Assemblymembers Cooper and McCarty Introduce Levee Protection Bill

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Friday, January 17, Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) introduced Assembly Bill 1958. The bill would help protect Sacramento’s critical flood protection infrastructure by maintaining, inspecting, and protecting levee integrity and stability throughout California.  

“Sacramento is no stranger to flooding, we’ve seen levees break and how devastating it can be to our community,” said Assemblymember Cooper. “Protecting the integrity of our flood control infrastructure is vital. I’m proud to partner with my colleague, Assemblymember McCarty, to introduce legislation that will help protect California residents from potential damages to levees that could result in levee failures and flooding,” added Cooper.

Sacramento is among one of the most flood-prone cities in the nation and is surrounded by nearly 1,600 miles of levees that protect over a million residents and billions of dollars in assets. Recent media reports have highlighted a new threat to California’s levee system; increased unauthorized excavations. These unauthorized excavations in some cases, have resulted in significant damage to levees resulting in thousands of dollars in damage and potentially catastrophic harm to the integrity and stability of the state’s flood control system.

“Floods are a constant threat to Sacramento, and ensuring our local levees are secure is essential to protecting our residents, said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). “This bill supports our 200-year flood protection plan, making us better prepared to prevent future floods in the region.”

AB 1958 would prohibit a person from concealing, defacing, destroying, modifying, cutting, altering, or physically or visually obstructing any levee that is part of the State Plan of Flood Control. This bill would authorize the Central Valley Flood Protection Board or its designee, or a local agency that maintains the levee to inspect and remove any physical or visual obstructions placed or alterations made to any levee and for these provisions to be enforced by a peace officer.

AB 1958 will be heard by the Assembly in the coming months.

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Assemblymember Cooper represents the Cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi.