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Does California’s Environmental Protection Law Impede Development? Five Things to Know About CEQA

A North Tustin senior housing project got derailed. Affordable housing for low-income residents in Orange was waylaid for several months. A water pipeline for south Orange County has been held up for four years. And a Santa Ana homeless shelter ended up going elsewhere. All four projects – serving the elderly, the poor, the homeless and the thirsty – ended up in court facing accusations they were potential environmental threats. The would-be environmentalists in these cases included neighboring businesses, neighborhood associations and a mining company serving the oil and gas industry.

Last Chance to Save the Delta Smelt?

California’s most controversial threatened species, the Delta smelt, has never been closer to extinction, but a state agency that could help it with the stroke of a pen is failing to do so. That’s according to a group of environmental organizations that are pleading with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to force aqueduct operators to leave enough fresh water in the Delta for the smelt.

FPUD Adopts 2016-17 Budget and Rates

The Fallbrook Public Utility District adopted its 2016-17 budget and FPUD’s new rates. One 5-0 FPUD board vote July 14 approved the final budget for the current fiscal year while a separate 5-0 vote amended FPUD’s Administrative Code to reflect the new rates. The water rates are on a calendar year basis and will take effect Jan. 1 while the fixed charges are on a fiscal year basis and took effect July 1. “They’re based upon a rigorous development of the budget and vetting by the board’s Fiscal Committee,” said FPUD general manager Brian Brady.