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Action Requested on Changes to State Water Board

Interested Parties – Be aware that there are proposed changes to Regional Board Functions – some of which may be very problamatic.  Please Review and respond to issue . This is from SB 1176 – but amended with some language that is not helpful.

Would have Governor Appoint the Board Chair: This would give tremendous (undue) power to Board Chair to set agendas and influence the direction of the Regional Board. It would severely weaken the authority of Executive Officers. In Region One it would put Bob Anderson ( a Board Chair, Region 1, with substantial and admitted conflicts) in charge of most of the show.  This is not good.

Would change the Approval Process for TMDLs – Limit CEQA review of TMDLs – The Regional Boards would be the final deciders on these Basin Plan Amendments – this might apply to any changes in Water Quality Standards: Yes TMDLs are a long time being developed. And – some of them are wanky.  Do you want an appeal authority or second hearing at the State Board? Do you want CEQA for TMDLs ?  I say yes.  So – it is more work.

Reduction of Regional Board Seats from 9 to 7:  So the appointment and confirmation process is a pain. Do you want a good board Compositions ?

Weaken the Conflicts Rule – Would allow "qualified" people, with conflicts, to assume Board positions – even chair:  This is way beyond the intent of the federal Clean Water Act.

What are they thinking to move forward with such suggestions. Work is work – lets get it done – protect and fix impaired waterbodies. We do not have time to mess around.

Write the State Board and your Senator —— PLEASE !
————— From State Board – Read Attachments

Dorothy Rice Executive Director State Water Resources Control Board 1001 I Street, 25th Floor Sacramento, California 95814 Phone: (916) 341-5618 Fax: (916) 341-5621 E-mail: DRice@waterboards.ca.gov

Tam M.  Doduc 5/28/2008 5:09 PM Hello, again, my fellow chairs. This is the final batch of documents concerning today’s "rollout" of the legislative package, aka Water Quality Improvement Initiative.

These are documents that Cal/EPA’s press office will be distributing.  They include the Fact Sheet (which I sent you earlier), a press release, the joint RB chairs statement (which you approved last month), and individual quotes from some RB chairs on specific components of the proposal (which the individual chairs approved, also in April). The only other piece is a quote from the Governor, which will be release by the Governor’s Office press people upon inquiry from the press. That quote is: "When I vetoed SB 1001 by Perata last year, I called on the State Water Board to develop a plan to improve efficiency and effectiveness. I applaud the Water Board for their comprehensive proposal and trust that the Legislature will consider these important improvements to enhance protection and speed up environmental enforcement to make sure that polluters are held accountable."

I know from talking with some of you that, while you agreed to the joint/individual chairs statement(s), you did not feel comfortable with the representation that you were making that endorsement on behalf of your entire regional board — especially since you could not even discuss it with them! Thus, the press release states that this proposal is coming from the State Water Board; however, the joint chairs statement included in the package clearly reflects that we worked on this together and was able to reach consensus, at least among the chairs.

I want to, once again, thank all of you for your involvement and support throughout this process.  The result of our joint effort is significantly better, in my opinion, than the Administration’s previous legislative attempt that did not involve the regional board chairs and EOs.  An additional and very significant plus is that we certainly sent a very strong message of the power of the Water Boards working together.

Best,
-Tam