Environmental Press # 322

Subj: Timber Waiver Bill SB 923
Date: 9/16/2003 2:35:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Jon V3
To: Jon V3, oceanoutfallgroup@yahoogroups.com
Dear OOG, I just received this email. Is anyone familiar with SB 293 and whether it deserves OOG's support?

Thanks, Jan

-----Original Message-----
From: Zack Kaldveer [mailto:zack@nextgeneration.org]
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 2:45 PM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: Green Watchdog Alert - Urge support for SB 923 (Sher)

Thanks to many of our member organizations, SB 923 (Sher), which addresses
polluted runoff regulation through waivers, is now on its way to the Governor. Please, if you get a chance, fax off a personalized version of the attached sample letter. The Governor's fax number is on the letter; if it gets backed up, feel free to mail it - but *please* fax it to Linda Adams, his deputy who will be sure to keep track of your letter.

 

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call Linda Sheehan of the Ocean Conservancy at (415) 979-0900. Also, please let me know if you send a letter or make a call to the Governor regarding thie critical piece of legislation that will benefit all Californians, including the Governor!

Thanks for your help!

Zack

September 15, 2003

The Honorable Gray Davis
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Davis:

On behalf of [YOUR ORGANIZATION], I am writing in strong support of SB 923 (Sher). This bill will provide the state with the tools needed to prevent water pollution and clean up already-contaminated waters, thereby increasing the state's overall supply of clean water for drinking, recreation, fishing and other uses.

SB 923 addresses the control of polluted runoff through "waivers" of waste discharge requirements. Control of polluted runoff is an issue of major significance to environmental, fishing, and other groups interested in clean water, as well as the general public. SB 923 would improve the health of waters throughout the state; this includes the state's world-renowned coast and beaches, as most of the state's waters drain to the ocean.

The bill would do four things:

1.. Allow the Regional Boards to issue waivers only when the waivers are "in the public interest."
2.. Specifically describe regional water board authority to fund the waiver programs through fees, as appropriate, on those who create the need for pollution oversight, and ensure those fees go into a fund dedicated to paying program costs. All other dischargers in the state, including many small businesses, pay fees to support the programs needed to ensure that their wastewater does not impact California's waters. Dischargers operating under waivers should be similarly responsible for their discharges.
3.. Set baseline water quality monitoring goals for those discharging pollutants under waivers.
4.. Provide the regulated community with specific notice of waivers.

This bill is particularly timely since the state's Regional Water Quality Control Boards have been unable to replace agriculture and timber industry waivers - which expired over nine months ago under Sen. Alpert's SB 390 (1999) - with viable programs that will reverse the degradation of the state 's waters from polluted runoff. Clear direction through SB 923 will help the Boards complete this process and develop effective programs to control polluted runoff, the number one source of water pollution in the state.

Clean water is a commodity in increasingly short supply. To ensure a continued flow of clean water for California's use, we urge your "aye" vote on SB 923. Thank you.

Sincerely,

[YOU]

cc: The Honorable Byron Sher; facsimile: 916-323-4529

Linda Adams, Chief Deputy, Office of the Governor; facsimile: 916-324-6358

Zack Kaldveer
The Next Generation
1904 Franklin St. #609
Oakland, CA 94612
T: 510-444-4710 ext. 316
F: 510-444-4743
zack@nextgeneration.org

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