Water is a currency in California, and the low-income
farmworkers who pick the Central Valley’s crops know it better
than anyone. They labor in the region’s endless orchards, made
possible by sophisticated irrigation systems, but at home their
faucets spew toxic water tainted by arsenic and fertilizer
Clean water is important, and there are a million people in the
Central Valley without access to it. But do we need a new tax
to pay for it? Maybe we don’t. Just last week, a state Senate
budget subcommittee eliminated Gov. Newsom’s recommendation for
a water tax and replaced it with a $150 million continuous
appropriation from the General Fund.
The Paradise Irrigation District said it plans on testing water
from lot-to-lot instead of in zoned areas. The process will
also give priority to people currently living in their homes or
in temporary housing on their properties in Paradise. Kevin
Phillips, the district’s director, said the majority of testing
they’ve done shows no contamination in the main lines, but
individual services lines are still showing volatile organic
compounds, like benzene.
A nearly four-year investigation into how a chemical known to
cause cancer showed up in more than a dozen rural wells by the
San Luis Obispo County Airport has finally concluded with an
alleged culprit. Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control
Board investigators say that Noll Inc., a machine shop on
Thread Lane, is responsible for the trichloroethylene (TCE)
A well for the Vineyard Avenue Acres Mutual Water Co. tested as
having water with more than 10 milligrams of nitrates per
liter, the limit set by the California State Water Resources
Control Board, according to a letter sent to customers by the
utility under state orders. The utility serves a discrete area
of El Rio, so the problem does not affect other parts of the
When the federal government reduced how much arsenic it would
allow in drinking water in 2006, the water system in Jim
Maciel’s Central Valley community was suddenly considered
unsafe to drink. Bringing that arsenic content back down to a
safe level required a lot of work, as he explains to a few
colleagues at a water leadership institute in Visalia.
California struggles to deliver safe drinking water to millions
of residents. The challenges – often complex issues at the
interface of human, legislative, technical, and geological
dimensions – resist easy answers. Stanford experts explored
possible ways forward at a recent panel discussion in
In his February State of the State address, Gov. Gavin Newsom
called the safe drinking water crisis — which is centered in
lower-income communities ranging from the coasts to the Central
Valley — “a moral disgrace and a medical emergency.” He’s
The new funding includes about $250 million for climate-related
programs, thanks to the state’s cap-and-trade program, and $75
million to fund an assessment of wildfire protection plans. …
Newsom also defended a controversial tax on water bills that
would fund programs to rebuild broken or degraded drinking
water infrastructure in some of the state’s poorest
Unlike tap water, there is no public repository of information
for consumers to look up the quality of their favorite bottled
water brand and see whether it is free of contaminants. The
Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require companies to
submit test reports each year for review… And while several
states receive test results each year as part of the permitting
process bottlers go through to sell their product, those are
often available only through public records requests.
No family should have to live in a community in which the water
that comes from their taps puts their children’s health at
risk. Over the last several years, the state has authorized
millions of dollars for emergency actions and one-time patches,
but has shied from doing what’s necessary to sustainably solve
Using Pentagon data released last year and recently obtained
public water utility reports, the researchers now estimate that
more than 19 million people are exposed to water contaminated
with per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. …
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California reports one
of the highest levels across the military, at 8 million parts
After years of public outcry and the discovery of dozens of
lead-tainted drinking water taps throughout the city’s public
schools, Oakland Unified has tested every single drinking water
tap at its schools, and is fixing or replacing those with
dangerous lead levels.
An inmate’s death in Stockton from Legionnaires’ disease marks
the third time in four years the rare form of pneumonia has
struck California’s state prisons – and has laid bare a history
of contamination and other problems plaguing water supplies in
the corrections system.
Santa Maria residents are being asked by the city to cut down
on the amount of water softeners used through the end of the
year. City officials say the city will begin delivering
better-quality municipal water with a lower mineral content.
… Using water softeners in addition to this new municipal
water could be damaging to pipes and fixtures.
Starting Wednesday, May 1, survivors of the Camp Fire can
participate in an online survey about their drinking water. …
The online survey will compile the drinking water experiences
and needs of people across Butte County who have a standing
home in the Camp Fire area. These researchers are working to
understand how the community has responded to a disaster and
what their needs are.
We have a drinking water crisis in California—a crisis that has
disproportionately impacted disadvantaged neighborhoods and
communities of color for years. There is however hope as many
voices, from many different people, with various political
views, have now joined the fight to address this crisis.
Cal Am announced it had been told by city officials its request
for the mayor and two council members to recuse themselves due
to alleged bias against the desal project would not be honored.
The company will now appeal the commission’s denial directly to
the Coastal Commission.
Researchers from the environmental
advocacy group Environmental Working Group estimated
that the contaminants found in public water systems in
California could contribute to about 15,500 cancer cases there
over the course of a lifetime. These contaminants include
chemicals such as arsenic, hexavalent chromium and radioactive
elements such as uranium and radium. The study was published
Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health.
The district is proposing to raise rates by about 4 percent
annually over the next four years and to impose a new annual
capital maintenance fee. The fee, which would be based on
customers’ meter size, would switch the district from borrowing
money to a cash-based system for funding repairs and
replacement of pipes, pumps, water tanks and treatment plants.
After pressure from the Defense Department, the Environmental
Protection Agency significantly weakened a proposed standard
for cleaning up groundwater pollution caused by toxic chemicals
that contaminate drinking water consumed by millions of
Americans and that have been commonly used at military bases.
On an average day, 20% of U.S. kids drink no
water at all, a new study finds – and they use soda and other
sugary drinks to make up the difference. Those kids end up
consuming nearly 100 extra calories a day, according to the
survey, published Monday in the Journal of American
Medical Association Pediatrics. Researchers called those
The South Pasadena multi-million-dollar Graves Reservoir
reconstruction project that will bring the last of the city’s
five non-operational reservoirs online is on track and expected
to be ready to accept the 1 million gallons of water it’s
capable of holding next year, according to city officials.
The presence of groundwater contamination in Silicon Valley in
the 1980s destroyed the narrative that high-tech was a clean
alternative to the industrialization of the Northeast and
Midwest. But the central concern of residents now dealing with
the effects of contaminated drinking water was what to do next.
Local activism offered a path forward.
One of California Gov. Gavin
Newsom’s first actions after taking office was to appoint Wade
Crowfoot as Natural Resources Agency secretary. Then, within
weeks, the governor laid out an ambitious water agenda that
Crowfoot, 45, is now charged with executing.
That agenda includes the governor’s desire for a “fresh approach”
on water, scaling back the conveyance plan in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta and calling for more water recycling, expanded
floodplains in the Central Valley and more groundwater recharge.
The last thing California needs is another tax. But that’s what
Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed – a regressive water tax that
will hit financially challenged Californians hardest. … Yet
California’s taxpayers have been working so hard they have
showered the state with a $22 billion surplus. Spending a
fraction of that would take care of the clean water problem.
Legionnaires’ disease bacteria that killed one inmate and
sickened another is more widespread than expected in a
California state prison, officials said Wednesday, citing new
test results. Preliminary results found the bacteria in the
water supply at a prison medical facility in Stockton and at
two neighboring youth correctional facilities… The bacteria
weren’t detected in the Stockton city water supply, though the
city supplies water to the state facilities.
Tri-Valley residents can expect better tasting and smelling
water from the tap when the expansion and upgrades at the Zone
7 Water Agency Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant are
completed. The decade-plus plan to increase capacity and
improve water conditions at the plant in eastern Livermore
finally broke ground at a ceremony last week…
The extent of the latest crisis unfolding in Paradise is yet
unknown: The deadly fire may also have contaminated up to 173
miles of pipeline in the town’s water system with
cancer-causing benzene and other volatile organic compounds, or
VOCs. Preliminary results have shown contamination in about a
third of the lines tested, though only about 2 percent of the
entire system has been sampled.
The campus of Sonoma State University has been cleared to lift
a preventative water safety measure, a Boil Notice, that was
implemented on Monday. … Ultimately, the water was deemed
safe, though officials note that the water may be slightly
cloudier in appearance, as the pressure drop may have kicked up
The State Water Board was given the power to force a larger,
better run utility to absorb a smaller neighbor that
consistently fails to deliver clean water. They would like
South Kern to connect to Bakersfield’s system, which serves
high-quality water to 144,000 people. … The three sides have
been in negotiations for two and a half years, a struggle
between one of the largest cities in California’s Central
Valley, state officials, and two tiny water suppliers that is
the first significant test of the four-year-old statute.
The water system at the Rohnert Park campus lost pressure over
the weekend, increasing the possibility that sediment
contaminated the water. No one has been sickened, but for two
days, the school community has been advised to use
anti-bacterial sanitizer after bathing or washing their hands
with tap water.
Only some parts of the world have safe drinking water almost
ubiquitously, and only in the last century. (We lucky few!) In
these countries, drinking water safety relies on a complex
portfolio of actions and accountability by individuals,
industries, and diverse layered units of government. The
provision of safe drinking water is another example of
portfolio approaches to water management.
As the Marin Municipal Water District gears up to consider
another rate and fee hike this year, some of the public debate
has turned to whether the district is paying too much in
salaries and benefits to its employees.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, wants to create a tax
on water customers to fund a safe drinking water program in
disadvantaged communities. But a rival proposal by a lawmaker
from his own party seeks to tap into the state’s record budget
The city is suiting up for construction of a new facility later
this year that will purify recycled water to create a new,
local source of drinking water for residents by 2022. Pure
Water Oceanside is a water purification system that aims to
reduce the city’s reliance on imported water, improve
groundwater resources, increase local water supply and
strengthen the city’s resiliency to drought and climate change
in an environmentally sound process.
Brown and former first lady Anne Gust Brown, in their first
public appearance since he left office in January, spoke to
about 100 attendees about the daunting challenges they face
living on a self-sustaining farm: installing solar panels for
power, collecting water from a well, and tending to an olive
Antioch’s plan to build a long-awaited brackish desalination
plant got a major boost this week when the City Council
officially accepted a $10 million state grant that will pay
toward design and construction. The city’s grant was one of
three statewide to be awarded in March 2018 from the Department
of Water Resources for desalination projects under Proposition
Too often considered a problem confined to the Central Valley
and agricultural communities, the fact is that lack of access
to safe, clean drinking water in school water fountains and
home faucets affects every region of our state. This is a
situation Gov. Gavin Newsom has rightly called a “disgrace” and
has made it a priority to fix the crisis. In this life-saving
endeavor, he has the support of Silicon Valley’s most
Five years ago, the Sweetwater Authority paid one of its
engineers $175,000 to drop a lawsuit against the water district
if he agreed to never work there again. Now, the engineer,
Hector Martinez, is one of seven board members in charge of
running the district.
Working under a less-than-four-year deadline, Soquel Creek
Water District is fine-tuning the ‘where’ of its planned water
recycling plant construction. On Tuesday, district officials
will recommend the board split the Pure Water Soquel project
between two sites, with tertiary treatment at the city of Santa
Cruz’s Wastewater Treatment Facility and advanced purification
at the controversial new site in Live Oak.
The problem started on Feb. 17, when Paonia’s water operators
noted a loss of water in a 2 million gallon storage tank. A
team went out looking for a leak, but could not locate it. As
the leak continued, the town’s water system lost enough
pressure that the state of Colorado imposed a boil order. In
response, town officials declared a state of emergency.
The announcement by Mayor Eric Garcetti last month that Los
Angeles will recycle all the wastewater produced at the
Hyperion plant by 2035 signals an end to the era of addressing
water shortages by importing water from far-flung places and
initiates a long-anticipated era of reusing locally available
supplies. The shift will require L.A. residents to understand
both the necessity of the plan and the technology that will
produce safe water.
Although Santa Monica may be the most aggressive Southern California water provider to wean itself from imported supplies, it is hardly the only one looking to remake its water portfolio.
In Los Angeles, a city of about 4 million people, efforts are underway to dramatically slash purchases of imported water while boosting the amount from recycling, stormwater capture, groundwater cleanup and conservation. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 announced a plan to reduce the city’s purchase of imported water from Metropolitan Water District by one-half by 2025 and to provide one-half of the city’s supply from local sources by 2035. (The city considers its Eastern Sierra supplies as imported water.)
The cheering is for a governor who has brought attention to a
problem that’s almost unfathomable in wealthy urban regions. No
Californian in 2019 should have to endure third-world
drinking-water conditions. But there’s ample reason to give the
governor the raspberries, too. That’s because Newsom’s solution
comes right out of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “you
never want a serious crisis go to waste” playbook.
Earlier this month the Environmental Protection Agency released
its enforcement data for fiscal year 2018, and in many key
areas data continued to show a downward trend in the civil and
criminal punitive measures meted out to large polluters. And on
Tuesday the House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced it
will hold a hearing next week to investigate the Trump EPA’s
“troubling enforcement record.”
Newsom has embraced an idea that has previously failed to gain
traction in Sacramento: new taxes totaling as much as $140
million a year for a clean drinking water initiative. Much of
it would be spent on short- and long-term solutions for
low-income communities without the means to finance operations
and maintenance for their water systems. … But the money
to change that — what’s being called a “water tax” in state
Capitol circles — is where the politics get complicated.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday unveiled what
officials called a historic effort to rein in a class of
long-lasting chemicals that scientists say pose serious health
risks. But environmental and public health groups, some
lawmakers and residents of contaminated communities said the
agency’s “action plan” isn’t aggressive enough and that the EPA
should move more quickly to regulate the chemicals in the
nation’s drinking water.
Three new directors representing the cities of Fullerton and
Santa Ana, and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency were seated
today on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California.
Back in 2015, the city of San Diego expected it would get about
a third of its drinking water from recycled sewage within 20
years and could do so for about $3 billion in construction
costs. Now, the city is looking to spend no less than $4.8
billion and perhaps as much as $9 billion on the project,
according to city financial documents, including previously
undisclosed internal estimates from the Public Utilities
Low-income Californians can get help with their phone bills, their natural gas bills and their electric bills. But there’s only limited help available when it comes to water bills.
That could change if the recommendations of a new report are implemented into law. Drafted by the State Water Resources Control Board, the report outlines the possible components of a program to assist low-income households facing rising water bills.
In September of 2018, the Public Policy Institute of California
(PPIC) released the report, “Managing Drought in a Changing
Climate: Four Essential Reforms”, which asserted there are five
climate pressures affecting California’s water… The report
recommends four policy reforms: Plan ahead, upgrade the water
grid, update water allocation rules, and find the money.
San Diego is in the midst of spending roughly $3 billion on a
massive new water treatment system, but city officials can’t or
won’t tell customers how that will affect their water bills.
New water recycling plants will eventually purify enough sewage
to provide a third of the city’s drinking water. In
December, Voice of San Diego asked the city to estimate how
much customers’ bills will increase because of the Pure Water
project. The city, after weeks of delay, finally declined
last week to offer any estimate because “there is no simple
calculation” they could perform.
Governor Newsom’s first proposed state budget, released earlier
this month, addresses several critical water and natural
resource management challenges. Here are highlights from his
plans to mitigate problems with safe drinking water, improve
forest health and reduce the risk of wildfires, and encourage
healthy soils to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase
Water customers in Chico and Oroville could soon be paying
more. California Water Service is asking the Public
Utilities Commission to approve a rate hike. … Cal
Water says the extra revenue is needed to improve
infrastructure, including replacing water main piping.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District made a grave
miscalculation in suing the State Water Board over
the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan. By alienating the
remnants of the environmental community who have supported them
in recent years, they are jeopardizing future projects and
funding measures that will require voter approval.
The Alameda County Water District is proposing to raise
customers’ bills 8 percent over the next two years to cover
infrastructure costs as well as salary increases, benefits and
pensions for its employees. The district also wants to
create an emergency pricing schedule that kicks in during water
shortages, such as in droughts.
One in seven Americans drink from private wells, according to
the U.S. Geological Survey. Nitrate concentrations rose
significantly in 21% of regions where USGS researchers tested
groundwater from 2002 through 2012, compared with the 13 prior
years. … “The worst-kept secret is how vulnerable
private wells are to agricultural runoff,” says David Cwiertny,
director of the University of Iowa’s Center for Health Effects
of Environmental Contamination.
State water quality officials cautioned the public not to drink
or cook with untreated surface water from streams throughout
the Camp Fire burn area after bacteria and other contaminants
were detected in water samples. … Laboratory analyses of
surface water samples found concentrations of bacteria
(E.Coli), aluminum, antimony and some polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) that exceeded water quality standards for
The budget specifically calls out funding for Safe and
Affordable Drinking Water. It discusses the need to find a
stable funding source for long-term operation and maintenance
of drinking water systems in disadvantaged communities, stating
that existing loan and grant programs are limited to capital
A bipartisan bill in Congress would designate PFAS
chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund program,
allowing federal agencies to clean up sites contaminated
by harmful fluorinated compounds. Health officials
have said continued exposure to
certain PFAS chemicals in drinking water could harm
human health. Studies link exposure to developmental effects on
fetuses, cancer and liver and immunity function, among other
A day after proposing a tax on drinking water, Gov. Gavin
Newsom took a “surprise” road trip to meet with Stanislaus
County residents in a community known for having unsafe wells.
Newsom and his cabinet made their first stop at the Monterey
Park Tract in Ceres, where he held a roundtable discussion with
people who for years had to use bottled water for drinking and
cooking because their community’s two wells were
long-contaminated with nitrates and arsenic.
Tackling what promises to be a controversial issue, Gov. Gavin
Newsom proposed a tax on drinking water Thursday to help
disadvantaged communities clean up contaminated water systems.
Newsom’s plan for a “safe and affordable drinking water fund,”
included in the new governor’s first budget proposal, attempts
to revive an idea that died in the Legislature last year.
This month’s second annual Cuyamaca College Center for Water
Studies “Women in Water – Exploring Career Pathways” symposium
will provide a good opportunity for women and girls to learn
about a career in the field. Cuyamaca’s Center for Water
Studies opened in the fall of 2018. A renovated complex with
new classrooms, it also has a water quality analysis laboratory
and a workshop, and offers related skills-based courses. Last
year’s event drew nearly 200 participants. This year’s all-day
conference starts at 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17.
Cloud seeding has existed for decades, and has significant
traction in other western states such as California, Idaho
and Wyoming. Colorado has only recently joined the cloud
seeding game as the state’s snowpack has declined and the
Colorado River runs dry.
Los Angeles resident Cindy Baker claimed in her April
2018 federal class action lawsuit that the
Switzerland-based company intentionally and recklessly
concealed facts about the quality and purity of its Pure Life
purified water. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said
in a seven-page order that Baker’s concerns about water
quality and microplastics in Nestle water should be addressed
by the Food and Drug Administration, not by the courts.
As more people build homes in fire-prone areas, and as climate
change and other factors increase the frequency of fires, there
is a growing risk to life and property throughout the West —
and a lesser known risk to the region’s already endangered
water supply. At least 65 percent of the public water supply in
the Western U.S. comes from fire-prone areas.
At issue is the proper interpretation of the law’s central
provision barring the discharge of “any pollutant to navigable
waters from any point source” without a permit. The term
navigable waters, broadly defined as “waters of the United
States,” does not generally include groundwater.
The announcement finalizes prioritization of 458 basins,
identifying 56 that are required to create groundwater
sustainability plans under the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act. For most basins, the results are a confirmation
of prioritizations established in 2015. Fifty-nine basins
remain under review with final prioritization expected in late
At stake is an important rule that defines which waters are
protected under the Clean Water Act. It’s also poised to
be a year of reckoning on the Colorado River, which supplies
water to 40 million people and 5.5 million acres of farmland.
And it could also be a landmark year for water management in
California, with several key issues coming to a head.
Last month, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management released a
scoping report on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas
development on approximately 400,000 acres of BLM-administered
public land and 1.2 million acres of federal mineral estate
lands on tribal and privately held lands in Fresno, Kern,
Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and
Calls for the federal government to regulate polyfluoroalkyl
and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been unsuccessful.
Last year the Trump administration tried to block a study
urging a much lower threshold of exposure. Harvard
University researchers say public drinking-water supplies
serving more than 6 million Americans have tested for the
chemicals at or above the EPA’s threshold — which many experts
argue should be far lower to safeguard public health.
For two decades, the Hutchinsons and their neighbors in this
rural enclave of Banning Heights tucked above the I-10 freeway
have fought to have Southern California Edison repair a
century-old system that carries water down the San Gorgonio
mountains to their homes.
When the water was still fluoridated in Juneau, Alaska, kids on
average had about 1 1/2 cavity-related procedures per year.
After fluoride was gone, that went up to about 2 1/2 procedures
a year. And that got expensive.
The tenth annual performance report evaluates what the
state water boards do and how the environment is responding to
its actions. The report presents numerous performance
measures for specific outputs and outcomes.
The report issued by California’s State Water Resources Control
Board marks a key step in a decade-long effort to remove four
hydroelectric dams and restore the health of the Klamath River.
The dam-removal project is part of a broader effort by
California, Oregon, federal agencies, Klamath Basin tribes,
water users and conservation organizations to revitalize the
basin, advance recovery of fisheries, uphold trust
responsibilities to the tribes, and sustain the region’s
farming and ranching heritage.
Some drinking-water wells on the northeast side of Madera
are being idled or abandoned because of fluctuating water
levels and significant plumes of groundwater contamination by
the agricultural chemical DBCP, a powerful pesticide suspected
to cause sterility and cancer.
Montgomery is known for fostering collaborative relationships
among stakeholders and as a leader in protecting and restoring
water quality within California and throughout the Southwest
and the Pacific Islands. He is currently serving as the
Assistant Director of the Water Division in the US
Environmental Protection Agency (Region 9).
There’s every reason to expect that 2019 will be far better,
largely because of Measure W, which was passed by voters in
November. The initiative imposes a Los Angeles County parcel
tax that will generate $300 million per year to reduce
pollution from runoff and capture storm water to add to the
CANCELED: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold one hearing to
provide interested parties the opportunity to present data,
views, or information concerning the proposed rule changes
affecting wetlands and ephemeral waters.
The Trump administration is expected to put forth a proposal on
Tuesday that would significantly weaken a major Obama-era
regulation on clean water, according to a talking points memo
from the Environmental Protection Agency that was distributed
to White House allies this week.
California voters on Tuesday rejected a water bond for the
first time in almost 30 years, disregarding pleas from its
backers that the money would fix crumbling infrastructure,
bring clean drinking water to disadvantaged communities and
kick-start badly needed environmental restoration projects.
Losses by green groups in Alaska, Colorado, and Montana
contributed to a 2018 election in which water-related policies
and funding were on the ballot in at least a dozen local and
state initiatives. In two other high-profile decisions, voters
in Baltimore backed a first-ever municipal ban on privatization
of a city water utility while Californians uncharacteristically
rejected an $8.9 billion bond for water projects.
State officials on Wednesday removed the elected board and
general manager of a water district that for years has been
accused of serving brown, smelly water to its customers in
Compton. With a 22-page decree, the State Water Resources
Control Board abolished Sativa Los Angeles County Water
District’s five-member board of directors and ousted its
A San Francisco woman who tested her tap water with a
store-bought kit and got a positive reading for pesticides,
then posted the results to social media, has prompted the city
to step up water testing not just near her home in the Sunset
District but across the city. Officials at the San Francisco
Public Utilities Commission insisted Tuesday, for the second
day in a row, that municipal supplies are safe to drink.
Americans across the country, from [BarbiAnn] Maynard’s home in
rural Appalachia to urban areas like Flint, Mich., or Compton,
Calif., are facing a lack of clean, reliable drinking water. At
the heart of the problems is a water system in crisis: aging,
crumbling infrastructure and a lack of funds to pay for
A Compton water district that could be abolished for delivering
brown water is waging an eleventh-hour campaign for its
survival. The push comes after legislation sailed through the
state Assembly and Senate last month that would dismantle the
Sativa Los Angeles County Water District’s five-member elected
board of directors and install a new general manager by year’s
An effort to impose a “voluntary” water tax on residents to pay
for safe drinking water projects died in the Legislature on
Friday. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said “a piecemeal
funding approach” to the problem “won’t work.”
Karen Lewis knows about water problems. The 67-year-old lives
in Compton, where the water coming out of her tap is tinged
brown by manganese, a metal similar to iron, from old pipes.
The water is supplied by the troubled Sativa Los Angeles County
Water District. … Now, in the wake of the state’s
prolonged drought and the notorious water crisis in Flint,
Mich., a number of new solutions have been proposed in
California, including a consumer water fee that people could
decline to pay.
Five years ago, California became the first state in the nation
to recognize the human right to safe, clean, affordable and
accessible water. Today, we look at how the state is working to
ensure that right and where the biggest concerns for
Families across California unhappy about the condition of their
drinking water will hold protests at the Capitol each day until
the end of session. They are calling on the Legislature to pass
Senate Bills 844 and 845.
Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and
oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what’s
out there. Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8
billion tons have been manufactured. And when it’s thrown away,
it doesn’t just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small
As students head back to class across California this month,
many will sip water from school fountains or faucets that could
contain high levels of lead. That’s because two-thirds of the
state’s 1,026 school districts have not taken advantage of a
free state testing program to determine whether the toxic metal
is coming out of the taps and, if so, whether it exceeds
Lauren Woeher wonders if her 16-month-old daughter has been
harmed by tap water contaminated with toxic industrial
compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets and
fast-food wrappers. … Tim Hagey, manager of a local
water utility, recalls how he used to assure people that the
local public water was safe. That was before testing showed it
had some of the highest levels of the toxic compounds of any
public water system in the U.S.
The U.S. Navy knew as far back as 1993 that the tap water at
its former shipyard in San Francisco contained dangerous
amounts of lead, but didn’t tell local officials, visitors or
people who worked there, including hundreds of police employees
stationed at the site since 1997.
You can buy water with electrolytes, minerals or completely
“purified.” You can buy it with the pH changed to make it
alkaline. You can purify your own tap water or even add
nutrients back into it. … As it turns out, scientists say
that most tap water in the U.S. is just as good as the water in
bottles or streaming out of a filter.
The U.S. drinking water standard for nitrate was set decades
ago at a level to prevent infant deaths. But recent research
suggests that the standard, decided in 1991, is out of date.
Scientists are accumulating evidence that the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency’s nitrate limit may need to be
lowered because it does not account for potential long-term
health damage, including the risk of cancer, that harms people
into their adult years.
A federal watchdog is calling on the Environmental Protection
Agency to strengthen its oversight of state drinking water
systems nationally and respond more quickly to public health
emergencies such as the lead-in-the water crisis in Flint,
The California company that sells Crystal Geyser bottled water
has been charged with illegally disposing of arsenic-tainted
wastewater, federal prosecutors said Thursday. The charges
don’t allege that CG Roxane LLC sold tainted water, but that it
illegally shipped and disposed of the toxic waste filtered from
More than a decade in the making, an
ambitious plan to deal with the vexing problem of salt and
nitrates in the soils that seep into key groundwater basins of
the Central Valley is moving toward implementation. But its
authors are not who you might expect.
An unusual collaboration of agricultural interests, cities, water
agencies and environmental justice advocates collaborated for
years to find common ground to address a set of problems that
have rendered family wells undrinkable and some soil virtually
unusable for farming.
Residents of working-class neighborhoods in Compton and
Willowbrook have long fought an uphill battle against their
local water district, which over the years has been accused of
mismanagement, nepotism, bad service and, most recently,
sending brown, smelly water through their taps. Still, Sativa
Los Angeles County Water District managed to stay in business.
Authorities in Salem, Oregon, lifted a drinking water advisory
on July 3 that had been in place for children and the elderly
since Memorial Day weekend, when algal toxins were discovered
in the city’s water system. How many other water systems are at
risk from the toxin-producing scum that grows in rivers and
lakes, particularly in the warmer months?
Frustrated by discolored drinking water pouring from their
taps, four Compton residents filed a class-action lawsuit late
Monday against their water provider, Sativa Los Angeles County
Water District. … It comes days before a crucial decision by
county oversight officials on whether to dissolve the small
public water district.
For its litany of problems, it’s been hard to kill the tiny
Sativa Los Angeles County Water District. … Across
California, there are about 3,000 water agencies, remnants of
an archaic system that until about two decades ago allowed
anyone with a water source that could serve 15 or more people
to seek a permit to create a community water system.
California’s corrections department is spending $46,000 a month
to buy bottled water for inmates and staff at a prison in Tracy
where it opened a state-of-the-art water treatment plant eight
The U.S. Forest Service has granted Nestle a new three-year
permit to continue operating its bottled water pipeline in the
San Bernardino National Forest. The agency announced the
decision Wednesday, saying the permit has been offered to the
company “with measures to improve the watershed’s health” along
U.S. officials offered Nestle, the maker of Arrowhead bottled
water, a three-year permit on Wednesday to keep taking millions
of gallons of water from a national forest in Southern
California — but with new restrictions designed to keep a creek
flowing for other uses.
The general manager of a small public agency under fire for
delivering brown, smelly water to parts of Compton and
Willowbrook has been placed on administrative leave effective
immediately, the water district board’s attorney announced
Residents of Compton have complained about brown, smelly water
coming out of their taps for more than a year. And when
officials began talking about dissolving the troubled local
water district, the area’s congresswoman scheduled a town hall
meeting so community members could weigh in.
The California budget doesn’t include it, but Gov. Jerry Brown
is not done pushing for a new charge on water users, which
would fund clean drinking water in rural areas of the state
that currently have unsafe tap water.
At a town hall Monday, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán
alleged that people were paid to pose as residents to speak out
in support of an embattled water district, marking a strange
twist in the ongoing controversy over discolored water pouring
out of taps in Compton and Willowbrook.
In California’s San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive
farming regions in the nation, an estimated 150,000 people are
stuck living with contaminated drinking water. … The good
news: Help is available to many of these small community water
systems, provided they can merge with a neighboring utility
that has clean water.
A proposed tax on California’s drinking water, designed to
clean up contaminated water for thousands of Californians, was
abandoned by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders Friday as
part of the compromise on the state budget. Lawmakers and
Brown’s office scrapped the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water
Act,” which would have taxed residents 95 cents a month to
raise millions for cleaning toxic wells.
In what conservation groups are calling a major win,
environmental activists and the U.S. Forest Service have
reached a settlement in a legal fight over the permit that
allows Nestlé to pipe water out of the San Bernardino National
Forest to bottle and sell it.
The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical
industry, is scaling back the way the federal government
determines health and safety risks associated with the most
dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the
Environmental Protection Agency show.
An estimated 360,000 Californians are served by water systems
with unsafe drinking water, according to a McClatchy analysis
of data compiled by the State Water Resources Control Board.
… Now, after years of half solutions, the state is
considering its most comprehensive actions to date. Gov. Jerry
Brown has asked the Legislature to enact a statewide tax
on drinking water to fix wells and treatment systems in
More than half a dozen bills aimed at plastic pollution were
introduced in Sacramento this year alone — by both coastal
legislators and more moderate inland colleagues who see the
potential damage not just in oceans but also rivers, lakes and
the state’s water supply. No one, they said, wants to drink a
glass of water and wonder if they’re also downing a glass of
Soaring numbers of water systems around the country are testing
positive for a dangerous class of chemicals widely used in
items that include non-stick pans and firefighting foam,
regulators and scientists said Tuesday. The warnings, and
promises by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt
of official action to confront the related health risks, came
in a summit with small-town and state officials increasingly
confronting water systems contaminated by the toxic substances.
The controversy over Nestlé’s bottled water operation in the
San Bernardino National Forest has prompted a review of the
company’s federal permit, a lawsuit and an investigation by
California regulators. Now, Nestlé’s continued piping of
water out of the San Bernardino Mountains has become an issue
in a congressional campaign.
Lassen Peak had been rumbling for days. Glowing hot rocks
bounded down the slopes. Lava was welling up into a freshly
created crater. Then, on this day 103 years ago, it exploded in
a way California would never forget.
Advocates gathered in Merced, and similar demonstrations were
held around the state, according to advocates, to get elected
officials to support Senate Bill 623, which aims to provide a
stable source of funding to implement California’s Human Rights
to Water, Assembly Bill 685 from 2012.
San Diego is the only city in California seeking state
reimbursement for testing the toxic lead levels in water at
local schools, which has cost the city’s water agency more than
$400,000. … The requirement, which came in response to a
national outcry over lead in drinking water at schools in
Michigan, immediately prompted complaints from water agencies
that it was an unfunded mandate by the state.
For years, Californians have mismanaged the aquifers
that supply the state with about 40 percent of its water
supplies. Declining water levels from over-pumping have
left less water for agriculture, urban, and other uses
in many areas of the state. But the problems do not stop
with groundwater users.
Gaps in funding for water treatment are a major problem in
California. Water providers operate independently, relying
virtually entirely on customer fees to cover costs. For
agencies with scale, money and access to quality water sources,
this model works well. But absent those resources,
contamination persists for years without resolution.
When a wildfire leveled a whole neighborhood in Santa Rosa,
California, in October, it was just the first disaster for this
Wine Country city. A second disaster is now unfolding after
chemical contamination was detected in the city’s drinking
water following the fire.
Testing is in progress at schools throughout Marin for lead in
drinking water, and one fountain has been shut down because of
contamination. The testing is being conducted in accordance
with Assembly Bill 746. It requires campuses built before Jan.
1, 2010, to receive the testing for lead contamination by July
Joaquin Esquivel learned that life is
what happens when you make plans. Esquivel, who holds the public
member slot at the State Water Resources Control Board in
Sacramento, had just closed purchase on a house in Washington
D.C. with his partner when he was tapped by Gov. Jerry Brown a
year ago to fill the Board vacancy.
Esquivel, 35, had spent a decade in Washington, first in several
capacities with then Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and then as
assistant secretary for federal water policy at the California
Natural Resources Agency. As a member of the State Water Board,
he shares with four other members the difficult task of
ensuring balance to all the uses of California’s water.
A new study could help water agencies find solutions to the
vexing challenges the homeless face in gaining access to clean
water for drinking and sanitation. The Santa Ana Watershed
Project Authority (SAWPA) in Southern California has embarked
on a comprehensive and collaborative effort aimed at assessing
strengths and needs as it relates to water services for people
(including the homeless) within its 2,840 square-mile area that
extends from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Orange County
A new study could help water
agencies find solutions to the vexing challenges the homeless
face in gaining access to clean water for drinking and
The Santa Ana Watershed Project
Authority (SAWPA) in Southern California has embarked on a
comprehensive and collaborative effort aimed at assessing
strengths and needs as it relates to water services for people
(including the homeless) within its 2,840 square-mile area that
extends from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Orange County
Less than 1 percent of recent drinking water samples at
California’s public schools showed elevated lead levels. But
thousands more campuses still need to be tested, state
officials said last week. A new law, AB 746, took
effect in January requiring those tests at public schools over
the next 16 months.
Norma Sanchez took a quick break from watering her East
Porterville front yard, bent the garden hose and reflected on
years of being without reliable water. Now, she has
water, pressure and along with it problems with the new
delivery system residents waited so long to get.
Besides challenging federal deregulation, the Bureau of
Environmental Justice will prioritize pollution cases that
threaten public health, [California Attorney General Xavier]
Becerra said. The attorneys will seek to compel businesses and
government agencies to clean contaminated drinking water,
reduce exposure to lead and other toxins and prevent illegal
waste discharges in communities burdened disproportionately by
With the comment period now over, state officials have begun
their review of 30 separate filings in response to an
investigation of Nestlé’s withdrawal of millions of gallons
annually from springs in the San Bernardino National Forest for
its Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water brand of bottled
Seven cities and community services districts have backed the
Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s appeal of a
controversial Mercer-Fraser Company project that seeks to build
a cannabis manufacturing facility along the Mad River near
To ensure that tap water in the United States is safe to drink,
the federal government has been steadily tightening the health
standards for the nation’s water supplies for decades. But over
and over again, local water systems around the country have
failed to meet these requirements.
Nestlé is disputing the findings of an investigation by
California water regulators, arguing the company is entitled to
keep piping water out of the San Bernardino National
Forest — even more water than it has been bottling
and selling in the past few years.
A partnership of state and local agencies working to help
homeowners affected by California’s multi-year drought finished
connecting 755 homes to a safe, reliable, permanent water
supply. All households participating in the East Porterville
Water Supply Project have now been connected to the City of
Porterville’s municipal water system.
Eleven Democratic state attorneys general on Tuesday sued
President Donald Trump’s administration over its decision to
delay implementation of an Obama-era rule that would have
expanded the number of wetlands and small waterways protected
by the Clean Water Act.
The deadline for filing comments about the State Water
Resources Control Board’s controversial ‘Report of
Investigation’ for Nestlé’s water mining in the San Bernardino
Mountains has been extended to Feb. 9, from Thursday, Jan. 25,
allowing environmental groups, individuals and Nestlé more time
to perfect arguments in an effort to shape the direction of the
Fro California Governor Jerry Brown and his administration,
2017 was a water year to remember, and one that would figure
into the drafting of the state’s 2018-19 budget, which was
released early this month. The $190 billion proposed spending
plan names California’s drought and the “extreme natural events
of 2017” as determining factors in how the cash was
The governing board for Humboldt County’s main water supplier
is set to decide Wednesday whether to appeal the construction
of a Glendale cannabis edibles and concentrates manufacturing
facility that would be located near one of its drinking water
pumps on the Mad River.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will replace Obama-era
carbon and clean water regulations and open up a national
debate on climate change in 2018, part of a list of priorities
for the year that also includes fighting lead contamination in
public drinking water.
Hold your canteen under a natural spring and you’ll
come away with crystal clear water, potentially brimming
with beneficial bacteria as well
as minerals from the earth. … But by shunning
recommended water safety practices, experts warn, raw water
purveyors may also be selling things you don’t want to
drink — dangerous bacteria, viruses and parasites that can
make you sick.
Nestle, which sells Arrowhead bottled water, may have to stop
taking millions of gallons of water from Southern California’s
San Bernardino National Forest because state regulators
concluded it lacks valid permits. The State Water Resources
Control Board notified the company on Wednesday that an
investigation concluded it doesn’t have proper rights to about
three-quarters of the water it withdraws for bottling.
California water regulators told Nestlé that the company
doesn’t appear to have valid water rights for all of the water
it’s been piping out of the San Bernardino National Forest and
selling as bottled water. Regulators at the State Water
Resources Control Board notified Nestlé of their findings
following a 20-month investigation, recommending the company
limit its use of water from the namesake source of
Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water unless it can show it has
valid rights for all of the water it’s been taking.
As Congress debated a tax cut that would transfer an enormous
amount of wealth from America’s poor and middle classes to its
rich, a United Nations expert was visiting people already
pushed over the edge by poverty. … [Philip] Alston’s
findings also reflect how the widening gap between
rich and poor in the United States worsens the country’s
challenges for drinking water access, sanitation, and health.
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday
defended his frequent taxpayer-funded travel and his purchase
of a custom soundproof communications booth for his office,
saying both were justified. Pruitt made his first appearance
before a House oversight subcommittee responsible for
environmental issues since his confirmation to lead EPA in
Remember the days when you could just bring a bottle of water
from home to the plane? The days before airport security, which
allows you to carry liquids only in containers of 3.4 ounces or
less? Until recently, your only options were a fountain,
probably with low water pressure, or a $5 bottle of water from
the cafe near your gate.
Recognizing widespread public concern over drinking water
contamination, Congress approved a five-year, $7-million study
of the human health consequences of perfluorinated compounds, a
class of chemicals that came to national prominence in the last
two years amid detection in the water of hundreds of
communities, households, and military bases.
Water tests at school drinking fountains across Northern
California found dangerous levels of lead and other metals,
prompting school officials to shut down the fountains. However,
thousands of schools across California have not participated in
a state-funded program to test their drinking water, according
to an investigation by KCRA 3.
Stanford researchers have found that Californians’ views on
recycled water depend heavily on how that water is
eventually used. The study, which appeared in the August
2017 issue of Water and Environment Journal, revealed that
psychological resistance to using treated effluent can be
reduced, to some extent, by explaining the treatment process to
people and informing them of an existing program in
A growing list of schools across the state are posting high
levels of lead flowing out of faucets after the water crisis in
Flint, Mich. — in which corrosion of pipes led to leaching of
lead into the city water supply — led California officials to
push for testing, especially in schools.
Children at an Oakland elementary school have been exposed to
water with lead levels four times higher than allowed under
federal guidelines, test results obtained Thursday by The
Chronicle show. … The district began testing school taps
in August in advance of new state requirements, but the results
have not been well-publicized.
At the end of an unpaved road that snakes through the San
Bernardino National Forest, you come to Strawberry Creek, which
flows down from the mountains through a rocky canyon. Head
upstream and you’ll clamber over boulders and through the brush
until you arrive at a fork in the creek.
Residents in the Larkfield area north of Santa Rosa were urged
not to drink tap water there for the foreseeable future, as the
devastating Tubbs fire ravaging the region has damaged storage
tanks and a pumping station, officials said Monday.
The federal government has strict rules about water that can be
bottled and sold as “spring water,” and regulators recently
changed their position on whether the water that Nestlé pipes
out of the San Bernardino National Forest meets those
Despite having endured lead-laden tap water for years, Flint
pays some of the highest water rates in the US. … But in a
town [Evart] of only 1,503 people, there are a dozen wells
pumping water from the underground aquifer.
Just because drought-ravaged California has spent years urging
residents to conserve water doesn’t mean it wants people to
actually stop drinking the stuff. When a Gatorade cellphone
game suggested doing just that state Attorney General Xavier
Becerra filed a complaint accusing the popular thirst-quenching
drink’s maker of false advertising.
Though the nation’s first state law to assure the human right
to safe water and sanitation was enacted in California in 2012,
not much happened immediately afterward. The law existed in a
dormant state, like a seed waiting for a storm. The storm
eventually came, but, as it happened, it was a lack of rain
that brought the seed to flower.
Toxic chemicals from illegal marijuana farms hidden deep in
California’s forests are showing up in rivers and streams that
feed the state’s water supply, prompting fears that humans and
animals may be at risk, data reviewed by Reuters show.
If you drink tap water, you’re probably also ingesting
potentially dangerous microscopic plastic fibers. And you’re
not alone: That’s likely the case for billions of people across
the world, according to a new study from Orb Media.
Nestled in thick brush high in the San Bernardino
Mountains, bunker-like structures protrude from the rocky
slopes. Built with stone and concrete and secured with metal
doors and padlocks, these vaults are connected to a series of
stainless steel pipelines that run down the mountainside like
Environmental groups seeking to stop Swiss-based Nestlé from
pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino
National Forest, for little more than $500 a year, have
prevailed in an effort to obtain documents from the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration.
Porterville, California, a town of about 50,000 people,
lies nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains,
near the gateways to Sequoia and Kings Canyon
national parks. It’s an idyllic setting, but in the nearby
rural communities of East Porterville, Poplar, Terra Bella and
Ducor, many residents get their drinking water from private
wells that are rarely tested for contaminants.
The [McClellan] Air Force has consistently denied that toxins
have escaped the base boundaries and contaminated drinking
water supplies, but a series of new lawsuits by two area water
districts seeking $1.4 billion in damages has renewed concerns
among some who spent years drinking water from area pipes and
Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the
dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to
strengthen federal health standards.
The Trump administration’s latest environmental rollback is an
unusual one, but with a familiar feature: It benefits big
business. The National Park Service announced Wednesday that,
effective immediately, it will no longer allow parks to ban the
sale of plastic water bottles, which have long been criticized
for littering lakes and forests.
When a therapy dog refused to drink at a San Diego grade
school, it was the first clue that something was wrong with the
water. Tests revealed why the pup turned up its nose—the
presence of polyvinyl chloride, the polymer in PVC pipes that
degrade over time. But further analysis found something else
that had gone undetected by the dog, the teachers and students
of the San Diego Cooperative Charter School, and the school
district: elevated levels of lead.
Tom Steyer, the San Francisco billionaire and environmentalist,
promised his support Tuesday for a proposed safe and affordable
drinking water fund to help communities with contaminated water
in the San Joaquin Valley. … Steyer met with about a dozen
water advocates at the nonprofit Leadership Counsel for Justice
and Accountability in downtown Fresno who urged him to throw
his clout behind Senate Bill 623.
In a sweeping legal fight that could affect drinking water
supplies for thousands of Sacramento-area residents, two water
districts near the old McClellan Air Force Base are suing the
federal government for $1.4 billion to clean up the
cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium from the area’s
A bill making its way through the state Legislature is seeking
to improve quality and access to drinking water quality by
creating a new state fund, but some local entities are opposing
how the bill plans to raise money for this goal.
Marin’s utilities were among nearly 50,000 public water systems
examined in the nationwide study by the Washington, D.C.-based
Environmental Working Group. The group acknowledged that Marin
and other water suppliers meet government standards, but it
says the water frequently contains contaminants in
concentrations that exceed levels scientists say pose potential
health risks over the course of a lifetime.
More than one million people across 16 California counties have
excessive levels of a potent carcinogen in their drinking
water, and customers are now facing huge rate increases to help
pay for water agencies’ compliance with newly-adopted
standards. … Beginning January 2018, all drinking water in
the state will be required to have TCP levels of no more
that 5 parts per trillion (ppt).
Fresh Sierra mountain snowmelt would make a better drink of
water for rural Tulare County folk who currently rely on wells
tainted by fertilizers, leaky septic systems and decades-old
pesticide residues. Nobody argues with that here in
California’s San Joaquin Valley. The problem is obtaining
even a tiny fraction of the average 1.7 million acre-feet
of Kings River snowmelt that heads mostly to farm fields
California took its first step Tuesday toward addressing a
dangerous, cancer-causing chemical that 1 million residents
across the state could be drinking in harmful amounts. The
State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to
implement a maximum contaminant level in drinking water for a
chemical known as 1,2,3-TCP, used primarily as a degreasing
solvent and pesticide ingredient.
If you ask Californians who live in communities with unsafe
drinking water how bad things are, they will tell you in no
uncertain terms that the situation is a crisis. But unlike the
nation’s most visible water crisis in Flint, Michigan – where
98,000 people were drinking water tainted with high lead levels
for two years before the full story came to light –
California’s drinking water problems do not exist in one
central location or involve one culprit contaminant.
It’s expected to cost area agri-businesses about $1 million to
provide bottled water to lower-income Salinas Valley residents
whose water supply has been contaminated by nitrates in the
first year of a pilot program.
A five year survey released by the California Department of
Water Resources reveals half of the levees that guard
California cities from a major flood don’t meet modern
standards, and if a levee were to break in the wrong place, it
could cut off the drinking water supply to the Bay Area for
months or even years.
At the behest of the International Bottled Water Association,
Congress is preparing to approve a must-pass budget bill that
includes language aimed at restoring the sale of water in
disposable plastic bottles in all national parks. For nearly
six years, national parks have had the option of banning
bottled-water sales as a way to reduce plastic litter and waste
California regulators are proposing a strict limit on a toxic
man-made chemical that has contaminated water supplies
throughout the state, particularly in its vast agricultural
heartland. California would be the second state, after Hawaii,
to establish a threshold for the former pesticide ingredient
and industrial solvent known as TCP (1,2,3-trichloropropane) in
A little after 1 p.m. Sunday, a steady stream of cars began
pulling off Highway 18 at Lake Gregory Drive, parking on the
south side of the highway and their occupants darting across
during breaks in traffic to take up their posts on a dirt lot
next to Grotewolds Carpet Station.
The city of Vacaville is facing pressure to clean up its water
supplies after an environmental group sued this week over the
amount of chromium-6 in groundwater. … Vacaville is
among several California cities that have been wrestling with
the carcinogen since 2014, when the state adopted the nation’s
first chromium-6 rules.