Tags: california | drought | fines | 10000 | jerry brown

California Drought Fines Could Reach $10K a Pop Under Gov's New Proposal

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 10:16 AM

California drought fines of up to $10,000 could be levied against the most egregious violators of the state's efforts to conserve water if Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal announced Tuesday goes into effect.

Brown made the proposal, which has not yet been crafted into a bill, after talking with 14 California mayors during a meeting in Sacramento, according to the Sacramento Bee. Brown noted that the $10,000 daily fine would be reserved for the worst offenders, a big jump from the $500 maximum fine currently in use.

Brown's proposal would give public agencies the power to deputize staff, allowing them to issue citations for violating drought restrictions, the Bee noted.

"You might think of this as just another installment in a long enterprise to live with a changing climate and with a drought of uncertain duration," Brown said.

Water attorney Leon Szeptycki, director of Stanford University's Water in the West program, told the San Jose Mercury News that he believes the increase in fines and allowing water officials to issue citations is an effort to get people to take water conservation more seriously.

"The issue is not the size of the fine, but how localities are going to enforce it," Szeptycki said. "It is a PR move. But it will get people's attention. This is part of a broad effort to get people to reduce their water use. They are trying everything."

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that California's continuing drought has worsened but also added that most cities have not been very aggressive with drought fines.

"Our focus from the very beginning has been on education and providing information to our customers, and that is not going to change with the governor's announcement," Tyrone Jue, a spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, told the Chronicle.

Brown has called for local water agencies to slash consumption in urban areas statewide by 25 percent over the next nine months.

"Moving forward, we all need to step up to meet the 25-percent mandate," Felicia Marcus, California's water board chairwoman, told the Chronicle. "We recognize the challenge, but collectively it’s achievable."

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California drought fines of up to $10,000 could be levied against the most egregious violators of the state's efforts to conserve water if Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal announced Tuesday goes into effect.
california, drought, fines, 10000, jerry brown
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2015-16-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 10:16 AM
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