Water board bills move forward

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 27, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

This week a number of bills having to do with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) passed policy committees with bi-partisan support.  Amendments to the bills are still not out in writing.

SB 965 by Senator Rod Wright (D-Inglewood), which passed, would eliminate SWRCB and Regional Water Quality Control Board ex parte limitations on permit issues having wide economic implications.  The Senate Environmental Quality Committee seemed to understand that more communication was warranted on such issues.  Senator Wright’s SB 964, which would have required the SWRCB to follow the Administrative Procedures Act, like all other environmental agencies, failed committee passage on a party line vote.

Assemblymember Luis Alejo’s (D-Salinas) AB 2166, which also deals with water board ex parte, passed the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.  The legislator had heard numerous complaints from agricultural interests in his district about their lack of ability to talk to regional water board members.

Likewise, Senator Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) was also able to usher his bill, SB 1306, through the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.  His bill would require peer review of scientific findings by the SWRCB.

The fourth bill, AB 2117, authored by Assemblymember Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee without a dissenting vote.  Gorell’s measure would require the SWRCB to put together a comprehensive strategic plan for dealing with the storm water issue and present it to the Legislature by 2015.

CMTA supported all four bills.

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