News Worth Noting: Announcements regarding the BDCP Implementation Agreement, Contra Costa HCP honored, tribal wildlife grants awarded, US climate change assessment

bdcp logoBDCP Announcement on the status of the Implementation Agreement:  “We appreciate recent interest in the status of public posting of the draft BDCP Implementing Agreement (IA) between the plan’s permitees and state and federal biological agencies. Because of the joint State-Federal drought response, the past weeks have required significant time commitments from key water management and regulatory principals. Understand that this is the worst drought California has faced in nearly 40 years, and operations and regulatory decisions need to be made in real time to address water needs for the rest of 2014. With those significant constraints in mind, know that the State will provide more specific details on the timing for release and ways to review and comment on this document as they are determined. At this point, the IA is still scheduled for a 60-day public review period prior to the release of the Final BDCP and associated Final Draft EIR/EIS. Additional information will be provided as soon as possible.”  Source: Key Announcements

restore the deltaGov. Brown’s Tunnel Lacks Implementation Agreement: Who will pay?  Restore the Delta issued this statement: “With just 39 days remaining for public examination and comment, the parties involved in the creation, planning and implementation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) have failed to reveal a binding Implementation Agreement (IA) showing how the Delta tunnels project will be financed, built or operated. The continuing failure to file the agreement with specificity and detail highlights the unwillingness of water exporters to document a commitment to funding construction and mitigation costs for the proposed Delta tunnels project. Specific financing information for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has not been included in the 40,000 page BDPC Plan and corresponding EIR.  “State and Federal Water Contractors have refused to make binding commitments to ensure species recovery nor have they agreed on how to finance or operate the tunnels project that has only been 10% designed,” said Restore the Delta (RTD) Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. “The cost of this project has ballooned so high that many of the water exporters are already backing away from paying their share of costs. We hope that when the governor and water exporters finally see the real BDCP cost numbers, they will join us in advocating for more reasonable alternatives.” ... ”  Source: Gov. Brown’s Tunnel Lacks Implementation Agreement: Who will pay?

DOISecretary Jewell Highlights Landmark Contra Costa Partnership Benefiting Imperiled Species, Supporting Economic Growth:Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today hosted a discussion with East Contra Costa County community leaders and other experts from around the state to discuss the importance of partnerships between the federal government, states, private landowners and other stakeholders when it comes to conserving threatened and endangered species and supporting smart economic development. The discussion, hosted at the East Bay Regional Park District’s Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve near the City of Antioch, spotlighted a model of collaboration known as habitat conservation plans (HCP). HCPs are agreements under the Endangered Species Act through which local land use agencies, landowners and other partners work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to proactively address long-term conservation needs, maintain local control over land use and provide flexibility to meet economic growth initiatives. … “The East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan is a model of how community partners can work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species can go hand-in-hand with economic activities and development,” Jewell said. “This community has shown through this collaborative approach that we don’t need to choose between protection of our wildlife and a strong economy – we can have both.” … ”  Read more from the Department of the Interior here: Secretary Jewell Highlights Landmark Contra Costa Partnership Benefiting Imperiled Species, Supporting Economic Growth

FWS Pac SWTribal Wildlife Grants Awarded to Five Federally Recognized Tribes in California: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Southwest Region announced today that conservation projects from five Native American tribes in California are among 25 projects nationwide selected to receive funding this year through the Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant program.  The Hoopa Valley Tribe, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians and the Klamath Tribes will receive a share of $937,136 awarded to tribes in California for projects that will benefit fish and wildlife on tribal lands. Tribal Wildlife Grants provide a competitive funding opportunity for federally recognized Tribal governments to develop and implement programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species of Native American cultural or traditional importance and species that are not hunted or fished. Grant recipients are selected through a nationally competitive process. This year, the Service awarded more than $4.9 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants to Tribes. … ”  Continue reading here: Tribal Wildlife Grants Awarded to Five Federally Recognized Tribes in California

US picU.S. national climate assessment released: “The U.S. National Climate Assessment was released today, combining observations from NASA’s fleet of satellites with data from interagency and international partners, to help us understand areas such as polar ice, precipitation extremes, temperature change, sea level rise and forest ecosystems.”  Click here for links to the reportClick here to hear from NOAA researchers who contributed to the report.

Dianne_Feinstein,_official_Senate_photo_2Feinstein statement on climate change report:  “The Obama administration today released the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, a comprehensive report on climate change and how it will affect the country and economy.  The report, which summarizes effects of climate change on the United States, was compiled by a team of more than 300 experts. According to the White House, the report was reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders including the National Academy of Sciences.  “The conclusions in this report echo those of other studies: climate change is real and the effects we see today will only accelerate if we don’t take action,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “There is no silver bullet to combat climate change. We have to reduce our carbon footprint by limiting greenhouse gas pollution, adopting energy efficient technologies and developing renewable energy resources.  “If we don’t take bold action, climate change will affect almost every aspect of life for Californians,” Feinstein continued. “The report warns that California will face hotter and drier conditions that will lead to increased drought and wildfires. These effects, combined with already scarce water resources, hold dire implications for the state. We are likely to witness more extreme weather events and higher sea levels that will lead to storm surges, inland flooding, landslides and loss of fresh water supplies due to sea water intrusion.”  Read more from Senator Feintein’s website here:  Feinstein Statement on Climate Change Report

epa-logoU.S. EPA honors federal agencies for water conservation, waste reduction: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized six federal agency offices in California with its prestigious Federal Green Challenge (FGC) program award for reducing their operations’ environmental impacts.  EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld presented the awards to the Northern California agencies at a ceremony hosted by the Federal Executive Board in San Francisco, Calif. “Federal agencies participating in the Pacific Southwest program saved over $31.8 million by reducing waste, water, and energy use over the past two years,” said Regional Administrator Blumenfeld.  “During this same period, these agencies have conserved over 350 million gallons of water. In a time of drought, this level of federal leadership on water conservation is critical.” … ”  Read more from the EPA here: U.S. EPA honors federal agencies for water conservation, waste reduction



About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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