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James Gallagher Talks Dam Oversight and Water Tech. Research

The California lawmaker says the Oroville Dam Spillway Crisis shed light one a host of problems to be addressed in the state water system.

Posted: Apr. 19, 2018 11:45 AM

Yuba City, Calif.-- Assemblyman James Gallagher just saw great success with the passage of the dam-safety bill that he authored that would require more frequent and thorough inspections of high-hazard California dams.

But he's not done; there are two new bills he's authored that are making their way through assembly right now.

"DWR runs and operates the state water project, including the Oroville Dam, they're tasked with being the regulator ... to me that's an inherent conflict of interest," said Gallagher

Gallagher says it's better for transparency to have that separate - to instead have oversight from within the Department of Natural Resources - and the idea will be discussed again in the state water committee next week.

Gallagher's also looking at establishing some sort of satellite campuses in Oroville, creating a technology hub to encourage water research and development.

"We're really trying to create a water technology hub where innovation can happen and it'd be a draw for water technology businesses to come to Oroville," said Gallagher.

"There's been a lot of broken promises to Oroville," said Gallagher, "They have a high unemployment rate, they need economic development and job, we're trying to create tax incentives and it could be a boon to the are."

This idea is still in the early stages - Gallagher says the idea came form a constituent who suggested it.

"I'm hopeful we'll continue to push that through as well." said Gallagher.

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