RCRC has expressed support for Assembly Bill 1642, authored by Assembly Member Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield).
AB 1642 exempts from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), projects to mitigate or prevent failure of a drinking water well that would leave residents without an adequate supply of safe drinking water. The bill only applies to those wells that are part of a water system or household identified by the State Water Resources Control Board as being at medium or high risk in the state’s annual Drinking Water Needs Assessment.
RCRC recognizes that access to adequate supplies of safe, clean drinking water remains a significant problem in many rural communities. Amplified by drought, problems include aging wells, declining groundwater tables, and poor water quality.
While CEQA is an important public disclosure and mitigation tool, it also adds considerable costs and delays project completion – risks that cannot be afforded for these types of drinking water projects.
RCRC supports AB 1642 to help expedite completion of vital drinking water projects that disproportionately impact many rural communities and promote access to safe, clean, and reliable drinking water.