An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 11/12-15 - July 29, 2011
As you may be aware, the proposed East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) created a proposed ordinance that would affect a number of cities and areas by creating new requirements related to “private sewer laterals.”
Because the proposed ordinance would have arguably created new escrow requirements related to costs associated with the upgrades, the CLTA opposed the ordinance and sent a letter to EBMUD pointing out that state law, as set forth in the Insurance Code, was controlling for all escrow transactions relating to title companies. Our letter can be found here. The California Escrow Association (CEA) was also involved in raising objections to this ordinance.
Unfortunately, despite the CLTA opposition and that of the CEA, the local governments and EBMUD moved forward with the ordinance and enacted it.
The East Bay MUD PSL programs are in effect in some cities and start soon in others:
The East Bay MUD is proceeding with the “Private Sewer Lateral Program” in the bay area. The website outlining the starting dates and some details of the program can be found here.
The brochure outlining the program details can be found here.
The ordinance language can be found here.
The CLTA strongly advises title and escrow companies to become familiar with the new requirements:
CLTA strongly advises title companies doing business in the Bay Area to review this ordinance and the East Bay MUD information provided in the brochure and on the website. We also advise that you direct any questions you might have regarding this program to the contacts listed on the materials.
The start dates for some of the programs begin soon and are as follows: Emeryville and Piedmont are beginning their programs as of August 22, 2011. The Stege Sanitary District is beginning their program on October 17, 2011, and the City of Oakland is starting its program on December 19, 2011.
The other affected areas are El Cerrito, Kensington and the Richmond Annex. Apparently, the cities of Alameda, Albany and Berkeley have local private sewer lateral ordinances already in effect.
Under the ordinance, private property owners must undergo the PSL upgrades if they fail to pass inspection and get certification to that effect
The EBMUD ordinance, according to their materials, specifies three conditions which require property owners to test and, if necessary, repair or replace their private sewer laterals:
There are some exclusions for newer properties that are discussed in the above-linked EBMUD brochure.
If the property owner’s property passes the test, they are granted a certification to that effect.