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Bill to Restructure Dam Oversight Moves Forward

SACRAMENTO - A bill that would keep the Department of Water Resources from supervising the state's dams and reservoirs is one step closer to becoming law Tuesday.

Posted: Apr. 24, 2018 4:47 PM
Updated: Apr. 24, 2018 5:25 PM

SACRAMENTO - A bill that would keep the Department of Water Resources from supervising the state's dams and reservoirs is one step closer to becoming law Tuesday.

We first told you about Assembly Bill 3045 bill a couple weeks ago after it was introduced by assembly member James Gallagher and on Tuesday it passed out of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee after a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 15-0.

The goal of this bill is to restructure the management and operation of the state water project, which would include removing the department of water resources from its oversight of the Oroville Dam.

It would instead create a nine-member independent commission that would have experience in civil engineering, risk management, and more.

Assemblymember James Gallagher said there's a clear conflict of interest in having the same entity that's operating the Oroville dam also be the regulator of inspections.

"I think everybody recognizes that DWR's operation of Oroville dam especially has not been good. The record, which was clearly highlighted in a forensic report, is there were things that were clearly missed," Gallagher said.

He wanted to emphasize that this bill still has a long way to go, but if it is signed into law, these changes could be implemented within a year or two.

For now, the bill is heading to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration, and he's hoping to have it signed into law later this year.

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