Assemblymember Frazier’s Bill to Protect California’s Water Users

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sacramento, CA Today, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley) presented AB 2583 in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife committee. The bill, which protected California’s Delta, failed to receive enough votes to make it out of committee. 

“While AB 2583 failed to receive the necessary votes needed to advance through the legislative process, I will continue to fight for the protection of the Delta,” stated Assemblymember Frazier. “This bill was not only important to water users in my district, but was equally important to ratepayers throughout the state that rely on water imported from the Delta.” 

AB 2583 would have protected taxpayers by requiring water contractors – who choose to opt-in and receive exported water – to sign a legally binding financial agreement.

“As a contractor, I know how important it is to have legally binding financial agreements in place before starting construction – it’s just good business,” stated Assemblymember Frazier. “It would be fiscally irresponsible for the state to fail in securing this type of protection for our taxpayers.”

The bill also would have guaranteed the update of the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan before construction of the project could begin. This update is crucial to determine Delta inflow and outflows, which will possibly reduce the volume of water available for export.

“Updating the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan before approving a new point in diversion for the WaterFix conveyance project not only protects the Delta’s residents and fish, but will also ensure the water districts that are funding the twin tunnels have a true and accurate account of how much water is available for export before agreeing to pay,” stated Melinda Terry, Manager of the North Delta Water Agency.

Finally, AB 2583 would have ensured that any new conveyance project had appropriate environmental safeguards. The bill’s recommendations were intended to recover some of the standards that were lost when the Administration chose to replace BDCP and abandon California’s Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP) permitting approach. 

“BDCP would have met the highest threshold for environmental safety by using the HCP/NCCP permitting approach,” stated Osha Meserve representing the Local Agencies of the North Delta. “Now that WaterFix abandons the previous conservation plan approach, the Legislature needs to set forth basic minimum standards to ensure protection of the San Francisco Bay Delta.”

Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

CONTACT: Ella Strain (916) 319 – 2011