BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1450
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 29, 2010

                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON WATER, PARKS AND WILDLIFE
                            Jared William Huffman, Chair
                   SB 1450 (Simitian) - As Amended:  June 24, 2010

           SENATE VOTE  :   Not relevant
           
          SUBJECT  :   Delta Stewardship Council:  contracting

           SUMMARY  :   Allows the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) to use an  
          expedited contracting process for development of management plan  
          for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary (Delta Plan), which  
          is due January 1, 2012.  Specifically,  this bill  :   


          1)Allows the DSC to use a streamlined competitive bid process to  
            hire consultants, engineers or architects.

          2)States that those contracts will be for the purposes of:


                  a.         preparing the Delta Plan and associated  
                    environmental review;

                  b.         performing its responsibilities, or the  
                    responsibilities of the Delta Independent Science  
                    Board, with regard to the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan  
                    (BDCP);


                  c.        determining the consistency of state and local  
                    public agency actions with the Delta Plan; or,


                  d.        performing scientific review to inform water  
                    and environmental decision-making in the  
                    Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary (Delta). 


           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Establishes the DSC to develop and implement a plan to achieve  
            the co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply  
            for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the  








                                                                  SB 1450
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            Delta ecosystem.

          2)Requires the DSC to act as a responsible agency under the  
            California Environmental Quality Act with respect to the BDCP  
            environmental impact report.

          3)Requires the DSC to include the BDCP in the Delta Plan if the  
            Department of Fish and Game (DFG) determines that the BDCP  
            meets the requirements of the Natural Community Conservation  
            Planning Act (NCCPA).

          4)Requires the DSC to determine if state and local public agency  
            actions are consistent with the Delta Plan. 

          5)Places the DSC in an oversight role regarding implementation  
            of the BDCP by requiring the Department of Water Resources, or  
            any successor agency charged with BDCP implementation, to  
            report to the DSC on the implementation of the BDCP. 
           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   The Delta is the largest estuary on the West Coast.   
          It is a maze of tributaries, sloughs, and islands and a haven  
          for plants and wildlife supporting over 750 plant and animal  
          species.  It is also critical to California's economy, providing  
          part of the drinking water supplies for two-thirds of  
          Californians and irrigation water for over 7 million acres of  
          highly productive agricultural land.  Since late 2004,  
          scientific and public attention has focused on the unexpected  
          collapse of several Delta pelagic (i.e. "open-water") fish  
          species, the delta smelt, longfin smelt, juvenile striped bass,  
          and threadfin shad.  These fish are considered indicators of the  
          estuary's health.  In 2008 and again in 2009, unprecedented  
          declines in the Chinook salmon populations which migrate through  
          the Delta led to the complete closure of the commercial and  
          recreational salmon fisheries.

          Solutions to balance the competing uses of the Delta and the  
          degradation of its ecosystem have been elusive.  On September  
          17, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger created a new effort by  
          Executive Order, the Delta Vision, to "develop a durable vision  
          for sustainable management of the Delta."  In 2007, the Delta  
          Vision Task Force made twelve integrated recommendations  
          including the recommendations that protecting the Delta  
          ecosystem and ensuring a reliable water supply for California  
          must be primary co-equal goals and that sustainable management  








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          of the Delta requires a new Delta governance entity.

          SB 1 (Simitian), Chapter 5, Statutes of 2009-10 Seventh  
          Extraordinary Session, implemented many of the Delta Vision  
          strategies by setting the co-equal goals in statute and creating  
          the DSC as the governing body mandated to develop the Delta  
          Plan, a comprehensive long-term management strategy for the  
          Delta.  Because of the pressing condition of the Delta, the  
          Legislature required the DSC to adopt and begin implementing the  
          Delta Plan by January 1, 2012.  

          During a May 11, 2010, Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife  
          Committee oversight hearing on the DSC and the Bay Delta  
          Conservation Plan, the issue was raised as to whether  
          traditional contracting procedures are adequate given the  
          expedited time frames for the DSC to develop and implement the  
          Delta Plan and carry out of its various oversight functions.   
          This bill is intended to provide a streamlined contracting  
          process to help meet those expedited time frames.  

          Finally, because of the above-stated need for the DSC to  
          contract in an expedited manner, the author's office is  
          considering adding an urgency clause to this bill.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          None on file.
           
            Opposition 
           
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Tina Cannon Leahy / W., P. & W. / (916)  
          319-2096