January 2017 – This Month in Sacramento

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Legislative Update
by Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate


Tmarkusonhe Legislature convened its 2017-2018 session on December 5, 2016. The special transportation session called by Brown two years ago expired at the end of November with nothing to show.

Transportation stakeholders received a letter from the Governor and Legislative Leaders announcing that there will be no lame-duck session. Once again, the transportation issue will be put over for another year and a legislative solution must wait until the new Legislature begins work in earnest in January.

Recent Reports


PSE Healthy Energy released Hazard Assessment of Chemical Additives Used in Oil Fields that Reuse Produced Water for Agricultural Irrigation, Livestock Watering, and Groundwater Recharge in The San Joaquin Valley of California: Preliminary Results. Oil-field produced water has been used to irrigate crops in the Central Valley since the mid-1990s. “Here we report the preliminary findings of our analysis of the chemical data disclosed in response to… orders from the CVRWQCB [Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board]. In this preliminary analysis, we provide the list of chemicals reported in the context of their acute mammalian and ecological toxicities, biodegradability, bioaccumulation potential, carcinogenicity, and whether chemicals are included on specific chemical priority lists. The purpose of this analysis is to identify potential chemicals of concern as a first step prior to more complete human health and environmental hazard and risk analyses.” Findings suggest that using oilfield wastewater to irrigate crops poses no significant threat, but more research is needed.

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America released Potentially Induced Earthquakes during the Early Twentieth Century in the Los Angeles Basin. This study looks at the historical impact of oil drilling in the Los Angeles Basin and suggests a potential tie to earthquakes that happened at that time. “Our results suggest that significant earthquakes in southern California during the early twentieth century might have been associated with industry practices that are no longer employed (i.e., production without water reinjection), and do not necessarily imply a high likelihood of induced earthquakes at the present time.”

Water Research Foundation released The Energy-Water Nexus: A Plan for Collaboration Between the Department of Energy and Water Sector. This paper contains a set of research and policy recommendations to the Department of Energy from eight water sector associations. “The white paper provides (1) an overview of the water-energy nexus, (2) successful water-energy programs and partnerships, (3) policy and research gaps in the water-energy nexus, and (4) recommendations and next steps. The white paper was developed in response to a September 7 meeting between the water sector and the Honorable Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, to discuss policy and research priorities.”

Public Policy Institute of California released California’s Water. “Managing water remains one of the great challenges for California. Population growth, a shifting climate, and declining ecosystem health are putting pressure on the state’s water supply and flood management systems. New policies are needed to address these challenges. This briefing kit highlights some of the most pressing issues, including: climate change and water, the Colorado River, energy and water, managing droughts, paying for water, preparing for floods, protecting headwaters, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, storing water, water for cities, water for the environment, [and] water for farms.”

Air Resources Board has released results from the Nov. 19 cap-and-trade auction for carbon allowance credits, the third quarterly auction of 2016, held jointly with Quebec, reports 87 million credits of 2015/16 vintage were offered at $12.73 each and 76.9 million of them were sold; also reports 10 million credits of 2019 vintage were offered at $12.73 each and 1 million of them were sold. Summary here.

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