Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of three bills that establishes a new structure for managing groundwater in the state. According to the Governor’s press release, AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319 “create a framework for sustainable, local groundwater management for the first time in California history.” Western Growers and numerous agriculture groups opposed the collective of bills and recently sent a letter to the governor asking for a veto of the package.
Western Growers, and a coalition of 30 agriculture organizations, are asking Governor Jerry Brown to veto recently passed groundwater legislation. As Spotlight previously reported, in the final hours before it concluded its business for the year, the California Legislature approved three measures that make up a package of groundwater regulation legislation. AB 1739 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento), SB 1168 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) and SB 1319 (Pavley) all passed with small margins as members from both parties objected to the complex content of the bills as well as the rush to pass them.
The House of Representatives passed a bill today that delays implementation of a rule defining what constitutes “waters of the U.S.,” or WOTUS. Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement in advance of today’s vote supporting the measure:
Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement in support of H.R. 5078, a bill that would delay action on EPA’s Water of the U.S. Rule:
"Western Growers members strongly believe in the value of clean water, but we also believe that in administering the Clean Water Act the EPA and Army Corps must do so with outmost input from state and local officials. HR 5078 intends to ensure that before a new rule for the Clean Water Act can be issued that proper state and local consultation be taken. Western Growers supports this effort and passage of this bill."
With only two legislators voting “no,” a revised water infrastructure bond was overwhelmingly approved by the California Legislature on August 13, and with his signature that evening, Governor Jerry Brown committed his support for the upcoming campaign to persuade voters to approve the measure this November.
The California Legislature has approved three measures that make up a package of groundwater regulation legislation. AB 1739 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento), SB 1168 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) and SB 1319 (Pavley) all passed with small margins as members from both parties objected to the complex content of the bills as well as the rush to pass them.
According to the EPA, litigation which made the agency defendants in a lawsuit brought by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and others has been settled. As the result of a stipulated injunction, the EPA is directed to reinstate a “no-spray” buffer zone to protect endangered or threatened Pacific salmon and steelhead. The buffer zones apply to waters that support salmon in California, Oregon and Washington and are imposed on the following pesticides: carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion and methomyl.
Last night, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1471 into law, a $7.5 billion water bond bill that includes $2.7 billion for storage infrastructure. The measure, which replaces the $11.1 billion water bond passed by the Legislature in 2009, will appear as Proposition 1 this November. Earlier in the evening, both the California Assembly and Senate approved the bill in impressive fashion with votes of 77-2 and 37-0 respectively.
President and CEO of Western Growers Tom Nassif issued a statement applauding passage of the legislation: