Bill to Tackle California’s Clean Drinking Water Crisis Announced Today by Senator Monning and Bipartisan Coalition 

August 23, 2017
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), state legislative leaders, community leaders, and environmental justice and agricultural groups announced Senate Bill (SB) 623, which would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to provide short- and long-term drinking water solutions to Californians who lack access to safe and affordable drinking water.
 
“In Flint, Michigan, 100,000 people were exposed to unsafe drinking water, but right here in California more than 1 million Californians are annually exposed to unsafe drinking water,” said Senator Monning.  “Having access to clean drinking water is a basic human right that should be guaranteed to every person in California, and it is time that we act on this issue.  SB 623 represents a historic achievement that will establish a Fund to finance projects to ensure clean drinking water for all.”
 
The bill will establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to provide an ongoing source of funding to finance water improvement projects throughout California.  Approximately 300 water systems in California currently have pollutant violations, such as arsenic, lead, nitrates, and uranium that have been linked to nausea and vomiting, cancer, reduced mental functioning in children, nervous system decline, miscarriages, and numerous other health issues. 
 
Support of the Fund will come from a fertilizer mill fee, a fee on dairies, and a fee assessed on water bills of no more than $1 a month per household, and is anticipated to generate $140 million a year.  Low-income rate exemptions are provided for households under 200% of the federal poverty level.