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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – A bill to create a blue ribbon committee to study Clear Lake and develop a plan to protect and improve its conditions passed unanimously out of the Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee this week.

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), who represents Lake County in the Assembly, introduced AB 707.

The bill establishes a blue ribbon committee for the study of potential threats to Clear Lake water quality and will develop and monitor any necessary plan to assure the lake’s health.

Aguiar-Curry said AB 707 is more than an environmental bill.

“This committee is first step towards revitalization of the local economy,” she said. “Whether the work of the committee establishes a scientific record that Clear Lake is doing fine or we have work to do to protect and restore it, my goal is to provide proof the ‘anchor’ of Lake County is a healthy, valuable lynchpin in the local economy.”

The committee would be made up of representatives from the Lake County Board of Supervisors; representatives of the county’s tribal community; the California Natural Resources Agency; the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board; University of California; and, local experts in economic development, agriculture and the environment.

Committee members would be tasked with assessing the health of the lake and planning for its protection or renewal.

Members of the committee also will be required to meet regularly to review research and plan for environmental recovery and economic growth.

The committee will report their findings and recommendations to the governor and State Legislatures.

“The people and environment of Lake County have been hard hit by the Great Recession and wildfires over the past several years,” Aguiar-Curry said. “I’m deeply committed to helping my local elected colleagues and business leaders attract tourism or new jobs in technology and manufacturing. Giving Clear Lake a ‘clean bill of health’ will be a great boon to their work.”

Assembly Bill 707 will move on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it will be heard during in May hearings.

If it passes that hurdle, it will be considered by the full State Assembly.

Aguiar-Curry represents California’s Fourth Assembly District, which includes all of Colusa, Lake and Napa counties, all of Yolo except West Sacramento, and Dixon in Solano County and Rohnert in Sonoma County.