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"This land was made for you and me." – Woodie Guthrie


Dear Conservation Friends,
Hummingbird Springs by Sandy Bahr
This is your last chance to rsvp for Environmental Day for next Tuesday! We will have a really good group of more than 100 people down at the Arizona Legislature. And, it will be fun! See the details at the end of this message.

This past week we found out that Arizona Public Service Company (APS) is pushing HB2485 to expand last year's "Polluter Protection Act." This year's bill provides for secrecy relative to violations of public health and safety laws. Why is APS, the largest utility in the Arizona and the operators of Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, pushing a bill to allow itself, other utilities, companies, and even the government, to keep information on health and safety violations from the public? The bill passed out of the House Public Safety, Military, and Regulatory Affairs Committee along party lines. Thank you Representatives Cardenas, Gallego, and Peshlakai for voting no!
This week please contact your representatives in the Arizona House and ask them to oppose the bill, HB2485 health and safety audit privilege (Carter, Stevens: Barton, et al.) It allows audits that are conducted for compliance with a health or safety law to be kept secret and prohibits use of the audit in legal and administrative proceedings. This gives companies and government a way to keep the public from knowing about major violations of law. These types of bills encourage cozy relationships between businesses and the so-called regulators and put at risk public health and safety. 
Take Action!
 Please urge House members to vote no on HB2485!



If you are registered in the Request to Speak system, please sign in opposed to HB2338 in Committee. You need not be there or speak, but just sign in to register your opposition. Click on Request to Speak and then enter your user name and password and click on the House of Representatives. After that enter the bill number, HB2338, and you will see the screen for registering your opposition. If you are not registered in the system and would like to be, just let me know and I will get you registered.
San Pedro in the Fall (Photo by David Mowry)HB2338 regional water augmentation authorities (Tobin, Barton) facilitates the same old solution regarding water in Arizona -- go get water somewhere else instead of using conservation or innovative augmentation. This bill creates "Regional Water Augmentation Authorities” (RWAAs), quasi-political subdivisions, and confers RWWAs with immense powers. There is huge potential for abuse of the powers conferred by the bill as they relate to RWAA water supply developments. RWWAs would be involved in financing, constructing, and operating water supply development projects. There is virtually no public participation in the formation of RWWAs, little opportunity to meaningfully oppose the formation of an RWWA, and almost no regulatory oversight or judicial review by the courts. HB2338 creates less transparent ways to facilitate projects such as the Big Chino Water Ranch pipeline project. Enacting new laws that enable greater privatization and control over water development in Arizona is a step in the wrong direction.

For more information on bills we are tracking, you can view our Legislative Tracker.

If you no longer want to receive these updates, just zap me an email or unsubscribe by clicking on "Manage Preferences" at the bottom of the message.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the Legislature or other environmental issues and I welcome you to join me at the Capitol. Thank you for taking action and for caring about Arizona's environment.

Warm regards,
Sandy Bahr
Chapter Director
Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter
(602) 253-8633
http://arizona.sierraclub.org


 

Coming Up This Week at the Legislature
You can use the "Request to Speak" system to register your opposition or support for bills in Committee. If you would like to use the system and have not signed up, contact me and I will help you get an account set up.

Monday, February 11th


Special Joint Meeting of the Senate Government & Environment and the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources committees upon adjournment of the Senate and House Floor Sessions in SHR1

  • Opening remarks from Senator Griffin & Representative Pratt
  • Overview of Regional Haze State Implementation Plan/Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision from Eric Massey from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
  • Impact of EPA regulations on Arizona utilities from, you guessed it, Arizona utilities
    Ed Fox, APS
    Kelly Barr, Salt River Project
    Patrick Ledger, AZ Electric Power Cooperative
  • Impact of EPA regulations on Arizona interests
    Roland Knox, Northern Cochise Community Hospital
    Mike Berbout, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
    Stephen Etsitty, Navajo Nation EPA
    AZ Chamber of Commerce
  • Vido presentation

There is no call to the public or public comment opportunity listed.
 

Senate Committee on Government & Environment after the meeting above in Senate Hearing Room 1

  • SB1365 planned communities; design review process (Burges) says that cities and towns cannot require a developer to construct certain infrastructure as part of a zoning approval or approval of the planned development. This seems to be geared at ensuring that the public further subsidizes development. OPPOSE.
  • SCR1012 EPA actions; haze (Griffin, Burges, Murphy, et al.) is a diatribe against clean air and even says that reducing NOx (oxides of nitrogen) has no public health benefit. Seriously? Click on health impacts to see just a few. The resolution is aimed at supporting the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's dirty air litigation, seeking to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act provisions on Regional Haze. OPPOSE.

Tuesday, February 12th

Environmental Day at the Capitol!

Senate Committee on Elections at 2:00pm in Senate Hearing Room 1

  • SB1263 paid circulators; statewide measures; recall (Reagan: Driggs) requires that all paid circulators be registered with the Secretary of State, but does not include paid circulators who circulate candidate petitions. Why not? It seems like they are just trying to make it next to impossible to get any measure on the ballot. There have been a lot more issues with fraud relative to candidate signatures, but they seem to ignore that. A comprehensive approach to improve the initiative, referendum, and recall process is appropriate. A piecemeal approach to erect impediments is not. OPPOSE.
  •  SB1264 initiative, referendum and recall (Reagan) erects additional impediments to the initiative and referendum process by providing more reasons and more opportunities for signatures to be thrown out for merely technical reasons. The courts have generally deferred to the people relative to getting a measure on the ballot. This seeks to turn that around. OPPOSE.
  • SB1336 election commission; campaign finance enforcement (Meza: Cardenas) will have a strike everything amendment on classification; violations; independent expenditures. It is not yet posted. Remember a strike-everything amendment means they eliminate the original bill language and replace it with a whole new bill. MONITOR.

House Committee on Agriculture & Water at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 5

  • HB2338 regional water augmentation authorities (Tobin, Barton) facilitates the same old solution regarding water in Arizona -- go get water somewhere else instead of using conservation or innovative augmentation.  There is no requirement for conservation goals and no authority to use funds for conservation projects.  See above for more details. OPPOSE.
  • HB2429 water protection fund; annual funding (Brophy McGee) provides for a minimum of $5 million per year for the Arizona Water Protection Fund. This fund provides dollars for riparian restoration, restoration of springs, etc. SUPPORT.

 Senate Committee on Appropriations at 2:00pm in Senate Hearing Room 109

  • SB1344 highway construction projects; JCCR review (Shooter, Pancrazi: Burges, et al.) requires projects that cost more than $15 million to be reviewed by the Joint Committee on Capital Review. MONITOR.


Wednesday, February 13th

 Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Rural Affairs at 9:00am in Senate Hearing Room 109 
  • SB1465 solid waste facilities: general permit (Griffin, Burges, Gowan, et al.) exempts waste facilities that are covered under a general permit from rules associated with financial assurance and such. This is a bad idea and further removes accountability and responsibility from these general permit programs. I hate to see what they exempt next. Landfills? OPPOSE.
 Senate Committee on Commerce, Energy & Military at 9:00am in Senate Hearing Room 1 
  • Presentations from the Phoenix and Tucson Chambers of Commerce

House Committee on Appropriations at 2:00pm in House Hearing Room 1

  • HB2285 state budget; appropriation limitation; hearing (Smith, Stevens) uses a flawed formula of general inflation plus the annual change in population in order to limit state spending. This type of budgeting was a huge disaster in Colorado relative to schools, roads, healthcare, public safety, and the economy. Colorado voted to suspend it. OPPOSE. 

Senate Committee on Public Safety at 2:00pm in Senate Hearing Room 109

  • SCR1016 rejection of unconstitutional federal actions (Crandell, Burges: Melvin, et al.) refers to the ballot a constitutional amendment that allows Arizona to determine if a federal action violates the U.S Constitution and to then reject it by passing an initiative or referendum, passing a bill, or using a legal remedy. So much for the federal courts. This is a ridiculous bill and is clearly unconstitutional. OPPOSE.

Thursday, February 14th

Arizona Statehood Day!

House Committee on Judiciary at 9:00am in House Hearing Room 4 

  • HB2156 elections; public resources prohibited (Kavanagh) says the state and its political subdivisions cannot use public resources to influence the outcome of an election. That generally is the case now, so I am not sure where this headed. MONITOR.
House Committee on Transportation at 9:00am in House Hearing Room 3
  • HB2299 all-terrain vehicles; definition (Fann) makes a minor modification related to the width of ATVs.
 

Protecting Arizona's Environment -- It's worth it!Wordle Environmental Day
Environmental Day at the Capitol.

Please join us for this annual event to show our legislators how much the people of Arizona care about our environment. Let legislators know that environmental protection is critical to a strong economy. We have more than 100 people signed up and may have to establish a waiting list, so sign up now!

Tuesday, February 12th
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
League of Cities and Towns, Rm 101
1821 W. Washington St., Phoenix 
Just west of the Capitol
(map)

RSVP
Meet with legislators as part of a group so they can hear first-hand how much Arizonans really do care about clean air, clean water, and having parks and wildlife now and in the future. 

You can stop by for a short period or stay for the day. Carpooling is available from some locations, and a bus will be coming from Tucson to Phoenix.   

Please plan to attend, and bring a friend!

We hope you will join us! For more information, please contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org.
 
To call your legislators, click on Member Roster and find their phone numbers. If you're outside the Phoenix area, you can call your legislators’ offices toll free at 1-800-352-8404. In the Phoenix area call (602) 926-3559 (Senate) or (602) 926-4221 (House) and ask to connect with your legislators.

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