California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 974 into law on September 29. The bill, sponsored by nonprofit organizations Rural Community Assistance Corporation and Self-Help Enterprises, exempts certain small drinking water system projects from the California Environmental Quality Act. These exemptions are expected to speed up the permitting process and allow projects that have been on hold for years to move forward.

RCAC’s Policy and Advocacy Specialist Rachel Smith said the bill’s passage was a huge win for small water systems in rural California, “RCAC, along with Self Help Enterprises, are thrilled that Gov. Newsom signed SB 974 into law. This bill will allow many small disadvantaged communities and schools to finally complete crucial drinking water projects and save years of planning and tens of thousands of local, state and federal dollars. As a result, many residents of disadvantaged communities in California will finally have safe drinking water.”

You can read the full text of SB974 here:

For more information on RCAC’s work in safe drinking water, visit: