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SJR-27 Central Valley Project Improvement Act.(2015-2016)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Joint Resolution
No. 27


Introduced by Senator Nielsen
(Coauthor: Senator Hill)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Achadjian, Chu, Cooper, Dahle, Gallagher, and Patterson)

August 09, 2016


Relative to the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SJR 27, as introduced, Nielsen. Central Valley Project Improvement Act.
This measure would urge the United States Congress to require the development of a proper conceptual foundation and framework for the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), to require a full accounting of all CVPIA expenditures, and to require a full audit of the CVPIA Restoration Fund.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, The federal Central Valley Project, first authorized by Congress in 1935 and reauthorized in 1937, is one of the world’s largest water storage and conveyance systems with approximately 20 dams and reservoirs and 500 miles of major canals and aqueducts; and
WHEREAS, The federal Central Valley Project, managed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation of the United States Department of the Interior conveys about 20 percent of the state’s developed water from the Sacramento, Trinity, American, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin rivers to agricultural and municipal water users and wildlife refuges in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and the San Francisco Bay area; and
WHEREAS, In 1992, the United States Congress enacted the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) to address the specific environmental impacts of the federal Central Valley Project, and the CVPIA identified 34 environmental goals and projects and established the CVPIA Restoration Fund to provide the main source of financial support for the completion of these objectives; and
WHEREAS, The CVPIA requires water and power users, including ratepayers from various publicly owned utilities in the state, to pay into the CVPIA Restoration Fund, and the United States Bureau of Reclamation and United States Fish and Wildlife Service are the colead project managers of the CVPIA program; and
WHEREAS, Beginning in 2007, as a part of the federal Office of Management and Budget’s Program Assessment Rating Tool process, the CVPIA program conducted two independent reviews to evaluate efficiency and effectiveness toward meeting the CVPIA’s environmental goals, and both reviews expressed serious concern with the interpretation and implementation of the CVPIA; and
WHEREAS, The first independent review published in 2008 explained that, despite more than a decade and a half of implementation and over one billion dollars in expenditures, “the agencies have not developed a proper conceptual foundation and framework for the program;” and
WHEREAS, The second independent review published in 2009 concluded that the “[i]mplementing agencies have been negligent in interpreting and implementing the co-equal environmental mandates of the [CVPIA] through uneven application of its authorized administrative powers”; and
WHEREAS, In 2016, over $1.5 billion has been spent on the CVPIA, however, many of the same problems identified by the independent reviews continue; and
WHEREAS, Among other things, the United States Bureau of Reclamation has not adequately set programmatic milestones and benchmarks for the CVPIA, as well as ensure transparency and accountability; and
WHEREAS, The collection and allocation of moneys related to the CVPIA Restoration Fund has also suffered from insufficient oversight regarding budget decisions and disregard for the parameters governing payment into the fund; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature urges the United States Congress to require the development of a proper conceptual foundation and framework for the CVPIA, with clear guidelines for when each of the outstanding environmental objectives can be deemed complete, and milestones to gauge progress; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature urges Congress to require a full accounting of all CVPIA expenditures by programmatic goal and statutorily designated project, as well as complete transparency in the United States Bureau of Reclamation’s planning, implementation, and funding of the CVPIA; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature urges Congress to require a full audit of the CVPIA Restoration Fund to ensure it is collecting payment consistent with its enabling statute and being managed efficiently and effectively; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States.