San Joaquin River Restoration Bill Clears First Legislative Hurdle
House Natural Resources Committee Vote Shows Support for Landmark Settlement is Gaining Steam in Congress, Says NRDC
WASHINGTON (Nov. 15, 2007) – Water is one step closer to flowing in dry stretches of California’s second-longest river after the House Natural Resources Committee voted 25-15 today to pass The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (H.R. 4074). The legislation would authorize and fund a landmark settlement to resurrect the once mighty river.
“This is good news for fishermen, farmers and everyone who gets their drinking water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta,” said Hal Candee, co-director of the western water project at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Restoring the San Joaquin and bringing back its salmon will produce tremendous benefits for the millions of Californians for whom a healthy river is part of their natural birthright.
“Today’s vote shows strong support for the settlement legislation. We look forward to working with our elected leaders as the bill winds its way through Congress to ensure that it lands on the president’s desk.”
The San Joaquin River settlement was approved by a federal court in Sacramento last fall. It ended a lawsuit brought by a coalition of conservation and fishing groups led by NRDC against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Users Authority over the operation of Friant Dam near Fresno, Calif.