Skip to content

SB 27: Delta Emergency Preparedness (2007)


Senate Bill 27 requires the Office of Emergency Services to convene a Multi-Hazard Coordination Task Force, contingent on available funding.  Before it sunsets on January 1, 2011 the Task Force is required to:

  • Make recommendations to OES relating to the creation of a unified command system;
  • Coordinate the development of a draft emergency preparedness and response strategy for the Delta region; and,
  • Develop and conduct an all-hazard emergency response exercise in the Delta designed to test regional protocols already in place.

After this bill passed the Legislature, Senator Simitian sent a letter to the Governor urging his signature on this bill.

Final Status and Text

SB 27 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Signed into Law

You can read its final text on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

Background Information

The Delta Is Unstable.  According to Dr. Jeff Mount at The University of California at Davis the Delta is not a “static landscape.”  The State Department of Water Resources has determined that the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta is geologically unstable.  Global warming is raising ocean levels and the Delta is below sea-level.  Earlier spring runoff will make for bigger floods, overwhelming the fragile Delta levees.  Anticipated earthquakes threaten to collapse levees, sucking in ocean water from the San Francisco Bay making Delta waters unusable.

Crashing Fish Populations.  Salmon runs in the southern Delta are at about one percent of historical levels.  Delta smelt, already a threatened species, fell last fall to the lowest levels ever measured.  Striped bass, chosen as the indicator species in 1959 are in rapid decline.

Island Subsidence.  Delta islands are sinking. Some are more than 20 feet below sea level, protected by inadequate levees.  Subsidence of the Delta islands is caused by wind erosion, lack of sediment replenishment resulting from the levees, soil compaction due to farm machinery, peat soil oxidation, and other factors.

Earthquakes, Flooding, and Sea Rise.  A major earthquake in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could cause widespread levee failure and flooding, costing the state more than $30 billion in long-term losses and tens of thousands of jobs.  According to the Department of Water Resources, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in the western delta could tear 30 breaches in the levees that protect water supplies for 23 million Californians and some of the nation’s most productive farmland.  According to DWR it would take 5 years and billions of dollars of work to restore all water deliveries from the Delta.  Job losses could exceed 30,000 and the cost to the state’s economy could total $30 to $40 billion.