This just in … Senator Wolk, Bay and Delta Legislators Call for Updates to Bay-Delta Plan

Updated Water Quality Plan is Vital for Health of Bay and Delta, say legislators

From the Office of Senator Lois Wolk:

WolkLed by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), Bay and Delta legislators are calling on the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to expedite its updates to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, which sets water quality standards for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.

In the letter sent Tuesday, 10 Bay Area Senators and Assemblymembers joined Senator Wolk in asking the State Water Board to update the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary and adopt new water quality standards in the next one to two years.

The legislators commended the State Water Board for completing the Development of Flow Criteria for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Ecosystem in 2010, as directed by the Delta Reform Act. This document, which provided recommended flow criteria for fish and wildlife without balancing for other uses, was required by the State Legislature to inform Delta planning efforts. The letter notes, however, that state and federal laws mandate updates to the Water Quality Control Plan every three years; yet the plan has not been comprehensively updated since as far back as 1995. The 2006 update of the plan made no changes to the regulations but identified issues for consideration in the future.

“The Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan is the guiding document for managing water in our Bay-Delta Estuary. Without updated regulatory standards, we are using a patchwork of scientific findings and 20-year-old standards to inform water management decisions to the detriment of endangered fish, wildlife, and the people that depend on the Bay and Delta for their livelihood,” said Wolk.

Signatories to the letter are: Senators Loni Hancock (D-Oakland), Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco); Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Kansen Chu (D-San Jose), Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Marc Levine (D-Marin County), Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), and Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond). Assemblymember Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) also called for expedited updates with her own letter to the State Water Board.

The letter echoes the demands of a letter sent in April to the State Water Board by over 150 California businesses and conservation organizations.

Click here to read the letter.




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