Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bill To Allow Hot Springs To Remain Untreated With Chemicals
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) last week vetoed a bill (SB 1492) that would have exempted natural hot spring resorts from the state Public Swimming Pool Safety Act, which means that such springs might be treated with chemicals like those used in public swimming pools, the Los Angeles Times reports. In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said that local officials should decide which bodies of water are covered by the state regulation (Slater, Los Angeles Times, 7/26). Although the decision "may help ensure" that people who visit hot springs do not develop illnesses, owners of such resorts "take issue with the idea of pouring chlorine or other chemicals into natural springs and regulating them like public swimming pools," the AP/Fresno Bee reports. Richard Miller, owner of the Colusa County-based Wilbur Hot Springs resort, said that "clinical observation" and other measures indicate that the "waters do not present any danger to the people that sit in them." Miller also said that treating the springs would be difficult because almost 30,000 gallons of water pass through the pools each day into a creek and that introducing chemicals would be costly and would contaminate nearby water sources. However, Kevin Backus, interim director of environmental health for Colusa County, said that during testing in 2001, E. coli bacteria were found in pools in Wilbur (AP/Fresno Bee, 7/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.