News worth noting: Federal agencies propose revised rules for Endangered Species Act, Enviro docs for exchange between water bank and San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors, Garamendi signs WRDA bill conference committee report

usfw-us-fish-wildlife_logoFederal Agencies Propose Revised Rules to Improve Implementation of the Endangered Species Act: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (together, the Services) – the two federal agencies responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – today proposed two rules and a policy to improve the process of designating areas of “critical habitat” and consulting on the effects of federal actions on critical habitat.  These proposals are designed to increase the predictability and transparency of the Services’ actions related to critical habitat under the ESA.  Critical habitat represents the habitat essential for a species’ recovery. The ESA requires, with few exceptions, that critical habitat be designated for species that are protected under the act.  Critical habitat designations do not create reserves or protected areas, but federal agencies are required to consult with the Services to ensure that any actions they authorize, fund or carry out are not likely to result in the “destruction or adverse modification” of designated critical habitat. … ”  Read more from the US FWS here:  Federal Agencies Propose Revised Rules to Improve Implementation of the Endangered Species Act

ReclamationDraft Environmental Documents Released for Exchange of Water Between Arvin-Edison Water Storage District and San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors:The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review draft environmental documents assessing the proposed exchange of up to 30,000 acre-feet of Arvin-Edison’s available water supplies in San Luis Reservoir for a larger amount of San Joaquin River water that would have been released for delivery to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors by Reclamation from Millerton Lake.  The proposed exchange would occur between May 2014 and February 28, 2015. The proposed action is in response to drought conditions in the San Joaquin Valley. ... ”  Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here:  Draft Environmental Documents Released for Exchange of Water Between Arvin-Edison Water Storage District and San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors

garamendiGaramendi Signs Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill Conference Committee Report: Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), a Member of the Conference Committee for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), reviewed and signed off on its bicameral, bipartisan conference report – the final version of the bill. WRRDA authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding and policies for flood protection, ports, waterways, drinking water, environmental restoration, and dam projects.  “I am satisfied that this bipartisan water infrastructure bill will address problems in our district and across the nation,” said Congressman Garamendi. “This bill will help protect communities from devastating floods and threats to public health. It will also accelerate American business growth and job creation.”  Read more from Congressman Garamendi’s website here:  Garamendi Signs Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill Conference Committee Report

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