The original instrument and the following digest, which constitutes no part of the
legislative instrument, were prepared by Brandi Cannon.
DIGEST
SB 129 Original 2021 Regular Session Fred Mills
Present law provides for the remedies available to the state health officer for the enforcement of
public drinking water laws and regulations relative to public water including administrative
compliance orders, civil penalties, and civil actions for injunctions and to place a public water
system in receivership. Proposed law requires a receiver, within 90 days after appointment, to
develop and submit an improvement plan to the La. Dept. of Health (LDH) for approval, and
provides for the content of the improvement plan.
Proposed law creates the "Community Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Act" and
provides for legislative intent for development of a community water system accountability process
to provide public assurance that drinking water is of high quality with clear standards and
expectations of the community water system.
Proposed law defines "community water system" as a public water system that serves year-round
residents within a residential setting including systems serving municipalities, water districts,
subdivisions, and mobile home parks.
Proposed law provides that LDH will implement a statewide accountability system that assesses
letter grades to community water systems based on a clear and appropriate point value assigned, at
a minimum, for federal water quality violation history, state violation history, water system financial
sustainability, operation and maintenance performance history, infrastructure violations, customer
satisfaction, and level of secondary contaminants. Proposed law provides for the assignment of a
letter grade of "A", "B", "C", "D", or "F".
Proposed law provides that LDH shall publish scores and letter grades earned by each community
water system on its website in a frequency and duration established by LDH in rulemaking.
Proposed law provides that any community water system that receives a letter grade of "D" or "F"
shall be considered operationally unacceptable and may be subject to present law enforcement
actions including administrative compliance orders, civil actions, and court appointed receivership,
oversight of federal or state grant funding by an auditor approved by the Louisiana legislative
auditor, or being placed on notice to the State Bond Commission, Public Service Commission, and
attorney general to prohibit the incurring of any additional debt for anything not directly related to
the water system.
Proposed law provides that no local governing authority that operates a community water system that
receives a grade of "D" or "F" shall expend any money raised through payment by customers for
access to water or other water system revenue for any item, debt payment, or public purpose other
than the improvement and sustainability of the community water system. Proposed law shall not be
construed to prohibit the payment of bonded indebtedness secured by the water system's revenue
incurred prior to the effective date of proposed law.
Proposed law provides that LDH shall publish the first letter grades no later than January 1, 2023.
Proposed law provides that a community water system or local governing authority operating a
community water system receiving federal funds, including stimulus or relief payments or grants,
for the upgrade, repair, or otherwise replacement of the water system infrastructure shall submit a
detailed plan describing how the federal funds will be used to LDH.
Present law provides that LDH shall promulgate a rule or take action requiring the modification of
an existing community water system in operation before August 1, 2013, only if LDH demonstrates
that the public water system is incapable of attaining compliance with the National Primary Drinking
Water Regulations without the modification and provides for permits for a new public water supply
system or in connection with the modification of an existing public water system. Present law
establishes the Louisiana Standards for Water Works Construction, Operation, and Maintenance
Committee and provides for the duties, membership, and meetings of the committee. Proposed law
repeals present law.
Effective August 1, 2021.
(Amends R.S. 40:5.9(C)(4) and (5); adds R.S. 40:5.9(C)(6), 5.9.1, and 5.9.2; repeals R.S.
36:259(B)(9) and R.S. 40:4.13)