SB1… Fix It or Nix It

California Water Alliance Opinion on SB1

By William Bourdeau, Chair, California Water Alliance

Water is life in California. Earlier this year, Sacramento politicians introduced Senate Bill 1 (SB1) which seeks to inject politics into California’s environmental regulations. SB1 will restrict water deliveries to the Central Valley and make California even more unaffordable. SB1 puts our communities in danger.

The California Water Alliance is a non-profit and non-partisan organization with a mission to increase the water supply for municipal, agricultural and environmental needs. We have been working with a digital public affairs company to raise awareness about this dangerous piece of legislation.

SB1 will be considered in the California Assembly Appropriations committee later this month. Time is Short.

William Bourdeau

As written, SB1 would freeze the existing federal biological opinions. Future permits would be subject to outdated science and ineffective federal baseline measures, thus permanently, constraining the coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project.

SB1 will hurt disadvantaged communities throughout California with inconsistent state and federal regulations. This bill will compromise access to drinking water and limit economic prosperity. The California Water Alliance is leading the charge on SB1 by engaging voters and demanding that Sacramento politicians Fix or Nix SB1.

We need your help. Please consider donating to the California Water Alliance by clicking here.

Related Story

Califonia Chamber of Commerce: SB1 is A Job Killer

The California Chamber of Commerce today announced the second job killer of 2019 — SB 1 (Atkins; D-San Diego). The bill would give broad and sweeping discretion to state agencies to adopt rules and regulations that they determine are more stringent than federal rules and regulations adopted after January 19, 2017.

According to CalChamber, SB 1 (Atkins) is a job killer because the uncertainty created by the bill’s vague, ambiguous, and broad language and lack of due process in the rulemaking process would negatively impact the growth, employment, and investment decisions of almost every major California business. Due to costs and anticipated litigation associated with SB 1 (Atkins), companies doing business in the state would be hard pressed to hire more workers or expand California operations.

The proposal seeks to create an expedited administrative procedure not subject to the California Administrative Procedure Act when promulgating emergency rules pursuant to SB 1. Should the measure become law, it will likely instigate a wave of new litigation from interested parties wishing to compel a state agency to perform an act required by, or to review a state agency’s action for compliance with, any of the laws subject to SB 1. Businesses would inevitably be forced to intervene in these lawsuits in order to ensure that their interests are adequately represented.

Proposed Legislation (SB1) Threatens Voluntary Agreements on Wate

Statement by Mike Wade, California Farm Water Coalition Executive Director:

SACRAMENTO, CA – Prior to last December’s State Water Board meeting, both Governor Brown and Governor Newsom took the bold step of supporting a completely new approach to water policy. With their encouragement as well as hard work on the part of scientists, farmers, environmentalists, and other stakeholders as well as the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Natural Resources Agency, Voluntary Agreements are nearly complete. However, all the progress will be lost if SB1 goes into effect.

As written, SB1 locks California into our failed regulatory system that has not worked for anyone and has guaranteed nothing but lawsuits and delays.

And while the legislation gives lip service to supporting the VA process, make no mistake about it—SB1 would result in the colapse of the Newsom Administration’s voluntary approach to updating California water policy.

It’s hard to overstate the break-through represented by the VAs. A completely new approach to managing water, they require scientific studies and put the new science into practice. They provide an agreed-upon amount of water for river flows as well as new environmental projects and other improvements—paid for by farmers, water districts, and other users—that will help get maximum benefit from the water.

In addition, all water users will have more certainty of water flow that is simply not a part of our current system. And probably most important, because the VAs are the product of compromise and agreement on the part of all water users, we can move forward today, removing ourselves from the endless cycle of lawsuits that has dominated California water policy. Real results will be felt now, not 10 years from now.

We hope the Legislature can find a way to join the Governor in charting a new path to smarter water policy.