Delta-Related Bills Held in Appropriations Committee

Two ACWA-opposed bills related to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan were held by the Assembly Appropriations Committee May 25 as the deadline passed for bills to move from the fiscal committee to the Assembly floor.

AB 2421 and AB 2422, both by Assembly Member Bill Berryhill (R-Stockton), failed to come off the committee’s suspense file and will not advance. The bills are opposed by ACWA and a coalition of water agencies and other organizations.

 AB 2421 would have required an independent third party to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for any project proposed by the BDCP for incorporation into the Delta Plan, currently under development by the Delta Stewardship Council. ACWA and the coalition of opponents believe there are other analyses looking at costs and benefits, and the measure would result in delays and unnecessary requirements for the BDCP.

AB 2422 would have required the Department of Water Resources to expedite an evaluation and feasibility study of the Western Delta Intakes Concept, despite the fact that 15 Delta conveyance alternatives and one “no-action” alternative already are being fully analyzed under the BDCP. The coalition opposes that bill on the ground that it would divert attention and limited resources from the current BDCP process.

The bills join three other Delta-related measures opposed by the coalition that will not advance this year. AB 2000 by Assembly Member Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills.) failed passage in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee last month. It would have made changes to the composition of the Delta Stewardship Council and required DWR to withdraw from the current Memorandum of Agreement under which the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is being planned and developed.

AB 1813 and AB 1884 by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon) were pulled from the committee’s agenda last month. AB 1813 would have set new requirements regarding Delta water diversion data collection and flow criteria, while AB 1884 would have excluded various programs from the definition of “covered actions” for purposes of the Delta Stewardship Council’s process.