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Policy Pulse: March 15, 2024

Join the Conversation on ACC-OC's City Square Podcast

-Where Orange County Comes to Connect-

Our latest episode of City Square podcast is live!

In this edition of City Square, hosted by our very own Board President Stephanie Klopfenstein, we're thrilled to introduce Michael Hunn, CEO of CalOptima. Together, they delved into the array of opportunities and vital services that CalOptima tirelessly delivers to California residents. Their mission is to ensure there is equitable access to essential health and human services for all. A special thanks to our sponsor, AIM Youth Mental Health, for supporting this episode.

Listen on all platforms


We're thrilled to announce our upcoming events and can't wait to share them with you all! Visit our website to RSVP and secure your spot for these exciting opportunities.

Join ACC-OC for our Mayoral Roundtable on March 21st. This program is focused on top issues facing the region while offering a unique opportunity for local leaders to come together, share experiences, and strategize on how to lead effectively in today's ever-changing landscape. This event is open to OC Mayors, Mayor Pro Tems, City Managers, and designated council members. It is complimentary for ACC-OC Member Cities.


Join ACC-OC's Sacramento Advocacy Trip on April 8-9, 2024! This exclusive opportunity allows attendees to engage directly with legislative leaders and advocate for policies crucial to the region including energy, infrastructure, housing, public safety, water, and other vital issues as we work to keep OC in LOCal Government.

Space for this trip is limited, and seats are filling up fast, secure your spot today!


We are pleased to announce our Save the Date for our 2024 Leadership Conference which will include bringing back the Golden Hubs of Innovation Awards and 2024 Board of Directors Installation for Wednesday, May 8, 2024. This will be a fantastic event highlighting the great work being done in the region and conclude with a reception to celebrate our newly installed Board.


MWD Colorado River Aqueduct Tour

Save the Date to Join ACC-OC and MWD to tour their state-of-the-art Colorado River Aqueduct. 

May 17-19


ACC-OC Washington DC Legislative Advocacy Trip

Join us as at the Nation’s Capital to advocate on Orange County’s top issues at the federal level.

September 16-19th

Phoenix Park Hotel, Washington DC


The California State Water Resources Control Board has proposed a new regulatory framework called Making Conservation a California Way of Life. This framework aims to establish personalized efficiency goals for each Urban Retail Water Supplier.

On March 12, 2024, the Board released new language for the proposed regulations. The public comment period will last for 15 days until March 27, 2024.

A State Water Board workshop will be held on March 20th.

Water Conservation Regulations Update Action Alert
Download PDF • 852KB


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the disapproval South Coast Air Quality Management District's (SCAQMD) Contingency Measure Plan for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, a decision that could have severe implications for our community's health and environment.

After receiving urgent requests to extend the 30-day public comment period, including a letter from ACC-OC and OCCOG, EPA has extended the deadline to April 3, 2024. Attached is the EPA notice to extend the deadline.

South Coast AQMD has created a webpage to provide current information on EPA’s proposed disapproval, CLICK HERE TO VIEW.

View ACC-OC's Action Alert

SCAQMD_Action Alert 2.27.24
Download PDF • 847KB


California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

Join CPUC's Water Division webinar on April 3, 2024, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. to learn about their efforts in ensuring affordable, safe, and accessible water service. Topics include water rates, consumer assistance programs, compliance monitoring, water quality, conservation, and coordination during emergencies. Attendees can participate in a Q&A session to share opinions and ask questions.


Orange County Water District


Orange County Sanitation District

Read the Full Article on GWRS | OCWD

The Orange County Water District (OCWD) and Orange County Sanitation District (OC San) have been awarded the esteemed 2024 "Community Water Champion Award" by the WaterReuse National Association for their outstanding achievement in completing the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), the world's largest potable reuse project.

Through the final expansion completed in early 2003, the GWRS now recycles 100% of OC San's reclaimable wastewater flows, producing an impressive 130 million gallons of high-quality water daily. Managed by OCWD, this purified water replenishes the Orange County Groundwater Basin, benefiting 2.5 million residents by bolstering the region's drinking water supply. With another 430 billion gallons of water produced since its inception in 2008, the GWRS not only enhances Orange County's water sustainability but also serves as a global model for water reuse initiatives.

OCWD President Cathy Green and OC San Board Chairman Chad P. Wanke expressed immense pride in this milestone achievement, emphasizing the enduring commitment to providing reliable water services to local communities through innovative solutions like the GWRS.

OC San and OCWD Win WateReuse National Award (03.13.2024)
Download PDF • 178KB

Transportation Corridor Agencies

Flitch Ratings' recent upgrade of Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency's bond ratings to A- Senior Lien and BBB+ for Junior Lien, with a positive outlook, highlights the agency's robust financial management and thriving revenue performance. This upgrade not only signifies the agency's strengthened economic position but also underscores its prudent debt management strategies. F/ETCA's commitment to reducing debt through bond buybacks and optimizing operational efficiency has contributed to this positive evaluation.

F/ETCA Chair John Taylor emphasized the agency's dedication to enhancing revenues and reducing operating costs, which underscores its commitment to fiscal stability. Moreover, TCA CFO Howard Mallen's remarks regarding strategic debt reduction initiatives further attest to the agency's strong financial standing and focus on long-term sustainability.

Fitch Credit Rating 3_11_24
Download PDF • 437KB


Two Updates from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)

Track Protection Project at Mariposa Point

UPDATE: As of Monday, March 11, 2024, the OCTA and Metrolink team have completed the lagging for the catchment wall construction, continuing with the integration of a culvert and drainage system. Metrolink's track department has commenced work to restore the ballast, vital for long-term track stability, which could take up to two weeks before trains can safely resume speeds above ten mph. While Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and BNSF freight services remain operational, Metrolink operates limited weekday service as far south as the Niguel/Mission Viejo Station, with weekend service only to San Juan Capistrano. The project is anticipated to conclude by late March, with Metrolink service to and from Oceanside expected to resume in early April. Additionally, the OCTA-led Coastal Rail Resiliency Study is underway to address areas needing reinforcement along a 7-mile stretch between Dana Point and the San Diego County Line, with public meetings scheduled for further discussion. For more information, visit the project page.


Taxpayer Oversight Committee

The Orange Country Transportation Authority (OCTA) is looking for volunteers from the first, second, fourth, and fifth supervisorial districts to join their Taxpayer Oversight Committee. Applications are open until May 3 for these four positions. Candidates must be Orange County residents, at least 18 years old, and live in the district they aim to represent. APPLY HERE


The Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG)

The Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG) 2024 Annual Conference will take place on Thursday, March 28 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. The theme – Consistent Collaboration Creates Community – celebrates the importance of coming together to address issues that cross city borders and strengthen our communities.

The conference will cover the topics of transportation, water, coastal infrastructure and housing. The 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. event includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

Registration is free for Orange County elected officials.



Orange County Housing Finance Trust

The Orange County Housing Finance Trust is delighted to unveil its 2024 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), providing over $25 million for Permanent Supportive and Affordable Housing projects across Orange County. This significant funding initiative aims to combat homelessness and assist low-income families, ultimately elevating the quality of life for residents.

The NOFO application process is entirely online, offering convenience and accessibility. Don't miss out on this opportunity to make a positive impact.

Deadline is Today!

March 15, 2024, 5:00 PM

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