California's Levees: Gov. Declares State Of Emergency

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger acts to protect California's crumbling levee system for the Sacramento Delta. Emergency status allows work to progress without waiting for environmental review.

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday for the Sacramento Delta levees, an action that could trigger up to $100 million in speedy repairs to the crumbling system...

Declaring a state of emergency allows the state to suspend environmental protection laws and contracting requirements so that it can quickly begin improving two dozen weakened levees spread over 85 miles of waterways along the Sacramento River and its tributaries...Democrats and environmental groups said Schwarzenegger misused his power to issue an emergency declaration and suggested the timing might be rooted in political considerations...

Because of the emergency action, the state can begin repair work without waiting for reviews mandated by the state's environmental protection law, officials said in a briefing Friday. Schwarzenegger's staff said he won't wait for voters to pass his bond to start construction."

Full Story: Gov. Moves to Fix California Levees

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