DAILY DIGEST: Carving up state’s water supply could make splitting CA into three states virtually impossible; Efforts to regulate cannabis capital spark legal fight; Overpumping groundwater linked to arsenic threat; Five things to know about efforts to repeal Obama’s water rule; and more …

In California water news today, This one issue could make splitting California into three states virtually impossible; Efforts to regulate cannabis capital spark legal fight; Overpumping groundwater linked to arsenic threat; San Diego: Sand buildup at Oceanside Harbor beginning to cause problems for boats; New EPA region chief questions climate science but favors CO2 cuts; GOP chairman takes aim at environmental review law; Five things to know about efforts to repeal Obama’s water rule; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

This one issue could make splitting California into three states virtually impossible:  “Splitting California into three new states would scramble nearly every segment of government that touches residents’ lives, from taxes to Medi-Cal to driver’s licenses.  New agencies would have to be created to operate prisons, highways and universities. CalPERS, CalSTRS, Cal Fire and the California Highway Patrol, to name a few, would have to be reconfigured and replaced.  But of all the gargantuan tasks facing Californians should they choose to divide themselves by three — a proposal that has qualified for the November ballot — none is arguably more daunting than carving up the state’s water supply. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  This one issue could make splitting California into three states virtually impossible

Efforts to regulate cannabis capital spark legal fight:  “When Californians voted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2016, the new law left room for municipalities to decide if, and how much, of the industry they wanted in their jurisdictions.  That reckoning is happening now up on the rugged northern coast of the state in Humboldt County – part of the heralded “Emerald Triangle” – where (mostly unregulated) cannabis cultivation has been a key driver of the local economy for decades.  Imposing new regulations on an existing industry comes with challenges, and in Humboldt, environmental concerns are among them. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Efforts to regulate cannabis capital spark legal fight

Overpumping groundwater linked to arsenic threat:  “A new study found that groundwater overpumping can result in potentially dangerous water quality problems.  The study, published in June in the journal Nature Communications, linked overpumping to the overconcentration of arsenic in aquifers. The study focused on the San Joaquin Valley in California, a region with many poor, farmworker towns where clean drinking water is often inaccessible. ... ”  Read more from Water Online here:  Overpumping groundwater linked to arsenic threat

San Diego: Sand buildup at Oceanside Harbor beginning to cause problems for boats:  “The entrance of the Oceanside harbor, which missed its spring cleaning this year, is slowly filling with sand and businesses are starting to feel the pinch.  One charter boat company has had to cancel trips for three days so far this month because of the growing underwater sandbar, which makes navigation hazardous in low tides and big swells.  “The harbor mouth is supposed to have a clearance of 26 (feet), and it’s at 20 feet clearance now,” said Donna Kalez, owner of Oceanside Adventures, which runs daily whale-watching and sight-seeing trips on a 50-foot catamaran. “Last month, it was at 22 feet, so it’s filling in rapidly.” ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Sand buildup at Oceanside Harbor beginning to cause problems for boats

New EPA region chief questions climate science but favors CO2 cuts:  “The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 supports reducing carbon emissions, even if he thinks the consensus is still out on climate change (it’s not).  The Trump administration has appointed Republican Mike Stoker for the position. Stoker has served as a Santa Barbara County Supervisor, chairman of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board and California deputy secretary of state. He’s also worked for as a lawyer for the agricultural industry and as a spokesman for an oil and gas company. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  New EPA region chief questions climate science but favors CO2 cuts

GOP chairman takes aim at environmental review law:  “Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) on Monday said Congress ought to make changes to a core environmental law to make it less of a weapon against projects.  Bishop, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” that the National Environmental Policy Act’s (NEPA) permitting process is the main roadblock standing in the way of projects like oil and natural gas drilling on federal land and building more infrastructure.  “The country passed NEPA … decades ago, in order to ensure that people have the right to have their voices heard. It is now being misused to ensure people have the right to sue continuously to slow projects down,” Bishop told “Rising” host Buck Sexton. ... ”  Read more from The Hill here:  GOP chairman takes aim at environmental review law

Five things to know about efforts to repeal Obama’s water rule:  “The Trump administration is working to repeal former President Obama’s Clean Water Rule.  The 2015 rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers redefines the federal government’s authority when it comes to protecting waterways from pollution and harm.  Trump administration officials, led by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, aim to repeal the rule, also known as Waters of the United States, and replace it with a regulation that would cover a smaller set of waterways. Doing so would fulfill a campaign promise by President Trump, and initiating the repeal process was one Pruitt’s first actions when he took the helm at EPA in February 2017.  Here are five things to know about where things stand in the effort to repeal the Obama-era rule. … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Five things to know about efforts to repeal Obama’s water rule

In commentary today …

California’s Supreme Court can kill Cal-3 quickly and save us all a lot of trouble, says Richard L. Hasen:  He writes, “The Cal-3 ballot measure set to be voted on in November needs a mercy killing from the California Supreme Court, and if it comes fast enough, it could save a lot of expense and wasted effort.  The proposition, designed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into three states, may or may not be the most sensible way to divide up our diverse and powerful state. But the legal barriers to its enactment are overwhelming.  For example, will Congress, which must approve the creation of new states out of an old one, go along, given the partisan politics of everything these days and the impact of four new senators on the balance of power in the U.S. Senate? Will consent of the state Legislature be required (and forthcoming), or would voter approval through the initiative process suffice? ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  California’s Supreme Court can kill Cal-3 quickly and save us all a lot of trouble

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

 

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