SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law Senate Bill 495, authored by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford).
SB 495 is an urgency measure that will allow the community of Allensworth in Tulare County to drill and construct a new water well, connect it to the existing distribution system, and build a new water storage tank. The area’s existing water well has unsafe levels of arsenic and needs to be replaced.
Specifically, SB 495 allows the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to grant an “incidental take” permit for the blunt-nose leopard lizard, a fully protected species which may be present in the area of the new well. This exemption is temporary and is for the sole purpose of constructing a new well in Allensworth.
“SB 495 will be a tremendous help to the good folks in Allensworth as they build a new water well and finally bring clean water to their community,” Vidak said. “I want to thank Sherri Hunter, Denise Kadara and the team at Self-Help Enterprises for their efforts throughout this process and I appreciate Governor Brown signing our bill into law.”
The bill received unanimous support in both the Senate and Assembly. It passed 69-0 in the Assembly on July 5 and passed 37-0 in the Senate on August 9.