Press Releases

Washington, DC– U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today endorsed legislation currently in the California State Assembly that would require local agencies to obtain verification from the State Reclamation Board as to whether proposed subdivisions will be built in areas that possess, or will obtain within five years, 200-year flood protection. In a letter to bill author Assembly Member Lois Wolk (D-Davis), Senator Feinstein expressed her concern about the effect of building new developments in flood-prone areas.

“California’s levees protect hundreds of thousands of people from disastrous floods,” Senator Feinstein wrote. “Many of our levees are in a fragile state, putting people at risk of losing their lives and having their property damaged should flooding occur. California needs to forge responsible policies and code changes in floodplain areas. This bill is a first step.”

The following is the text of the letter Senator Feinstein sent to Assembly Member Wolk:

May 22, 2006

Assembly Member Lois Wolk
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849, Room 6012
Sacramento, CA 94249-0008

Dear Assembly Member Wolk:

I am writing to express my support for your efforts to promote responsible development on floodplains. In particular, I believe that your bill, Assembly Bill 1899, represents a step in the right direction.

AB 1899 would require local agencies to obtain verification from the State Reclamation Board as to whether proposed subdivisions will be built in areas that possess, or will obtain within five years, 200-year flood protection. By mandating this verification, the bill encourages developers and local governments to consider the issue of flood protection when proposing new developments on the floodplain.

I am concerned about the effects of building new housing in flood-prone areas. As you know, California’s levees protect hundreds of thousands of people from disastrous floods. Many of our levees are in a fragile state, putting people at risk of losing their lives and having their property damaged should flooding occur.

Earthquakes pose an additional risk to our levees. According to the United States Geological Survey, there is a 62% chance of a 6.7 or larger magnitude earthquake in the Bay Area before 2032. Even a moderate earthquake could cause levee collapses and concomitant flooding.

California needs to forge responsible policies and code changes in floodplain areas. This bill is a first step.

Sincerely,

 

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

 

###