Posted by KSBY News: Feb 9, 2012 10:31 PM

Some tough new regulations are on the way for businesses as well as farmers and ranchers that could prove to hurt their bottom lines. It all has to do with how they use water. The new rules are coming down the pike from the state water board and aim to bring California in line with the federal Clean Water Act.

Senator Sam Blakeslee sponsored a town hall meeting tonight to talk about the new rules. Those who showed up are worried the new rules are too tough too fast and could cost jobs. “The business community really knows nothing about this.” said Erik Justesen who was there representing the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. “They have no idea that a very serious large set of new regulations are coming forth very quickly and are going to have a tremendous impact on the way they operate their business.” 

Senator Blakesless says the people who are going to be effected so profoundly should have more input on how to comply. “I think that’s one of the issues that makes it so important. We are still in the middle of a great recession. And if you are going to add new regulations, please listen to folks and modify those regulations so you can have clean water, but don’t hurt the jobs.”

The Senator has introduced three bills hoping to slow down the process and get more input from local communities. The new regulations could start taking effect this spring.