the US EPA laboratory in Ohio and other outreach efforts to regional water quality associations across the country. Greg Reyneke, Shannon Murphy and Dave Loveday briefed Jared Blumenfeld, California’s new Secretary for Environmental Protection on how innovative technologies, processes and skilled local people can be used to help bring clean water to more people, while promoting employment in underserved communities.
In January, California released its Draft Policy for Developing the Fund Expenditure Plan for the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The fund was established to help water systems provide adequate and affordable short- and long-term drinking-water supplies for all Californians, using continuously appropriated state funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and the General Fund. PWQA will continue its efforts to ensure that a science-based approach is encouraged in ensuring that the best available technologies (BAT) are used in a way that ensures wise usage of state financial resources and helping to support local small businesses.
California Assembly Bill 5 went into effect on January 1 and has changed the nature of the gig-economy. Independent contractor classifications are now far more stringent in California, which means that many traditional non-employee jobs are now classified as out of compliance. The bill has an impact on consultants, dedicated sales reps and installers at water treatment businesses of all sizes. Employers are solely responsible for applying the new Dynamex ABC test and severe fines can be levied when employers do not classify their team members properly. This will affect the cost of doing business in the Golden State. PWQA is working to help educate our members on how best to comply with this new regulation.
Mark Felton continues to represent PWQA at CV-SALTS meetings to make sure the association has a voice in the ‘big picture’ of how to develop sustainable salinity and nitrate management planning for the Central Valley of California. PWQA’s political action committee, under the leadership of Mike Mecca, keeps a close eye on legislative issues in California, while ensuring that our industry is well represented in legislative circles. PWQA is looking forward to its upcoming Spring Legislative event, as well as its 63rd Annual Convention at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport from October 6-9. Learn more about the Association at www.pwqa.org.