Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation today that will help protect California’s precious water supply and ensure the vitality of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by requiring more legislative oversight and public scrutiny of the state’s twin-tunnels project known as WaterFix.
“In years past, there has been too little opportunity for impacted communities to influence this flawed project, which will have a massive impact on the Delta’s environment, the local economy and drinking water quality,” said Sen. Dodd, co-chair of the Legislative Delta Caucus. “This bill will gives the Legislature and Delta residents a place at the table to learn about what’s going on, express concerns and offer solutions that will serve Californians. We’re eager to begin a new chapter, where the voices of those who live in our Delta communities are adequately considered.”
Senate Bill 204 would establish requirements for both the Department of Water Resources and the Delta Conveyance, Design and Construction Authority to submit information about pending State Water Project contracts to the Legislature for public review, prior to those agencies moving forward with Delta Tunnel work.
The bill is supported by Delta advocates such as Restore the Delta. It is co-authored by members of the Legislative Delta Caucus, including co-chair Assemblymember Jim Frazier, Assemblymembers Susan Eggman, Jim Cooper, Tim Grayson, Kevin McCarty, and Senators Cathleen Galgiani, Richard Pan, and Steve Glazer.
“Californians deserve to know the true financial and environmental impacts of WaterFix, the largest public works project in state history,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “SB 204 will help make the planning process more transparent so members of the public can evaluate WaterFix for themselves.”
“This is a commonsense, good-government bill that increases accountability,” said Assemblymember Frazier, D-Discovery Bay. “Any large infrastructure project or major decision by a state agency should have legislative oversight. This is why people elect us. To protect their interests. Hopefully, the foolish WaterFix proposal will never be allowed to move forward. It would be the most expensive project in the state’s history and we are still totally in the dark about what the true costs will be. But if it does move forward, this bill will provide another level of scrutiny by the Legislature.”
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