The 2013 legislative session is over. It ended on September 12 and was a challenging session - thirty-eight of our 120 legislators were newly elected – and it took a while to get them up to speed. Many of these freshmen were strong environmental allies in their very first session, and we look forward to continuing to work with them for many years.
As usual, anti-environment forces tried (with limited success) to gut our landmark environmental protections. They went after the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Proposition 65, which requires businesses to notify the public of the presence of harmful chemicals present in products or workplaces, or released into the environment. Luckily, we were able to stop the worst proposals.
The California Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) is currently developing regulations on fracking, acidizing and well stimulation and is taking official public comments on the proposed rules until January 14, 2014.
With the passage of Senate Bill 4 (Pavley), the state is now required to regulate all forms of oil and gas well stimulation, including fracking, for the first time ever.
California needs Governor Brown to to protect drinking water. Click here to send him a message now.
We need Governor Brown to stand with us. Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium 6 – the contaminant made famous in the film Erin Brockovich – has been detected in thousands of water sources throughout California. Yet, with a seeming lack of concern for public health, and after considerable delay, the Department of Public Health (DPH) has proposed an inadequate drinking water standard of 10 parts per billion. This is more than 500 times higher than what the State of California has determined is safe (.02 parts per billion). Based on DPH’s own data, more than 85% of the contaminated water sources in the state will not be treated under the State's proposal.
Clean Water Action is working to protect California from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Across the country, communities are suffering from health impacts related to fracking including: contaminated drinking water and polluted air, degradation of local waterways, and decreased property values. In most states, fracking operations are designed to extract natural gas reserves. In California, it’s all about oil.
Manufacturing products with less toxic materials and promoting the development of "green chemistry" can not only protect our communities, workers, and ecosystems, but can actually save businesses money, increase efficiency, reduce liability, and give them a competitive advantage as other parts of the world regulate the use of toxic materials.
As California enters its third consecutive dry year, water conservation is a popular topic - television, newspapers, billboards, and radio messages are telling us to conserve water because of the drought.
Clean Water Action agrees that we should practice additional conservation during times of drought. But California's is a dry climate that is expected to become dryer still as the impacts of climate change intensify. This drought gives us an opportunity to rethink our attitudes about and our overall use of water.