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Opinion: Clean Water in California is Overdue

Forty-nine years ago this week, Congress passed the federal Clean Water Act, with the goal of restoring America’s waters. Yet today, 95% of California’s rivers, lakes, bays and wetlands are plagued by pesticides, metals, pathogens, trash and sediment, making it unsafe to swim, fish or drink. As we approach the 50th anniversary of this landmark environmental legislation, it is time for the state to get on track toward ensuring swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters for all Californians.

Underserved communities of color shoulder far too much of the cost of unsafe water. But the state has increasingly treated these communities as water quality “sacrifice zones.”

Senate Approves $2.8B Plan to Boost Conservation, Parks

The Senate has approved a bipartisan bill that would spend nearly $3 billion on conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands, a measure supporters say would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century.

California’s New Laws Cover Wildfires, Energy, Animal Cruelty

California’s legislature and new governor were busy last year and a slew of environment and energy laws have just taken effect, from trying to reduce wildfire risks to banning fur trapping.

The measures also touch on a frequent California theme: taking aim at disagreements with the Trump administration and attempts to roll back or weaken environmental protections.

Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins Couldn’t Have Orchestrated It Better If She Tried

Her Senate Bill 1 is the year’s most far-reaching environmental legislation. It declares that the state would adhere to laws governing clean air, water, endangered species and labor that were in place in January 2017, when President Trump took office, and before he set about trying to unravel environmental law. Farm groups mounted a major campaign to sway legislators to amend or kill the bill, and seemed to be gathering momentum.