Bill would have required bottled water companies to provide information on bottling and sales
The International Bottled Water Assn. (IBWA), in conjunction with the California Bottled Water Assn. (CBWA), commended California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his veto of Assembly Bill 301(sponsored by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes) on Sept. 29. If enacted, AB 301 would have required bottled water companies in California to annually provide the California Department of Health (DPH) with new information regarding the total annual volume of water bottled or sold for either wholesale or retail use in the state, and would have required the DPH to make this information available to the public.
Bottled water is highly regulated as a packaged food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as by the DPH, which licenses bottled water sold in California. According to the IBWA, if enacted, AB 301 would have placed costly regulatory requirements on bottled water companies within the state that would not necessarily provide additional public health benefits to California residents.
Water bottlers producing or shipping products into California already provide the state with substantial information as part of their regular permit applications and renewal processes.
The DPH also opposed AB 301 because of its cost and regulatory impact.
IBWA believes that if the purpose of AB 301 was to capture groundwater withdrawal data to better manage groundwater usage in California, all groundwater users, not only the bottled water industry, should be required to report such data to the California Department of Resources.