Baykeeper Update

Bills for the Bay

California lawmakers are busily crafting new legislation, on important topics—here are the bills Baykeeper is supporting so far:

Anti-Fracking Bill (SB 467, Wiener, Limón): Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a dangerous fossil fuel extraction practice that has no place in our communities and no place in a clean energy future. This bill would prohibit fracking and other destructive oil extraction methods starting next year. SB 467 would also restrict permits for oil and gas production within 2,500 feet of any residences, schools, health care facilities, or long-term care institutions such as dormitories or prisons. This kind of restriction would support Baykeeper’s advocacy to protect communities in Brentwood from recent new oil drilling proposals.

The California Clean Water Act (AB 377, Rivas): The Bay and waters throughout the state have suffered from polluters’ demands to create loopholes and weaken our clean water laws. AB 377 would fill those gaps, reinstating and strengthening critical components of our clean water laws with the goal of achieving clean, healthy waters across the state—for fishing, swimming, drinking, and overall public wellbeing—by 2050. 

Golf Courses, Open Space & Affordable Housing (AB 672, C. Garcia): The past year has highlighted the key role open space plays in public health and wellbeing. This bill would authorize cities to reclaim underutilized golf courses for both open space and affordable housing. Baykeeper supported the bill and submitted additional comments asking lawmakers to incorporate green infrastructure benefits as well. Green infrastructure helps filter pollutants, recharge groundwater aquifers, protect local waterways, and buffer against flooding.

Stopping PFAS in Food Containers (AB 1200, Ting): Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS), known as “forever” chemicals, never break down and have been linked to reproductive, immune, and developmental issues, and cancer. This bill would prohibit the use of PFAS in food packaging, with added benefit of reducing levels of this toxic contaminant in waters across the state, including the Bay. Last year, we supported legislation to stop the use of PFAS in firefighting foam for the safety of firefighters and the environment. That bill is now law.

Photo: Lyrinda Snyderman