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Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:29 AM Sep 2019

Water interests are fighting California's bid to block Trump's environmental rollbacks

California is close to adopting strict Obama-era federal environmental and worker safety rules that the Trump administration is dismantling. But as the legislative session draws to a close, the proposal faces fierce opposition from the state’s largest water agencies.

To shield California from Trump administration policies, lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow state agencies to lock in protections under the federal Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Fair Labor Standards Act and other bulwark environmental and labor laws that were in place before President Trump took office in January 2017.

Written by one of the most powerful politicians in Sacramento, state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Senate Bill 1 has strong support from some of California’s most influential environmental and labor organizations, including some that helped get Gov. Gavin Newsom elected.

But several of California’s water suppliers and agricultural interests, which also flex ample political muscle, oppose the measure. This coalition includes the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has made SB 1 a top lobbying priority.


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