Water board ex parte bill signed

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 28, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

This week the Governor signed SB 965, authored by Senator Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles), which will eliminate the State Water Resources Board and the Regional Boards’ policy of being sequestered from communication with stakeholders on matters such as the Industrial General Stormwater Permit.  Instead, the stakeholders will be able to meet and communicate with board members up to 14 days prior to the decision date to make sure that the board members understand their concerns and the potential ramifications.  Previously, once proceedings had begun the only input board members had was from staff, which had written the permits or regulations under consideration. This law will apply to waste discharge permits and conditions of water quality certifications generally, for the public as a whole, but specific companies or people with a specific permit pending still cannot communicate with the Board once that particular proceeding begins.

In this bill, the responsibility for reporting on the Board interaction falls upon the "interested party." Assemblymember Wes Chesbro (D-Eureka) stated that he would author a bill next year that would place the notification burden on the Board. Members of the public may not be aware of their responsibilities in this regard while board members have attorneys on staff to remind them of their obligations on a regular basis.

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