Perata blames Schwarzenegger
for slow response to oil spill
By Jeff Shuttleworth
November 12, 2007
State Senate President pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) charged
today that California is poorly prepared to deal with oil spills
because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't made appointments to
the regional water board or fully funded and staffed an oil spill
Speaking at a news conference at the Middle Harbor Shoreline
Park, which is located near Oakland's waterfront, Perata said
Schwarzenegger didn't follow a recommendation by his Department
of Finance in 2005 that the oil spill program have its funding
and staffing boosted because it's drastically under-funded.
Perata also said that last month Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill
authored by Perata that would have strengthened the state's nine
regional water boards and made California's frontline enforcers
of water laws more effective and more accountable to the public.
Perata said nearly half of the seats on the state's regional
water quality board are empty because Schwarzenegger hasn't filled
He said the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Board, which
meets in Oakland, doesn't currently have enough members for a
quorum and thus can't even meet to decide how to take action on
the Cosco Busan spill, which dumped 58,000 gallons of toxic fuel
into the San Francisco Bay last week.
Perata said he wants to raise the 5-cent-per-gallon fee the state
currently imposes on oil companies, whom he called "polluters,"
to provide more funds for the marine oil spill prevention program
and fill 34 positions.
Spokespersons for Schwarzenegger weren't immediately available
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