The California Department of Public Health Drinking Water Program (CDPH DWP) today submitted a corrective action plan to the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) that addresses all 29 specif-ic issues raised by the federal government in April.
“We have worked closely with our federal partners during this process and we appreciate their guid-ance,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH Director and state public health officer. “We look forward to con-tinuing our collaborative efforts with US EPA to achieve our mutual goal of providing safe drinking wa-ter for the people of California.”
In its April 19 letter to CDPH, the US EPA noted $455 million in unspent federal funds allocated to the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund as of September 2012. The action plan submitted today re-flects the distribution of $84 million by the end of this week to water projects across the state. CDPH will disburse nearly $200 million in total funds in fiscal year 2013-14 and in the following two fiscal years, will disburse an additional $600 million, to help water systems deliver safe drinking water to their communities and put CDPH on track to meet the targets set by the US EPA.
“This administration is committed to ensuring safe drinking water for all Californians as evidenced by Governor Brown’s signature on AB 685, which establishes a state policy that every Californian has a human right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible drinking water,” added Chapman.
During the two years since Governor Brown took office, notable progress has been made in Califor-nia’s Revolving Fund program, and CDPH remains committed to the work that needs to be done to reach the mutual federal and state goals and to maximize the use of the available dollars. Some recent changes to get money out to water projects faster, fund more projects and make the application for funding simpler include: offering funding for planning as well as construction, facilitating greater op-portunity for grant funding for public water systems that serve disadvantaged and severely disadvan-taged communities, and streamlining the application processes.
The US EPA is expected to respond to the corrective action plan by July 1, 2013. The plan is available on the CDPH website.