With extreme weather putting increasing stress on California’s roads, bridges and flood control system, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a series of immediate and longer-term actions to bolster dam safety, improve flood protection and fix the state’s aging transportation and water infrastructure.
“Recent storms have pounded the state of California resulting in a dam spillway eroding, roads crumbling and levees failing,” said Governor Brown. “Our aging infrastructure is maxed-out. We can take some immediate actions – and we will – but going forward we’ll need billions more in investment.”
Earlier this week – with a break in the weather and the situation in Oroville stabilizing – the Governor visited the Incident Command Post and surveyed the regional flood control system, including areas recently impacted by flooding. This followed the state of emergency the Governor declared and the presidential emergency declaration the Governor secured to bolster the state’s response.
On the heels of these actions, the Governor today announced a four-point plan to bolster dam safety and flood protection:
1. Invest $437 million in near-term flood control and emergency response actions by redirecting $50 million from the General Fund and requesting a $387 million Proposition 1 appropriation from the Legislature as soon as possible.
2. Require emergency action plans and flood inundation maps for all dams.
3. Enhance California’s existing dam inspection program.
4. Seek prompt regulatory action and increased funding from the federal government to improve dam safety.
Even with today’s action, California has nearly $50 billion in unmet flood management infrastructure needs. To address these needs, the Administration will continue to work with the Legislature through the budget process on solutions, including potential changes to Proposition 218, which continues to prevent local government from fixing core infrastructure.
Recent storms have not just damaged the state’s flood control system; they have also hammered the state’s roads and bridges. During the storm season alone, Governor Brown’s emergency declarations have enabled the California Department of Transportation to begin more than $595 million in repairs to the state’s roads and bridges damaged by erosion, mud and rock slides, sink holes and flooding.
Beyond the current storm season, California faces a broad array of transportation infrastructure challenges: $59 billion in deferred maintenance on highways and $78 billion on local streets and roads. To fix these roads and bridges, Governor Brown and legislative leaders are currently working to meet the goal they set to complete a transportation funding package by April 6.
Following up on his commitment to work with Washington, D.C. to invest in California’s infrastructure, Governor Brown sent a letter to the President today seeking expedited environmental review under Presidential Executive Order 13766. This request covers 10 projects: nine high-priority transportation projects and reconstruction of the Oroville Dam spillways.
Today’s request to the President includes projects on the initial list of 51 priority infrastructure projects, which California submitted to the federal government earlier this month. The Brown Administration is reviewing additional projects to submit for expedited review.
For additional information on the Governor’s four-point plan to bolster dam safety and flood protection, click here.
For more on California’s ongoing flood management, click here (PDF): https://www.gov.ca.gov/docs/Fact_Sheet_Ongoing_Storm_and_Flood_Management.pdf.
Article by: Christopher Simmons
Published: February 24, 2017 by California Newswire
Read original here.