Contact: Mike Roth, 916-444-7170
FOR TODAY WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 @ 9:30AM State Capitol Room 113
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & COMMUNITY WATER ADVOCATES TO OPPOSE SB 669 (CABALLERO) CALL BILL AN “EMPTY PROMISE” TO COMMUNITIES LIVING WITH TOXIC WATER, PUSH SENATE TO ADOPT SAFE AND AFFORDABLE DRINKING WATER FUND LEGISLATION
Who: Environmental justice and community water advocates, communities living with toxic water
What: Ramp up opposition to SB 669 (Caballero) in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee Hearing; Testify that the legislation would break the promise of clean and affordable drinking water for all Californians
When: 9:30 AM Hearing Begins
Where: State Capitol Room 113 (and Upon adjournment of Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee Room 3191), see livestream here: http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/ and agenda here: https://senv.senate.ca.gov/agenda
Sacramento, CA -- Ahead of a key hearing of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee today, environmental justice and community water advocates who have led the fight to deliver safe and affordable drinking water to all Californians will ramp up their opposition to SB 669 (Caballero). In the Committee hearing today, advocates from Clean Water Action and other organizations will highlight how the bill’s fatal flaws amount to breaking the promise of clean and affordable drinking water for all Californians.
“Unless the proponents have $4 billion to back up SB 669, this proposal is an empty promise to communities who have already suffered unbearable costs of contaminated water -- including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infertility and even death,” said Jennifer Clary, Water Programs Manager with Clean Water Action. “When California must be working to deliver on the promise of safe and affordable drinking water for all, this sham proposal would instead leave another generation of our children vulnerable.”
To keep the promise of clean water for Californians served by public water systems in California, more than $4 billion in General Fund dollars would be needed to fill an interest-generating “trust fund,” according to the Legislative Analyst's Office. Without a General Fund commitment of this level, advocates say SB 669 amounts to an empty promise for communities most in need of safe drinking water investment. As written, the bill would find most drinking water projects ineligible for funding, including hundreds of schools, as well as up to two million Californians who are not served by public water systems.
Advocates say flaws in the bill mean the very communities of color, children and families who most need the state’s help would be left most at risk from contaminated water under SB 669. Californians living with unsafe water will be on hand to testify against SB 669 today. They will urge legislators to instead pass AB 217 (Assemblymember Garcia), SB 200 (Senator Monning) and Governor Newsom’s budget proposal -- all of which include ongoing revenue needed to ensure the Human Right to Water for all California residents.
Already, these Californians are paying dearly for unsafe water with their health, or face high prices for tap water they can’t drink and the bottled water they need to be healthy. They will testify that they would gladly pay a couple of quarters a month for tap water that’s safe enough to drink.
Statewide, approximately 300 public water systems fail to meet water safety standards. More than 400 schools have reported lead in drinking fountains or faucets that exceed the level pediatricians say should trigger remediation action -- and nearly half of all schools have yet to report their lead levels, according to a recent report from CalPIRG.
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