Delta Plan update: Final Delta Plan regulations, online consistency determinations, and early consultations

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At the August 22nd Delta Stewardship Council Meeting, Cindy Messer, Deputy Executive Officer, and Keith Coolidge, Executive Manager of External Affairs, updated the Council on how the Council staff is preparing for implementation of the Delta Plan.

Final Plan and Regulations:

The Delta Plan’s final 14 regulations are now listed in the California Code of Regulations and set to take effect on September 1st.  The final regulatory text, the final statement of reason, and the other final documents have been posted at the Delta Stewardship Council website.  Older versions and documents have been archived to remove any confusion.  Click here for the Delta Stewardship Council’s webpage on the final regulations.

Look for the Delta Plan to hit the street sometime this week.  Maven will let you know when it is posted!

Online Consistency Determination Process:

The Council staff has developed a training program for the online consistency determination process and is in the process of conducting training sessions for the local and state agencies.  The system will be in place by September 1st, the day the regulations are set to take effect.  “These are two hour sessions that will cover everything we expect they need to know, both about what our expectations are, what kind of judgments they should be making because the consistency determination is theirs to make not ours, and … what they would need to buttress their case, should it come up on appeal,” Keith Coolidge told the Council.

After the online form is completed, it will be automatically filed with the Council, and once it is formally accepted, it will be posted on the website.  An email list will be created for those who want to be notified when a consistency determination has been posted.  After it is posted, there is a 30-day window for filing an appeal.  If an appeal is filed, there is a 10-day window for filing a response.  Although using the online form is not required, by doing so, most of the administrative record needed in the event of an appeal has been created and would aid in responding within the 10-day window.

Early Consultation Process:

The state or local agency can choose to have an early consultation process before filing the consistency determination to discuss the details of the project in an informal setting.  Each consultation will be tailored to the particular program, project or plan, and will include a discussion of whether and action is a covered action or not, the detailed findings that would be necessary to support the decision, and advice on adaptive management and the use of best available science.  The advice provided will be non-binding in the case the consistency determination is appealed.

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