Assemblywoman Gaines Testifies Against New Costly State Water Board Stormwater Permit

SACRAMENTO –Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Roseville, testified today before the State Water Resources Control Board against a new burdensome stormwater permit that is estimated to cost the state billions of dollars and have a detrimental effect on local businesses and governments.

According to new standards being proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board, commercial businesses and industrial facilities would be required to undergo major structural changes in order to comply with new strict regulations for waste management and stormwater runoff. Under the current draft, stormwater program costs are estimated to triple or quadruple for existing permit holders.

“Water is the lifeblood of our state and improving water quality and protecting this precious resource should be done effectively and efficiently, but this extreme pursuit of environmental purity is leading to Economic Armageddon,” Gaines said. “Unemployment hovers around 12 percent and our economy remains unstable. By asking our local businesses and governments to comply with billions in new state unfunded mandates, we are kicking them out the door and encouraging them to seek friendlier business climates elsewhere.”

Joined by officials with the City of Roseville, Assemblywoman Gaines asked the board Wednesday to withdrawal the draft permit and suggested any future drafts include the assistance of a special committee made up of municipalities and businesses. But ultimately, the responsibility to set new requirements should be left up to local jurisdictions, she said.

“Instead of pushing excessive solutions that will hurt working families and businesses in their pocketbooks, unelected, unaccountable boards should let local elected officials decide for themselves what works best for their communities, not pass ridiculous and extreme measures like this one,” Gaines said. “I remain committed to working with my colleagues to find ways to ease these burdensome requirements on those already suffering from taxation and regulation overload.”

Beth Gaines, R-Roseville, represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes portions of Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento and Alpine counties.