After Coyote Creek flooded San José neighborhoods in February 2017, State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and water district officials put their heads together to find a way to speed delivery of flood protection and dam safety projects that often take years to clear state permitting. The result of that effort is SB 1301 (Beall) which was passed by the Legislature in August and is now pending signature by Governor Jerry Brown.
SB 1301 seeks to improve efficiency in state permit processing for flood protection and dam safety projects, without compromising on environmental protection. Because these projects typically involve work in creeks and streams, it is imperative that environmental impacts are accurately assessed and mitigated; however, state permitting agencies are often short staffed and permit delays not only extend flood and life safety risks, but also significantly increase these public project costs.
This bill would create a mechanism allowing water supply and flood protection agencies to pay for supplemental consultation that will bring more funding to state agencies to increase staffing and expedite these life safety projects. The governor has until Sept. 30, 2018 to act on the bill. Click here to urge him to sign SB 1301.