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$120-Million Delta Repair Bill Clears Committee

February 11, 1988|From a Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — A compromise bill to finance $120 million in flood control and levee rehabilitation work during the next decade in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta sailed out of an Assembly committee Wednesday and went to the floor.

The bill, by Sen. Daniel E. Boatwright (D-Concord), cleared the Ways and Means Committee on a unanimous vote in what appears to be a fast track to the desk of Gov. George Deukmejian.

The compromise to rehabilitate deteriorating levees in the sprawling delta between Sacramento and San Francisco Bay was reached in December when long-competing water interests agreed to a cease-fire and decided that no major water development legislation was likely to be enacted this year.

At the same time, most participants agreed that flood control and repair of deteriorating levees in the delta were in the best interests of everyone. It is from the delta that Southern California draws most of its water. And if levees failed in a flood, the quality of water would be severly degraded.

The bill would provide $12 million a year over the next 10 years for flood control projects and levee rehabilitation. It also calls for drafting a flood control plan for the ecologically sensitive eastern part of the delta, which conceivably could call for gouging out wider and deeper sloughs and rivers. However, the plan could not be implemented without approval of the Legislature and governor.

State Water Resources Director David N. Kennedy has endorsed the bill. However, state Finance Director Jesse Huff has not yet taken a position on the financial aspects of the measure.

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