SB 1 Coalition Responds to Governor Newsom's Announcement

Natural Resources Defense Council * Defenders of Wildlife
Sierra Club California * Golden Gate Salmon Association
California Coastkeeper Alliance * Audubon California
The Nature Conservancy * The Bay Institute * San Francisco Baykeeper * Azul
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
Environment California * Coastside Fishing Club * NextGen California

September 15, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Kim Delfino, kdelfino@defenders.org (916) 201-8277
Kathryn Phillips, Kathryn.phillips@sierraclub.org 916-893-8494
John McManus, john@goldengatesalmon.org (650) 218-8650

SB 1 Coalition Responds to Governor’s Announcement

SACRAMENTO—Governor Newsom issued an announcement yesterday rejecting Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the California Environmental, Public Health and Workers Defense Act. 

The bill, authored by Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, would ensure California’s authority to preserve our clean air, clean water, biodiversity and safe workplaces in the face of unprecedented threats and rollbacks from the Trump administration. The bill is backed by a broad coalition of environmental, environmental justice, health, business, labor, and fishing groups.

SB 1 passed both houses of the legislature in the early morning hours of September 14 by wide margins.

The bill was opposed by some powerful agricultural interests and certain water agencies who helped develop Trump rollbacks of federal regulations protecting endangered species.  The opponents of the bill have been particularly focused on a provision of SB1 that would simply require the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), controlled by the Trump administration, to comply with state laws protecting endangered species. In the past, State Administrations of both parties have insisted that the CVP is held to the same legal standards as every other water user in the state. The provision in SB 1 would have codified what has been the policy in practice and ensured fairness for all of us who need water.

To pressure the governor to veto the bill, SB 1 opponents threatened to walk out of unrelated ongoing voluntary agreement discussions about standards for water flowing into the California Bay Delta ecosystem.

Statement of SB 1 Coalition Regarding Governor’s Announcement:

“The Governor’s announcement is disappointing.

“By rejecting SB 1 to satisfy the bill’s narrowly focused opponents, he is discarding protections that SB 1 would have provided for endangered species, air quality, water quality and worker safety.

“The Governor’s action also leaves us deeply concerned about the fate of California’s most vulnerable species and the future of our salmon industry. 

“The next few months will test the state’s authority. The ‘Voluntary Agreements’ will now be analyzed by all as to whether they meet the standard for threatened fisheries. We’re committed to protecting California’s natural resources and communities.”

About the Authors

Victoria Rome

California Legislative Director

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