The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, HR 3964,
passed Thursday on a mostly party-line vote, with 229 Republican votes and 191
Democrat votes. The bill was co-sponsored by all 15 California Republicans. The
legislation, similar to a measure passed by House Republicans in 2011, would
require pumping levels from the Bay Delta to return to what they were in 1994.
Pumping since 1994 has been curtailed in response to a 2007 court decision that
ruled that the Delta smelt is a protected species.
The House bill would declare
that pumping may continue at the 1994 levels as long as there is compliance with the more recent Endangered Species Act, which would significantly increase the release of water to central and southern parts of California.
HR 3964 now heads to the Senate where it will likely face some challenges from
California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, as they have already
stated that they are opposed. OCBC urges the Senate to push HR 3964
forward immediately in order to provide relief to the two-thirds of the state
that live south of the California Delta.
Source: Fullerton Chamber of Commerce