Posted by: Jan | February 12, 2019

Newsom makes appointments to the SWRCB


Gov. Gavin Newsom announces his appointment for State Water Resources Control Board: Joaquin Esquivel as Chair of the State Water Board and also Laurel Firestone to the Board. Esquivel has served on the Water Board since 2017. Esquivel was assistant secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2015 to 2017 Firestone served on the Tulare County Water Commission from 2007 to 2012, and co‐chaired the Governor’s Drinking Water Stakeholder Group from 2012 to 2014.

Good? Bad? STCDA had been advocating to keep Felicia Marcus as Chair. In our assessment, losing Felicia Marcus is a big blow for the Water Board. With the new updated Water Quality Plan on-the-line, if it goes to the back-burner, fish will not withstand another waiting period.

Esquivel’s appointment is considered a positive sign for voluntary settlement agreements. What those are is creative ways to improve the ecosystem without providing increased flows. If we know anything, we know that years of “experiments” with habitat projects and other “creative ways to improve the environment” have only made the fish situation more dire, so that isn’t promising.

Firestone is new to the Board. Firestone has no knowledge of the delta or water quality plan or flows. Human right to water is her “thing.”

These two appointments weakens the board in setting real requirements to protect fish. And we lose the history of the last three years of testimonies arguing our case to prove the destruction of the WaterFix construction project.

Result: Bad, unless Newsom is freeing up Marcus to be the new head of the DWR. If that is his plan, that would be good news.

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Responses

  1. Hi Jan.

    Nice post. Do you have reason to suspect that Newsom is looking to replace Nemeth at DWR?

    Tony

    On Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 6:41 PM Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) wrote:

    > Jan posted: “Gov. Gavin Newsom announces his appointment for State Water > Resources Control Board: Joaquin Esquivel as Chair of the State Water Board > and also Laurel Firestone to the Board. Esquivel has served on the Water > Board since 2017. Esquivel was assistant secre” >

    • Thanks Tony. To answer, no reason to think Nemeth will be replaced. Just wishful thinking plus DWR is somewhere Marcus could make a positive influence. 🙂


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