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California Lawmakers Reject Attempt To Speed Up Water Storage Projects

Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio
 

Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

Supporters of a bill that would have streamlined the environmental review process for water storage projects stood on the steps of the state Capitol next to dead almond trees.

“These dead almond trees to my left represent not only lost trees and investment of that farmer, but lost jobs and lost opportunity throughout the Central Valley,” says Assemblymember James Gallagher.

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He authored the legislation that he says would help speed the construction of Sites Reservoir in Colusa County and Temperance Flat near Fresno.

“If we can do that for the Sacramento Kings Arena, then we need to do that for these vital water storage projects that affect us all,” says Gallagher.

The bill didn’t specifically mention the two reservoir projects. While both could receive some funding from the voter-approved water bond, it’s a competitive process that will be vetted by the California Water Commission.

An Assembly committee killed the bill on a party line vote.

Amy Quinton

Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio