Legislation Archive

Session Summaries

Bill Archive

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Environmental quality; dredge, fill permits

SB1493: Environmental quality; dredge, fill permits

In Brief: Authorizes ADEQ to establish Clean Water Act dredge and fill permit program

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Signed by Governor on 4/12/18

Description: Under current law, the United States EPA issues permits under the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill materials into waters that meet the definition of Waters of the United States. This bill essentially authorizes ADEQ to establish a Dredge and Fill Permit Program that is consistent with and no more stringent than the federal program. The bill lists requirements for the rules ADEQ would adopt to implement the program. ADEQ and the state are pursuing this legislation as a means of attempting to have EPA assign responsibility to the state over this federal program. To date, only Michigan and New Jersey have obtained authority from EPA to oversee this program at the state level.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70704?SessionId=119

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Environment; underground injection control program

SB1494: Environment; underground injection control program

In Brief: Requires ADEQ to establish a permit program for the Underground Injection Control Program

Sponsor(s): Griffin

Last Action: Signed by the Governor on 4/10/18.

Description: The Underground Injection Control Program is a program primarily overseen by EPA in cooperation with ADEQ that regulates the underground injection or discharge of both hazardous and nonhazardous liquid and gas. This bill requires ADEQ to establish a permit program that meets the minimum federal requirements for permitting injection wells in Arizona and requires the ADEQ Director to adopt rules for that purpose. ADEQ and the state are pursuing this legislation as a means of attempting to have EPA assign responsibility to the state over this federal program. To date, only four individual Underground Injection Control permits have been issued in Arizona, largely for mining purposes. As Arizona looks at using brackish groundwater supplies, some have argued that deep underground injection of brine may be a means of making brackish desalination in Arizona more economically feasible.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70705?SessionId=119

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Water; desalination action plan

HB2551: Water; desalination action plan

In Brief: Requires the ADWR Director to prepare a desalination action plan

Sponsor(s): Bowers

Last Action: Amended by an unrelated strike everything amendment on 3/20/18. Held in House.

Description: This bill requires the ADWR Director to prepare a desalination action plan that, among other things, considers costs of brackish water treatment, and identifies areas of the State where brackish groundwater exists and areas that could benefit from treated brackish supplies. The plan may also evaluate potential binational agreements or projects with respect to ocean desalination. The Director must submit a report to designated state leadership by September 30, 2019. As amended, the language requires an evaluation of the sources of brackish water, as well as impacts to water supplies of users in the area if water is withdrawn and treated. Desalination has an important role to play in Arizona's water management. However, this language appears to codify what the State is largely already doing as part of the Governor's Water Augmentation Council.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70790

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Desalination action study committee

HB2552: Desalination action study committee

In Brief: Establishes a 13-member desalination action study committee

Sponsor(s): Bowers

Last Action: Held in Committee

Description: This bill establishes a 13-member desalination action study committee comprised of political leaders and representatives from relevant agencies, water users, and other stakeholders. The bill directs the committee to (1) Consider state statutory or regulatory impediments to using high salinity water, (2) Consider the economic impact resulting from the amount and effect of high salinity water, and (3) Submit a report regarding the committee's activities, findings and recommendations on or before December 31, 2018.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70791

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Adequate water supply; county review

HB2553: Adequate water supply; county review

In Brief: Allows county board of supervisors for a county outside an AMA to not readopt the 100-year adequate water supply water requirement

Sponsor(s): Bowers

Last Action: Held in Senate

Description: As amended, this bill allows a county board of supervisors in a non-AMA county that has adopted a mandatory 100-year adequate water supply requirement to vote unanimously to not readopt the requirement if certain conditions are met. The conditions, which relate to the county or largest city in the county, include participation in the following: Groundwater recharge, reclaimed water reuse, water conservation programs, and use of low water use plants in certain publicly owned areas.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70792

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Environment; water quality; brine

HB2556: Environment; water quality; brine

In Brief: Directs the ADEQ Director to review limitations on the use of brackish water

Sponsor(s): Nutt and six others

Last Action: Held in Committee

Description: Directs the ADEQ Director, in coordination with the ADWR Director, by December 1, 2019 to "review existing data on the use and reuse of high salinity water and identify locations in this state, including hydrologically isolated areas, as potential sources for supplementing water supplies in this state." The bill also directs the ADEQ Director to post the report on ADEQ's webpage.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70795

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Natural resource conservation districts; administration

HB2596: Natural resource conservation districts; administration

In Brief: The Division of Natural Resource Conservation overseen by the Department of Forestry and Fire Management

Sponsor(s): Toma

Last Action: Amended by an unrelated strike everything amendment on 3/27/18. Strike everything amendment signed by Governor on 5/16/18.

Description: As introduced, this bill placed oversight of the Division of Natural Resource Conservation in the Department of Forestry and Fire Management. It currently resides in the State Land Department. On 3/27/18, this bill became the subject of an unrelated “strike everything” amendment.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70835

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Well reporting; Mohave; La Paz basins

HB2608: Well reporting; Mohave; La Paz basins

In Brief: Well reporting in Mohave and La Paz basins

Sponsor(s): Cobb

Last Action: Held in Committee

Description: This bill requires the owner of a well in one of four groundwater basins located in Northwest and Western Arizona to annually report groundwater withdrawals, if the well was drilled on or after January 1, 2012 and the well has a capacity of more than 100 gallons per minute. The bill states that a well owner that does not use a meter can maintain records of the estimated water use. The bill requires reporting for a period of three years, and the bill is repealed after December 31, 2020.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70857

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Ecological water; program; fund

SB1475: Ecological water; program; fund

In Brief: Establishes the Ecological Water Stewardship Program

Sponsor(s): Dalessandro

Last Action: Held in Committee

Description: This bill establishes the Ecological Water Stewardship Program and directs the ADWR Director to adopt rules to carry out its mission. The bill directs the ADWR Director to establish a set of standard measures to define ecological water needs in Arizona, including criteria for examining the relationship between ecological water and groundwater and surface water in Arizona. The bill directs the Director to take all reasonable steps necessary to monitor, maintain, improve and restore the surface water systems of Arizona. After making a determination of the ecological water needs for each watershed or subwatershed, the Director would publish a preliminary report that includes a determination of the ecological water and monitoring methods necessary to maintain and restore freshwater ecosystems. If the Director determines in any watershed or subwatershed that there is insufficient ecological water, the Director shall take all steps necessary to appropriate any unappropriated water to maintain the ecological water requirements or acquire by purchase or lease existing water rights.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70686

2018 - Fifty-third Legislature - Second Regular Session
Ecological water; program; fund

HB2581: Ecological water; program; fund

In Brief: Establishes the Ecological Water Stewardship Program

Sponsor(s): Gabaldon and others

Last Action: Held in Committee

Description: This bill establishes the Ecological Water Stewardship Program and directs the ADWR Director to adopt rules to carry out its mission. The bill directs the ADWR Director to establish a set of standard measures to define ecological water needs in Arizona, including criteria for examining the relationship between ecological water and groundwater and surface water in Arizona. The bill directs the Director to take all reasonable steps necessary to monitor, maintain, improve and restore the surface water systems of Arizona. After making a determination of the ecological water needs for each watershed or subwatershed, the Director would publish a preliminary report that includes a determination of the ecological water and monitoring methods necessary to maintain and restore freshwater ecosystems. If the Director determines in any watershed or subwatershed that there is insufficient ecological water, the Director shall take all steps necessary to appropriate any unappropriated water to maintain the ecological water requirements or acquire by purchase or lease existing water rights.

Link: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/70819