Assemblymember Quirk Introduces Bill to Improve Oversight of Small Drinking Water Systems

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), Chair of the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, introduced AB 402 to ensure that local health officials have sufficient resources to provide oversight for small drinking water systems.

California recognizes a human right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water, yet many communities are too small to sufficiently fund oversight of small drinking water systems in their jurisdiction. There are approximately 7,500 public drinking water systems in the state and of those, approximately 3,500 are small drinking water systems regulated by local agencies. AB 402, sponsored by the California Association of Environmental Health Administrators, provides an option for small communities to better leverage their resources in coordination with the State Water Board in order to properly fund local oversight of small drinking water systems.

“California’s public drinking water systems should be safe, regardless of whether oversight is done by state or local health officials. I believe that local oversight of small drinking water systems can be efficient and effective, given sufficient funding”, said Assemblymember Quirk.

“Safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians is a high public environmental health priority.  Local environmental health departments play a vital role in ensuring that our sources of drinking water are safe.  This measure will help to stabilize the funding of these local programs and ensure that all communities are afforded equal protection,” said the California Association of Environmental Health Administrators.                                            

AB 402 has not been referred to policy committee.