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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 21, 2006
Statement by James L. Connaughton, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality
President Bush is firmly committed to working closely with Governor Schwarzenegger to conduct high priority, emergency levee repairs in the Sacramento area identified recently by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of California.
With preliminary work already well underway over the last several months, the Administration and State are developing a critical path schedule for accomplishing the levee repair projects as rapidly as possible, while maintaining compliance with environmental laws. Emergency repairs will be made at 29 locations over the summer, with completion expected by the end of November 2006.
Today, President Bush has directed the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality to:
* Accept and use funding advanced by the State to expedite planning and prevent any delay in construction;
* Expedite consultation under the Endangered Species Act;
* Expedite permitting under the Clean Water Act;
* Expedite the Environmental Review process;
* Continue to work with the State on a continuing plan for sharing costs, including crediting of funds advanced by the State and working with Congress on necessary authorizations.
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