Davis approves, vetoes environmental bills


"This bill imposes new requirements that have the unintended effect of confusing, rather than informing, the public."

Gov. Gray Davis

 

Redding Searchlight

September 29, 2002 2:23 a.m.
SACRAMENTO, CA(AP) Facing a Monday deadline to sign or veto bills, Gov. Gray Davis approved several environmental measures Saturday but turned down a bill that would have told consumers when water contaminants exceed health goals.

The vetoed bill, by Assemblyman Dario Frommer, D-Los Angeles, would have required public water systems to report how often, and by how much, water supply contaminants exceed public health goals and to tell consumers the health problems associated with those contaminants.

Davis said the bill was costly and confusing.

Davis signed a bill to set up a corps of roving prosecutors who will move from county to county, particularly in rural areas, to help district attorneys deal with environmental crimes.

"This bill imposes new requirements that have the unintended effect of confusing, rather than informing, the public by potentially overstating the health risk effect," he said.

"Moreover, the bill will result in a cost of $75,000 to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment at a time when the state is dealing with a $24 billion shortfall."

Davis signed a bill to set up a corps of roving prosecutors who will move from county to county, particularly in rural areas, to help district attorneys deal with environmental crimes.

The measure, by Assemblyman Fred Keeley, D-Boulder Creek, also broadens a training program for local law enforcement and regulatory personnel, changing the focus from enforcement of hazardous materials requirements to environmental laws in general.

Davis also approved a Frommer bill specifying new regulatory requirements for underground storage tanks, making a new class of leaking tanks eligible for reimbursement of cleanup costs and re-enacting a program to help local governments deal with MTBE contamination of water supplies.

Another signed bill, by Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg, exempts new or reconstructed wastewater treatment facilities from mandatory minimum fines under certain circumstances.

The measure lifts the $3,000 limit on how much of those fines can be used for so-called supplemental environmental projects.

Davis also signed two bills that use bond money approved by voters last March to preserve agricultural land, but cut the appropriation in half before signing one of the measures.

One of the measures, by Sen. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, allocates $19.2 million to buy conservation easements to protect range land.

The other, by Assemblywoman Pat Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, included $9.6 million to preserve oak groves and farmland. Davis left in the $4.8 million to save the oak groves but vetoed $2.4 million for a coastal farmland preservation program and $2.4 million for an environmental quality loan program.

Davis said the bond measure, Proposition 40, didn't cover loan programs and he said the coastal farmland program would duplicate existing farmland preservation efforts.

Davis signed another Keeley bill that requires the state Air Resources Board to report on health risks posed by indoor air pollution and on ways to mitigate the problem.

But he vetoed a bill by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, that would created a public education campaign to encourage people to buy low-emission vehicles.

"These efforts are best left to the vehicle manufacturers who already have advertising programs to promote their own products," Davis said.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site