The Barbed Wire - April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015
RCRC Chair PILT Testimony Proves Successful
State Water Board Releases Proposed Regulatory Framework for 25 Percent Reduction in Urban Water Use
Energy Commission Adopts Strict Water Efficiency Standards on Water Appliances
New Law Impacts Local Agency Surplus Land and Affordable Housing
Clean Water Act Advances to White House for Final Review
BULLETIN BOARD
KEEPING UP

RCRC Chair PILT Testimony Proves Successful

On April 9, 2015 RCRC Chair Lee Adams (Sierra County) testified before Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #2 (Subcommittee) in support of the Governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) appropriation, in opposition to the Administration’s trailer bill language that would make future PILT payments permissive, and additionally requested an $8 million General Fund appropriation to fund the arrears owed to 36 counties.  The Subcommittee approved the budget item on a 3-0 vote as proposed ($644,000 General Fund), approved the trailer bill language as provisional striking language making payments permissive, and approved a motion by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) to appropriate $8 million General Fund for payment of the arrears.  

The Subcommittee members include Senator Wolk (Chair), and Senators Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) and Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills).  The Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 heard the item previously and held the item open.  It is anticipated that PILT will be before the Assembly Subcommittee again in late April for action.  If the action taken in the Assembly Subcommittee is not identical to the action taken in the Senate, the issue of PILT funding will be decided by the Joint Senate-Assembly State Budget Conference Committee.

State Water Board Releases Proposed Regulatory Framework for 25 Percent Reduction in Urban Water Use

Earlier this week, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) released a Fact Sheet and Proposed Regulatory Framework for implementing a required 25 percent reduction in urban water use as outlined in the April 1, 2015 Executive Order issued by Governor Jerry Brown.

The Executive Order, Fact Sheet, Proposed Regulatory Framework, and a spreadsheet that provides the residential gallons per capita per day information for each urban water supplier can be accessed here.  Comments on the proposed regulatory framework are due April 13, 2015.  The State Water Board plans to release a draft Emergency Regulation on April 17, 2015, an Emergency Rulemaking Notice on April 28, 2015, and will consider approval at a State Water Board hearing on May 5 or 6, 2015.  

Energy Commission Adopts Strict Water Efficiency Standards on Water Appliances

Earlier this week, the California Energy Commission, under the authority of the Governor’s Executive Order, voted unanimously to adopt emergency drought regulations requiring toilets, faucets, and urinals sold after January 1, 2016 to use less water.  The energy efficiency and water standards approved this week require water appliances to consume less water thereby using less energy.  

The details for each appliance are as follows:

  • Toilets and urinals, except those designed for prisons or mental health facilities, shall not consume more than 1.28 gallons per flush, and shall have a waste extraction score of no fewer than 350 grams.  Urinals shall not consume more than 0.125 gallons per flush.
  • Residential lavatory faucets shall not exceed 1.2 gallons per minute flow rate.
  • Kitchen faucets shall not exceed 1.8 gallons per minute flow rate, and may have capability to increase to 2.2 gallons per minute momentarily for filling pots and pans.
  • Public lavatory faucets shall not exceed 0.5 gallon per minute flow rate.

The adopted Proposed Amendments to the Appliance Efficiency Regulations can be accessed here.

New Law Impacts Local Agency Surplus Land and Affordable Housing

Assembly Bill 2135 (Chapter 677), of last year, by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) prescribes procedures for the sale or disposition of surplus land by local agencies.  Specifically, AB 2135 requires among other provisions:

  • The entity proposing to use the surplus land for developing low- and moderate-income housing to agree to make available a minimum 25 percent of the total number of units developed on the parcels at affordable housing cost or affordable rent for a period of at least 55 years and require a local agency to give first priority in disposing of the surplus land to an entity that agrees to these requirements.

Additional information on the sale or disposition of surplus property can be accessed here.

Clean Water Act Advances to White House for Final Review

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have sent a final draft of the Clean Water Act rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  The federal agencies have renamed the “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule and made revisions to address concerns raised in more than one million public comments submitted on the rule.  

According to the federal agencies, key changes include “improving the explanation of how protected waters are significant; defining tributaries more clearly; focusing on ‘tributaries, not ditches’; and preserving Clean Water Act exclusions and exemptions for agriculture and others.”  OMB is not bound to a schedule for releasing the final rule, but expects to take more than the customary 90 days to complete its review of this controversial rule.  Meanwhile, opposition to the rule is growing on Capitol Hill where a procedural vote in the Senate two weeks ago indicated that there are probably sufficient votes to stop the rule.  The House Natural Resources Committee has scheduled another hearing for April 14 to focus on this rule and other “Proposed Federal Water Grabs and Their Potential Impacts on States, Water, and Power Users, and Landowners.”

BULLETIN BOARD

Public Health Online Releases Career Resource Portal

Public Health Online is a web resource for anyone considering a career in public health.  This no-cost resource offers information about various public health specialties including health education, health administration, nutrition and many more. Readers can find a myriad of tools including interviews with public health professionals, salary information, search tools for degree programs and job search information. 

Click here 

USDA to Provide $332 Million to Protect and Restore Agricultural Working Lands

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).  USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will accept ACEP applications to help farm and ranch lands remain in agriculture and to protect the nation's wetlands and grasslands, home to wildlife and plant species.  State and local governments and other entities that have farmland or grassland protection programs are eligible to partner with NRCS to purchase conservation easements.

Click here

Water Commission to Host Three Public Meetings on Water Storage Investment Program

The California Water Commission (Commission) has scheduled three public meetings this month to provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the Commission’s Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP).  Proposition 1, the Water Bond, includes $2.7 billion for the public benefits of water storage projects that meet specified criteria, and the Commission will fund the public benefits of eligible projects through the WSIP.

Click here

HCD: Public Review – Draft State of California 2015-2020 Consolidated Plan

Click here

HCD: CDBG Releases New Economic Development Business Assistance Chapter

Click here

HCD: State Housing Law Planning Requirements and Practices Survey

Click here

KEEPING UP

Patricia Cullins (Alturas) has been appointed to represent the second district on the Modoc County Board of Supervisors.  Cullins served as an eligibility supervisor at the Modoc County Department of Social Services from 2012 to 2013, where she was an eligibility specialist from 2006 to 2012.  She was owner and operator at Allusions Beauty Boutique from 2001 to 2005, a personnel secretary for the Modoc Joint Unified School District from 1996 to 1997, a client service specialist at the Modoc Crisis Center in 1996, a customer service representative at Bank of America from 1990 to 1995, and a correctional officer at the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office from 1985 to 1989.  This position does not require Senate confirmation.  Cullins is a Republican.

Barbara LeVake (Yuba City) has been appointed to represent the fifth district on the Sutter County Board of Supervisors.  LeVake has been principal at Brazil-LeVake Government Relations since 1995.  She served as a member of the Sutter County Board of Supervisors from 1989 to 1992.  LeVake was a legal assistant at the Law Offices of Shipsey and Seitz from 1970 to 1974, and at Miller, Evatt, Henry and Jennings from 1968 to 1970, and the Law Office of Aguilar and Louis from 1965 to 1968.  She is a member of the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency, Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau, Western Growers Association, and California Women for Agriculture. LeVake was a member of the State Reclamation Board from 1994 to 2001.  This position does not require Senate confirmation.  LeVake is a Republican.