Yesterday, April 9, 2019, the California State Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee held a policy hearing for Senate Bill 307. The hearing was productive and aired concerns about the undefined and unprecedented review the bill would create for the Cadiz Water Project and other projects in the Mojave Desert. Following a commitment from Cadiz and Sb 307’s author Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside) to work on amendments that would address the Committee members’ concerns about the bill as drafted, SB 307 passed out of Committee (5-1-3).
Scott Slater, Cadiz CEO and President, issued the following statement:
“Since the beginning, Cadiz has followed California’s stringent environmental and groundwater management laws to design a water project that delivers clean drinking water to communities across Southern California in an environmentally responsible way. Expert hydrologists and geologists, public agencies and the Courts have evaluated the science behind the project and the County of San Bernardino developed a detailed groundwater management plan that limits the project to safe and sustainable operations.
“As currently written, Senate Bill 307 creates new, undefined state review requirements for water projects in the Mojave Desert targeting the Cadiz Water Project. In doing so, the bill undermines state’s existing environmental laws, creates a dangerous precedent that threatens all infrastructure projects in the state and frustrates a new source of clean drinking water for Southern California. As a result, a broad coalition of 50 water providers, labor unions, business groups, municipalities and scientific experts has come together to oppose this bill.
“During today’s hearing, Chairman Stern and members of the Committee urged the author, Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), and Cadiz to pursue consensus on amendments that would achieve the author’s stated goal of ensuring that the project will not adversely impact flora and fauna dependent upon mountain springs. Cadiz has agreed to work with the Senator on amendments that provide the requested analysis in a fair and defined way. We are grateful to the Committee for its productive hearing and look forward to working with the Senate through this legislative process.”
SB 307 will now be referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Company will continue to provide updates on bill’s status.