In 2017, California’s State Water Resources Control Board adopted a drinking water standard for the regulation of 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP) at a maximum contaminant level of 5 parts per trillion. In a January 2021 presentation at a webinar sponsored by the American Ground Water Trust, Hydrowonk argued that addressing TCP groundwater contamination will cost at least $4 billion. Many of the challenges occur in Economically Disadvantage Communities that lack institutional capacity to develop, fund and operate projects.
While technical assistance and funding from the State Board would be helpful, addressing the disparate and decentralized circumstances on the ground may require a program based on developing a menu of proposed projects in consultation with local stakeholders and the private sector. The presentation outlines principles for development of such a program based on competitive solicitations for private sector design, build, finance and operation of projects. Following decades of experience with combinatorial auctions, a State Board program can harness initiatives from the private sector to develop and operate the combination of projects that address TCP Groundwater Contamination at the least cost to taxpayers.