SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill 353 by Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) was signed into law this week by Governor Brown.
The new law provides an environmental exemption – only the second of its kind in California’s history-that is needed for the LA County Public Works Department to begin its restoration project on Bouquet Creek.
Presence of a fully protected species in Bouquet Creek delayed the project and required state legislation before work could begin.
Environmental damage to Bouquet Creek has created water access problems for nearby properties such as the Lombardi Ranch, which recently announced it was canceling its fall ranch due to dried up water wells [read more here].
“Now that the law has been changed to address the environmental issues, Bouquet Creek can finally begin to flow again,” stated Assemblyman Lackey. “The residents who rely on Bouquet Creek for their water supplies can finally have some relief. I want to thank Supervisor Antonovich for pushing the Bouquet Creek restoration forward.”
The Bouquet Creek has been badly damaged since 2004 when flooding caused large amounts of sediment to build up in the creek bed. This excess sediment has blocked portions of the creek and is the likely cause of nearby properties seeing their wells dry up due to an inability for water to reach them and recharge them. It also causes flooding to occur on Bouquet Canyon Road during heavy rains.
State environmental laws had blocked the project because a fish native to Bouquet Creek is classified as a fully protected species. Fully protected species cannot be disturbed for any reason under current law, and AB 353 is only the second time an exemption has been granted.
[Information via news release from the office of Assemblyman Tom Lackey.]
Previous related story: Bouquet Creek Restoration Project wins approval