Crowfoot: State is Expediting Permits for Water Storage, Restoration Projects

California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot says the Sites Reservoir Project is “on a pretty good pathway” for advancing through the environmental permitting process.

Speaking at the Agri-Pulse Food & Ag Issues Summit in Sacramento last week, Crowfoot explained that the Department of Fish and Wildlife within his agency has been evaluating potential impacts that the reservoir proposal could have on endangered and threatened species and its adherence to the California Environmental Quality Act.

Newsom Has a Plan to Keep the Lights on in California — Using Fossil Fuels

A controversial plan from Gov. Gavin Newsom would reshape how business is done on the California power grid, potentially helping to extend the life of beachfront gas plants and the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, making it easier for solar and wind farm developers to sidestep local government opposition, and limiting environmental reviews for all kinds of energy projects.

State lawmakers could vote as early as Wednesday night on the polarizing legislation, whose text was revealed late Sunday.

Monterey County Elected Officials to Debate a Change in Desal Law

Desalination projects have always been a contentious issue in Monterey County and a proposal that will be mulled by elected officials Tuesday afternoon is sure to raise the eyebrows of advocates for publicly owned desal projects.

The idea that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors during its afternoon session beginning at 1:30 p.m. is an amendment to an existing ordinance allowing only public ownership of desal plants rather than private ownership.

Newsom’s Drought Order Poses a Big Question on Water Well Permits for Valley Farmers

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom released Executive Order N-7-22 on March 28, 2022 in response to the state’s ongoing drought conditions. It is effective immediately and covers the entire state.

The entire order could perhaps be viewed as part five of his four previous drought related executive orders from 2021.


Some California Water Well Permits Require Environmental Review

Proposed water wells in California don’t all require environmental review under state and local permit laws, but state standards governing well location will sometimes require local governments to make discretionary decisions, triggering such a look, a state appellate court said.

The California Environmental Quality Act requires discretionary decisions—those that require an agency to exercise judgment in deciding whether to approve a project—to undergo an environmental review. Ministerial decisions made to determine legal compliance, however, don’t require such weighing.


La Jolla Permit Reviewers Hear Safety and Environmental Concerns About La Jolla View Reservoir Project

About 30 people attended the Jan. 12 La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meeting to discuss the planned replacement of the La Jolla View Reservoir, many with concerns about the project.

DPR did not vote during the online meeting but scheduled another hearing for Jan. 19 (after the La Jolla Light’s deadline). The project also is scheduled to be heard at the Feb. 4 La Jolla Community Planning Association’s online meeting.

Helix Water District Approves Water for Sand-Mining Project

The Helix Water District board of directors has agreed to supply water over the next 20 years for a controversial sand-mining project in the El Monte Valley in Lakeside. The board will now send a letter to county planners confirming they can meet the needs of the project should it win approval.

MWD Approves Battery Storage System at Skinner Treatment Plant

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California approved a battery energy storage system at the Robert A. Skinner Water Treatment Plant.

The Oct. 13 MWD board vote amended MWD’s capital investment plan to include battery storage systems at three treatment plants and one pumping plant, authorized an agreement with Stantec Inc., for the design of the battery energy storage facilities and found the study portion of the project to be categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.

Hurtado Makes Splash as Newsom Signs Water Bill

Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) secured Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature on legislation that will speed the permit process for low-income Central Valley communities to deliver clean drinking wate for residents. The bill, Senate Bill 974, exempts new water projects that serve small, rural communities from some provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act.

SCW Given Rainbow MWD Contract for Vista Valley Villas Pressure-Reducing Station

SCW Contracting Corporation received the Rainbow Municipal Water District contract to install the new Vista Valley Villas Pressure-reducing Station and associated infrastructure.

The company based in the town of Rainbow was awarded the contract on a 5-0 vote by Rainbow Municipal Water District board members Tuesday, June 23. The contract value of $334,700 matches the SCW bid for the project. The Rainbow board action also found the work categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.