News

News

A California tax to clean up toxic drinking water has lawmakers jumpy

There’s bad water all over California in poor communities, including those on the Central Coast and in the Coachella Valley. Rebecca Zaragoza, a community organizer with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, grew up in a mobile home park in Thermal near Coachella. “They don’t have water that’s safe to drink,” she says of several local mobile home parks. “They have to buy bottled water. They cook with bottled water. It’s not safe to shower with the tap water either, but there’s not much families can do about that.”

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San Diego Union-Tribune Commentary: Why California needs water tax

California is the only state in the nation that has codified the human right to water. Along with the innovation that streams out of the Silicon Valley, the food that feeds the world that grows in the Central Valley, the creativity that flows from Los Angeles and the beauty that pours out of San Diego, Californians should be proud that we recognize the human right to water. Our pride, though, is diminished by the more than 1 million Californians who do not have access to safe, affordable drinking water in their homes and in their schools.

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San Jose Mercury News Opinion: California must prioritize clean drinking water for all

Silicon Valley companies are known for their innovation and creativity; from the development of laptops and smart phones that make people more productive, to the zero-emission vehicles that will reduce air pollution, and the apps that keep us all connected. Sadly, not everything produced in the Golden State is a source of pride; namely cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and birth defects caused by contaminants in our state’s water – which affects approximately 1 million Californians.

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Water Advocates, Communities Living with Toxic Water Praise Passage of Safe Water Funding Bill from Asm. Environmental Safety Committee

A coalition of advocates for communities living with contaminated drinking water today praised the passage of AB 217 (E. Garcia) from the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Waste Committee. The bill would provide the ongoing funding needed to deliver safe water to California children and families through a small fee on water users.

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Tulare schools among many with lead-tainted drinking water

Thousands of students across California drink water contaminated with lead, according to a new statewide report. “This alarming new report on the health risks threatening children right in their own schools is even more evidence that California must act now to deliver safe water throughout the state through the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund,” said Mike Claiborne with Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. “Pediatricians, school officials, parents, teachers and students themselves are joining our call to action — we can’t wait any longer to deliver on the promise of safe and affordable drinking water for kids and for all Californians.” The report states that California’s drinking water crisis "disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color and can be found in every corner of the state.” The study emphasizes the urgency for California’s lawmakers to pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.

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More Urgency for Legislature to Pass Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund After New Report Finds Lead-Contaminated Water in More than 400 California Schools

A new report released today from CALPIRG Education Fund found “pervasive lead contamination” in school drinking water in cities across California, emphasizing the urgency for California’s legislature to pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Governor Newsom’s January budget, SB 200 (Monning) and AB 217 (E. Garcia) each provide ongoing funding needed to deliver safe water to California children and families through a small fee on water users, exempting payers with low incomes.

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California governor pushes for fee to clean up tainted water

The Democratic governor says up to 1 million California residents have some type of contaminated or unclean water coming through their taps that can cause health issues. He has called it "a moral disgrace and a medical emergency." "The fact that in California, in the fifth-largest economy, we have people who cannot drink their water, people who can't even bathe in their water, there's something absolutely wrong," Democratic Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes said Wednesday during a hearing on Newsom's plan.

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My turn: To fulfill clean water law, state must focus on L.A.’s small systems

The state must expand funding for small water system operations and maintenance, infrastructural improvements, and disaster planning. More funding could come from Gov. Newsom’s proposed tax, or other means. Given the limited capacity of small systems, the funding must be accessible and the application process user-friendly.

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Editorial: California’s contaminated drinking water is a disgrace

About 1 million Californians can’t safely drink their tap water. Approximately 300 water systems in California currently have contamination issues ranging from arsenic to lead to uranium at levels that create severe health issues. It’s a disgrace that demands immediate state action.

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ABC’s of your Health: Access to safe and affordable drinking water is finally a priority in the state, advocates

For many underserved communities of color in the Central Valley, the New Year started on the right track as the Gov. Gavin Newsom made access to safe and affordable drinking water a priority in the state. Organizations such as the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Coalition applauded Newsom’s efforts to address a “human rights crisis” that threatens people in every region of the state to make sure community without safe, affordable water, many of them in the Central Valley, have access to the vital liquid.

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California’s unfilled promise on access to safe water

While most Californians believe strongly that all Californians should have safe drinking water, most Californians don’t understand the breadth of contaminants that impact communities throughout the state, and how significant those impacts are.

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Gov. Newsom delivers a message: ‘We’re in this together’

The governor of a state of 40 million cannot be expected to do the work of a county supervisor or school board member. But Newsom’s presence in Stanislaus County was significant. And making clean water one of his first priorities undoubtedly will help county supervisors and school board members across the state do their jobs better.

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Tainted Drinking Water a Problem for 360,000 Californians

In the Central Valley, in particular, excess amounts of arsenic, nitrates and other substances that can cause cancers and birth defects have tainted drinking water. In Compton, residents have been living with foul-smelling brown water because the cost of fixing the pipes is high, and many can’t afford to buy a constant supply of bottled water.

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Community Voices: Support bill to ensure safe drinking water

The majority of communities bearing the brunt of unsafe drinking water are poor, rural, or disadvantaged; unable to invest in or sustain proper water treatment systems or upgrading decrepit water infrastructure that contributes to their water problems.

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NBC Bay Area: “Nearly a Million Californians Exposed To Pesticide Chemical Linked To Cancer in Their Drinking Water”

"Up to 1 million Californians, mostly in the farming communities of the Central Valley, have dangerous levels of an unregulated chemical linked to cancer in their drinking water, according to California’s State Water Board data. Now, the state is considering a legal maximum contaminant level for the chemical."

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Comcast: “San Joaquin Valley”

"California Water Board representative Maria Herrera is working with the Valley’s rural communities to secure funding for technical advancements and overall improvement of the state water systems."

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SAN DIEGO TRIBUNE: “California’s poor hit hardest by unsafe drinking”

"Children are especially at risk. As many as one in four schools in the Central Valley have been impacted by unsafe drinking water. Some must spend their limited funding — meant for books and teachers and pens and paper — on bottled water and to install porta potties."

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NBC LA. “Map: Schools At Greatest Risk For Lead In Water”

"School districts across the County are requesting water testing after dangerous levels of lead were discovered at a San Ysidro elementary school. Health experts say the schools most likely to have unsafe levels of lead in drinking water are those built before 1986."

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Water Online: “California Advocates Push For Contaminated Water Fund”

"The eight-county San Joaquin Valley has some of the most contaminated aquifers in the nation: 92 drinking water systems in the San Joaquin Valley had a well with nitrate levels above the legal limit from 2005 to 2008, potentially affecting the water quality of approximately 1.3 million residents."

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NY Times: “Q. and A.: Xavier Becerra on Immigration, ‘Calexit’ and More”

"So when it comes to defending California’s rigorous standards for clean and safe drinking water, I’m ready. And I won’t wait until a catastrophe happens. If our state agencies which handle that oversight fall short, then I will consider using my independent authority under the California Constitution to investigate and prosecute violators of our clean water laws."

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SF Weekly: “Drinking Water Crisis Brewing in California”

"The drinking water crisis of Flint, Michigan may be happening again, right here in California. That’s the assessment of the State Water Resources Control Board, who note that approximately 400 communities in California have water that does not meet safe drinking standards."

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