- Furkan Yalcin
SACRAMENTO — In a groundbreaking development for California's water management, Assemblywoman Schiavo today announced that the State Senate has approved her Community Water Protection Bill (AB 1631) - moving it to the final step where the bill awaits the Governor’s signature. This legislation promises to reshape the state's approach to managing water resources by providing the public with the opportunity to address their concerns related to water projects’ impact on their community. This initiative targets projects with water appropriation applications that have been pending with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for over three decades, including the CEMEX project near Santa Clarita.
This bill received bi-partisan support, and was able to make it through the legislature in partnership with State Senator Scott Wilk. Senator Wilk said in a statement, “This is a major victory for the Santa Clarita Valley, and the result of a long battle I have fought since I first arrived in Sacramento. The CEMEX mega-mine didn’t belong in our valley 30 years ago, and it certainly doesn’t belong there today. This bill ensures residents will get the opportunity they deserve to voice their rightful concerns before the State Water Resources Control Board. It has been a pleasure to work across the aisle with Assemblywoman Schiavo in getting this done for our community, and I look forward to crossing the finish line together.”
CEMEX would be the largest aggregate, or gravel, mine in North America. During the three decades since the application that the CEMEX mine has remained with the SWRCB, significant concerns about water resources have arisen. Similar issues may surface for other projects with long-pending water appropriation applications across the state. Because the mine would be located along the Santa Clara river, one of the last natural rivers in southern California that provides needed water to the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond. With shifting dynamics in water availability due to climate change, AB 1631 enables community members to provide up-to-date concerns to the board, ensuring that these projects align with the current public interest and environmental priorities.
“Our legislation, with its focus on transparency and public engagement, represents a pivotal moment in California's water management,” said Assemblywoman Schiavo “It aims to ensure that our community has a voice in such an important resource - water. It’s critical our water resources are protected and preserved in the best interests of our residents. Now that this bill has passed the Assembly and the Senate, I look forward to seeing the Governor sign AB 1631”.
Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022 to represent the 40th Assembly District, representing the Northwest San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. Upon her election, she was appointed as Assistant Majority Whip by the Speaker of the Assembly. Prior to her election, Assemblywoman Schiavo was a Nurse Advocate and Small Business Owner who worked in the labor movement for more than 20 years. Throughout her career, Assemblywoman Schiavo helped deliver healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, to more than one million people. In the Northwest San Fernando Valley, she co-founded an organization that helped secure housing for Veterans experiencing homelessness, has delivered more than 50,000 meals to people in need, and increased resources to help keep our communities safe. Assemblywoman Schiavo lives in Chatsworth with her daughter Sofia where they love to hike in the Santa Susana Mountains.