State Senators Melissa Hurtado and Dave Cortese are not exactly friends of the Delta. Their audacious new bill SB1219 is a complete assault on the Delta and all the work that Restore the Delta has championed over the years.
This bill would give the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to the Department of Water Resources — the Department that fails time and time again to listen to communities, to answer questions truthfully, that fails to take positive action for improvements to the Delta or management of the State’s watershed, and that thinks environmental justice is completing a survey (while ignoring the results in project implementation and mitigation).
If this legislation were to pass, DWR could exercise many new powers including:
1) Issuing themselves new water rights;
2) Issuing themselves a permit for the tunnel;
3) Issuing themselves temporary urgency change petitions;
4) Setting Bay-Delta flow requirements as they see fit.
It is absolutely irresponsible governance to collapse the regulatory agency (SWRCB) into the agency in charge of project operations that only serve certain state interests.
Hurtado and Cortese’s bill offers up a “Blue Ribbon Commission” from existing water agencies that would make water recommendations in lieu of the Water Board’s quasi-judicial and administrative authority. In other words, state water management in California would only be shaped by special interests at the expense of everyday people and public trust resources.
Talk about cutting the public out of any and all processes; destroying transparency; sidelining disadvantaged communities, family farms, good government groups, taxpayer and ratepayer groups — all so that our water resources can be managed by the entity that continuously fails at collaborative management for the Delta — DWR.
Call your legislator today and tell them “NO!” on SB1219! No way, absolutely no! Never. Tell them what the Delta and all of California needs is full funding of the California Water Boards.
Contact your legislator here.
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Restore the Delta