Legislative Update
Looking Ahead: 2019 California Legislative Session
The Legislature officially convened the 2019 Legislative Session on Monday, January 7. The first day of session was mostly ceremonial and was preceded by Governor Newsom taking his oath of office to become California’s 40th Governor.  

The legislature will get to work quickly in advance of its first major deadline to submit bill proposals to legislative counsel by the end of the month. All bills must be introduced by February 22 to be considered in the 2019 session. 

Governor Newsom is also expected to release his 2019-20 budget proposal this week. His first budget will outline his plans for managing a nearly $15 billion budget surplus. The deadline for Governor Newsom to release his budget plan is January 10, just three days after assuming office. 
Changes Ahead for Legislative Policy Committees  
During the holiday break, the Senate and Assembly announced changes to their 2019 leadership and policy committees. Of significant interest to the clean water community, the two committees that hear the majority of CASA’s legislative issues both have new chairs. 
CASA State and Federal Legislative Committees Establish 2019 Priorities
In December, CASA conducted planning meetings with both the State and Federal legislative committees. During these meetings, each committee formalized the 2019 legislative priorities for Sacramento and Washington D.C.
 
On the state side, we are particularly interested in accessory dwelling unit bills, microplastics, water recycling, tax exemptions for certain water treatment chemicals and potential attempts to limit ocean discharges. Until all the bills are introduced, it is difficult to gauge which will be highest priority. Bills will be finalized and in print at the end of February.

CASA will move forward with pursuing sponsored legislation on non-flushable products during the 2019 session . This makes non-flushable products a top priority for the coming year. We look forward to sharing more information as we enter into the legislative process this spring.
New Federal Agency Nominees Headed For Consideration by Senate
On January 3, Congress convened for the new session. With the partial government shutdown, congress is negotiating a compromise to allow several federal agencies to reopen for the remainder of the fiscal year. One of the agencies under consideration is the USEPA. The departure of multiple senior level administration officials will require the senate to conduct a number of confirmation hearings and floor votes for new department and agency leadership officials. 
Regulatory Update
CASA Submits Comments on State Water Board Toxicity Provisions
On December 21, CASA submitted comments on the State Water Board’s Toxicity Provisions. The provisions will impact dischargers to inland surface waters, estuaries and bays. Most notably, the provisions would impose numeric water quality objectives and limits for toxicity and mandate use of the test of significant toxicity. 

CASA has been working with State Water Board staff on different iterations of the provisions for the last several years. CASA’s comments focus on the inappropriateness of numeric limits for toxicity, various implementation issues associated with new testing requirements and procedures and the use of specific test species that are known to have a high rate of false indications of toxicity. CASA will continue to work with staff, State Board members and other partners in the water and wastewater community to address these issues. The provisions are expected to be adopted in spring of 2019. 
Winter Conference Update
CASA Winter Conference Features Expert Political Analysis
CASA is pleased to welcome two respected political figures to our winter conference January 23-25! John Ashford, chairman and CEO of The Hawthorn Group, an international public affairs and public relations firm, will speak on Friday morning. Ashford formerly worked on Capitol Hill for members of the U.S. House and Senate. Through his career, he has worked for more than 200 candidate and corporate campaigns around the world. He will share insights about the 2018 mid-term election and his predictions for the future.

CASA is also pleased to announce that Senator Jeff Stone, representing the Palm Springs area in the California Legislature, will speak on Friday morning.   
Registration Still Open
Registration is still open for our 2019 Winter Conference on January 23-25, 2019. Unfortunately, the room block is full at the conference hotel at the Renaissance in Indian Wells. There are hotels near the conference location that still have availability. For assistance, please contact Cheryl at cmackelvie@casaweb.org .

Register for the conference.
Member News
First Woman General Manager to Lead West County Wastewater District 
The West County Wastewater District Board of Directors announced the district’s new general manager is Lisa Malek-Zadeh. Malek-Zadeh is the first woman to lead the organization in the District’s 97-year history. She was selected as general manager after a nationwide recruitment process involving community members, District staff and the Board of Directors. 

The District has put an emphasis on creating a progressive work environment based on active communication, information sharing, empowerment, and mutual respect. Congratulations Lisa!
Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside Receives Award
The Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside received the Excellence Award in Budgeting. The California Society of Municipal Finance Officers recognized SAM for its 2018/19 operating budget. The award is a significant achievement and recognition of the hard work and dedication of SAM staff and the Board of Directors. Read the full press release .  

Congratulations, SAM!
Announcing 2018 CWEA Emerging Water Leaders
The California Water Environment Association announced seven 2018 emerging leaders among clean water professionals. The seven selected for this year’s emerging leaders honors cover a number of fields. Each one of these honorees goes above and beyond their job requirements. CASA is proud to highlight several of these individuals from our member agencies, including:
  • Jordan Damerel, Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District
  • Theodore Higgins, City of Los Angeles
  • Mark Koekemoer, Central Marin Sanitation Agency
  • Dorien McElroy, Irvine Ranch Water District
  • Robert Wilson, City of Petaluma
The full list of leaders can be found here.
Centriair/Anaergia receives SCAQMD Grant for $4.3M
Congratulations to CASA members Centriair and Anaergia. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has awarded them a $4.35M grant to eliminate air emissions from the Rialto Bioenergy facility’s biosolids dewatering, drying, and handling operations. Read the  Press Release .
Mark Your Calendar
Save the Date
This is a friendly reminder that the CASA Washington D.C. Policy Forum is February 25-27, 2019. The conference will once again take place at the St. Regis.

We have an impressive slate of speakers to discuss how the midterm elections impact key committee leadership, infrastructure and wastewater priorities and what to expect in the new congressional session. Registration now open
Jan. 23-25, 2019
Feb. 25-27, 2019
Aug. 21-23, 2019