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AB-903 Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: dredging.(2011-2012)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 31, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 903


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Bill Berryhill

February 17, 2011


An act to add Section 12206 to the Water Code, relating to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 903, as amended, Bill Berryhill. Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Delta: dredging.

Under existing law, legislative findings and declarations state, among other things, that the water problems of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are unique within the state and that a general law cannot be made applicable to the Delta.

Existing law establishes various policies of the state relative to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
This bill would make legislative findings relative to the importance of dredging in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and would require the State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Water Resources, and the Department of Fish and Game to take specified actions with regard to dredging to provide priority review for dredging permits in the Delta.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 12206 is added to the Water Code, to read:

12206.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Dredging is critical to all irrigated agricultural lands.
(2) Dredging created the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region as we know it today.
(3) Without continued dredging, the Delta as a community and an economically productive region will eventually be destroyed.
(4) Dredging is critical to the Delta for flood control, levee improvements, improving native marine habitat and, reducing invasive species, removing mercury, and improving southern water exports.
(5) The Army Corps of Engineers have United States Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging the deep water ship channel in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for many years for purposes of improving the economy and advancing economic security.
(b) In light of the above findings of the Legislature, the state entities enumerated below shall do the following:
(1)The State Water Resources Control Board shall provide priority review for any dredging permits pending in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as defined in Section 12200.

(2)The Department of Water Resources shall expedite the implementation of the South Delta Improvements Program, including, particularly, the dredging of the Middle River.

(3)The Department of Fish and Game shall expedite the completion of any fish studies and biological opinions that may be required to complete the South Delta Improvements Program.