Congressional Hearing in Stockton, CA: Is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Prepared for a Disaster?

Aug 13, 2012

Washington, DC – Disaster preparedness in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region will be the focus of a Congressional field hearing in Stockton on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, will lead Thursday’s hearing.  The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and federal disaster preparedness and response programs.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, between Sacramento in the north and Stockton in the south, includes over 1,000 miles of waterways and more than 1,100 miles of levees.  With significant portions of the reclaimed lands behind the levees being below sea level, there are ongoing concerns of threats of flooding in the region. 

A major disaster in the area, such as an earthquake, could result in devastating impacts on regional water supply, infrastructure, farmlands and communities. The Delta is also the main hub for delivering fresh water to millions of California residents in the San Francisco bay area and southern coastal communities of the state, along with millions of acres of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Multi-Hazard Coordination Task Force, led by California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA), has produced recommendations in the following areas: Interagency Unified Command System Organizational Framework, Emergency Preparedness and Response Strategy, Exercise and Training, and Preparedness Strategy and Funding Sources.

To ensure appropriate planning and preparedness, a number of recommendations require coordination and planning on all levels of government – including FEMA, CalEMA, and local jurisdictions.  Thursday’s hearing will examine the potential threats to the Delta region, the steps taken to prepare for and plan for a disaster, and identify the ways in which each level of government can support and facilitate planning and preparedness in the Region.

Thursday’s hearing is open to the public and press.  Members of the media please RSVP to Amanda.Maddox@mail.house.gov (202-731-3222) or Justin.Harclerode@mail.house.gov (202-226-8767).

WHAT:              “California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: Planning and Preparing for

Hazards and Disasters” – Hearing of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management,

U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Chairman

WHEN:             9:30 a.m. (Pacific Time), Thursday August 16, 2012

WHERE:           The San Joaquin Council of Governments Building

555 East Weber Avenue

Stockton, California 95202

WITNESSES:

  • Mr. Robert J. Fenton, Jr., Assistant Administrator for Response, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Mr. Brendan Murphy, Assistant Secretary, California Emergency Management Agency
  • Mr. Ronald E. Baldwin, Former Director of Emergency Operations, San Joaquin County
  • Mr. Timothy Alan Simon, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Mr. Alexander Coate, General Manager, East Bay Municipal Utility District