Water Authority Cites CEQA in Lawsuit to Stop Fallbrook and Rainbow Detachment

The San Diego County Water Authority filed suit Monday to stop the rural Fallbrook and Rainbow water districts from leaving the county system, citing environmental harm under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The lawsuit filed in Superior Court challenges a decision by the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission to allow the two districts to join Riverside County without paying what the Water Authority says is their fair share of water-reliability investments.

The “detachment” effort is the first of its kind in California and would shift approximately $140 million in costs to the rest of the Water Authority’s customers.

County Water Authority Sues Over Rainbow, Fallbrook Agencies’ Departures

The San Diego County Water Authority filed a lawsuit Monday over the proposed departure of two North County water agencies, which the water authority alleges will raise water rates for other county residents.

The lawsuit challenges a decision from the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission to allow the Rainbow Municipal Water District and Fallbrook Public Utility District to leave the Water Authority.

Water Authority OK’s Suit to Keep Districts from Leaving as They Rush to Pack

San Diego’s biggest water seller will sue the boundary referees that allowed two of its buyers to leave its business territory.

After hours of deliberation in a closed meeting last week, the board of the San Diego County Water Authority voted to sue the Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO. That’s because LAFCO’s board agreed to let Rainbow Municipal Water District and the Fallbrook Public Utilities District divorce from the Water Authority last month so they could buy cheaper water from Riverside County.

California Lawmakers Eye New Trims to Judicial Process to Sidestep Environmental Red Tape

A debate in California’s Assembly about whether to fast-track bills looking to trim down the state’s notoriously laborious environmental review process caused some pushback on behalf of public transparency.

State lawmakers convened the last in a series of informational committees serving as the first public hearings on Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed policy and budget package for the coming year.

Newsom Seeks to Streamline Infrastructure Projects

Governor Gavin Newsom recently introduced a series of proposals to expedite infrastructure projects. The legislative package seeks to speed up the construction process while also streamlining permitting and court review.

Opinion: Future of California at Risk the Longer Landmark CEQA Environmental Law Remains Unchanged

Like our changing climate and its many impacts on our communities, economy and environment; like the collapse of critical infrastructure; like the humanitarian homelessness crisis on our streets and the housing shortage driving it; like so many other slow-motion disasters that have befallen us, the warning signs have been unmistakably clear.

State Takes Action on Water Exports from the Delta

Construction of a temporary salinity barrier on the False River is underway after an emergency request by the Department of Water Resources was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The barrier, necessitated by worsening drought conditions, is intended to help preserve water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by reducing saltwater intrusion. The declaration of a drought emergency made by Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 10 suspended the requirement that a project of this nature complete a California Environmental Quality Act assessment.

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.