23 June 2011, SACRAMENTO – Suction Dredge regulations have been under review by the CA Department of Fish and Game for almost two years now. The Sierra Fund and partners at Friends of the River, the Karuk Tribe, and many more, have been participating in the process of providing public comment on the rules that the Department proposed as part of their Environmental Impact Review and rule-making process. We provided detailed information about the significant and unavoidable environmental impacts that their proposed regulations would allow, and pointed out many substantial areas where the documents were inadequate.
Earlier this spring, leadership on the Assembly and Senate Resources Budget Subcommittee cut funding for Department of Fish and Game’s suction dredge permitting program until a regulatory system is in place that does not cause significant environmental harm and a proposed fee structure to cover costs of running the program. This language is in AB 120, the “budget trailer bill” that passed June 15 alongside the budget. The budget was vetoed June 16 in the morning – but that veto does not apply to AB 120. AB 120 is currently been sent for “engrossing and enrolling.” Watch this page for news.