As Passed by the Senate

124th General Assembly
Regular Session
Sub. S. B. No. 65

SENATORS Mumper, Jacobson, Harris, Spada

To enact section 6109.35 of the Revised Code to1
specify that if a water supplier that acquires2
ownership of an existing water system enters into a3
written agreement with the Environmental Protection4
Agency to bring the system into compliance with5
drinking water standards within a specified period6
of time and then does so, the water supplier has7
certain civil immunities concerning the system's8
previous failure to meet those drinking water9
standards, and to confer other qualified immunities10
from tort liability upon a water supplier.11


       Section 1.  That section 6109.35 of the Revised Code be12
enacted to read as follows:13

       Sec. 6109.35. (A) As used in this section:14

       (1) "Water supplier" means an entity that is subject to this15
chapter and rules adopted under it and that supplies drinking16
water through pipes, through tubing, or in a similar manner to17
consumers within this state.18

       (2) "Acquiring water supplier" means a water supplier that19
satisfies both of the following:20

       (a) The water supplier acquires ownership of an existing21
water supplier.22

       (b) The water supplier and the acquired existing water23
supplier do not have any mutual directors, officers, controlling24
shareholders, or other persons with an ownership interest prior to25
the acquisition.26

       (3) "Drinking water standards" means safe drinking water27
standards established by the environmental protection agency under28
this chapter or established by the United States environmental29
protection agency under the Safe Drinking Water Act.30

       (B) An acquiring water supplier that acquires ownership of an31
existing public water system is not liable in damages in a civil32
action for injury, death, or loss to person or property that33
occurred prior to the acquisition and that was allegedly caused by34
the previous water supplier's failure to comply with drinking35
water standards if the acquiring water supplier does both of the36

       (1) Enters into a written agreement with the environmental38
protection agency to bring the water system into compliance with39
drinking water standards within a specified period of time;40

       (2) Brings the water system into compliance with drinking41
water standards within the time period agreed to under division42
(B)(1) of this section.43

       (C) A water supplier that operates a public water system is44
not liable in damages in a civil action to any person for injury,45
death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from46
the person's consumption of water supplied by the water supplier47
if all of the following apply:48

       (1) During the period of time that the water supplier49
supplies water to the person, the water supplied by the water50
supplier meets all applicable drinking water standards.51

       (2) The water supplier has not been found to be in52
significant noncompliance with drinking water standards.53

       (3) The injury, death, or loss to person or property is54
alleged to be caused by a substance for which drinking water55
standards have been established.56

       (D)(1) This section does not create a new cause of action or57
substantive legal right against a water supplier.58

       (2) This section does not affect any immunities from civil59
liability or defenses established by another section of the60
Revised Code or available at common law to which a water supplier61
may be entitled under circumstances not covered by this section.62

       (3) This section does not create immunity from civil63
liability for violations of section 6109.31 of the Revised Code.64