[env-trinity] Trinity Journal: Minimum pool bill for reservoir stalls

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Wed Jun 11 07:41:29 PDT 2014


Minimum pool bill for reservoir stalls
By SALLY MORRIS The Trinity Journal | Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 6:15 am
A California Assembly Bill known as the Trinity River Water Rights Conformance Act (AB 1914) introduced in February by District 2 Assembly Member Wes Chesbro is no longer moving forward.
The legislation was proposed to conform the Bureau of Reclamation’s water permits to the Trinity River Record of Decision flows and Basin Plan temperature objectives; it would have also established minimum cold water carryover storage criteria for the Trinity Reservoir to ensure the temperature objectives can be met for salmon and steelhead survival in the river.
The bill was passed in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee when it was heard at the end of April and referred to the Committee on Appropriations for further hearing on May 27 when AB 1914 was held in committee.
Being held on what was the last day for fiscal committees to meet and report out on bills introduced in their house, in short, means the bill will not move forward.
Chesbro consultant to the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, Tom Weseloh said the State Water Resources Control Board claimed AB 1914 would result in “significant costs of at least $1 million for SWRCB proceedings and the preparation of an environmental impact report necessary to revise water rights permits affecting the Trinity River.”
Supporters of the bill included the California Water Impact Network, Trinity County Board of Supervisors and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. Opposition came from the Trinity Public Utilities District, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Westlands Water District, San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority and other Central Valley Project water and power contractors.
C-WIN consultant Tom Stokely said the SWRCB has promised to conduct water rights hearings specific to the Trinity River since 1990 and still not done it.
Thanks to the Trinity River Record of Decision, Stokely said, “We’ve got flows for fish, but no limit on how much water can be shipped out of the Trinity River basin. A minimum pool for Trinity Lake would provide protection that the river doesn’t have and just because the bill is not passed doesn’t mean the issue has gone away. We’ll keep asking. With the Bay Delta/twin tunnels plan, we need something to put the brakes on because the tunnels will allow more water to be shipped out.”
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