News Worth Noting: Congressional Research Service report on federal drought legislation; Settlement will prevent sewage discharges into SF Bay, Lower American River salmonid habitat project to begin, Restore the Delta experts criticize BDCP, Owens Valley Committee on Lower Owens River summit
Congressional Research Service: Federal Response to Drought in California: An Analysis of S. 2198 and H.R. 3964: ” … This report discusses the similarities and differences between two bills that have been passed by their respective chambers: H.R. 3964, which passed the House on February 5, 2014; and S. 2198, which passed the Senate on May 22, 2014. H.R. 3964 and S. 2198 have few similarities in their specific approaches to addressing drought conditions in California; however, to different degrees, they both aim to provide more water for users that receive water from the CVP and SWP. The primary thematic similarity shared between the bills is to authorize or direct activities that would attempt to increase water supplies for users while, in some cases, decreasing or meeting the minimum water needs of the environment (e.g., fish and wildlife, and water quality). ... ” Read the report from Congressional Research Service here: Federal Response to Drought in California: An Analysis of S. 2198 and H.R. 3964
Historic Clean Water Act settlement will prevent millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a Clean Water Act settlement requiring the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and seven East Bay communities to conduct extensive system repairs aimed at eliminating millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay. Under today’s agreement, EBMUD and the communities will assess and upgrade their 1,500 mile-long sewer system infrastructure over a 21-year period. The work is expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion. The entities will pay civil penalties of $1.5 million for past sewage discharges that violated federal environmental law. … ” Read more from the Environmental Protection Agency here: Historic Clean Water Act settlement will prevent millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay
Lower American River Salmonid Spawning and Rearing Habitat Restoration Project to Begin in Nimbus Basin: “The Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Water Forum, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will begin work on the 2014 American River Salmonid Spawning and Rearing Habitat Restoration Project in early August. This seventh year of the Project continues the work of improving spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead trout and Chinook salmon in the lower American River. Much of the existing spawning habitat consists of large rocks and fine sediment that reduces the ability for the fish to construct redds (nests) and may reduce the number of eggs surviving and emerging as juvenile fish from the redds. A 350-yard-long side channel will be excavated along the south side of the river in the Nimbus Basin, and spawning gravel will be added to the main river channel. … ” Continue reading from the Bureau of Reclamation here: Lower American River Salmonid Spawning and Rearing Habitat Restoration Project to Begin in Nimbus Basin
Restore the Delta Experts Criticize BDCP Process, Call for New Draft EIR: Funding, Public Outreach, Alternatives, Science all Flawed: “Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, and salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today presented their case that the governor’s water tunnels plan is fatally flawed, does not meet state or federal standards, and called for a new Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS), and public comment period. The EIR/EIS is fatally flawed due to its failure to include a viable funding plan, exclusion of any true no-tunnels alternatives, failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act as evidenced by numerous scientists’ red flags, the deliberate BDCP website suppression of comments, misrepresenting taking water to be a “conservation” plan, secret BDCP planning with the exporters and their consultants, and lack of public outreach to non-English speakers. “We call upon Gov. Brown to rethink this unsustainable water export project,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD. … ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Experts Criticize BDCP Process, Call for New Draft EIR: Funding, Public Outreach, Alternatives, Science all Flawed
Owens Valley Committee says public should be allowed to observe the Lower Owens River Project Summit: “The Owens Valley Committee supports the right of the people to be aware of ideas and proposals regarding the Lower Owens River Project (LORP). The LORP is a compensatory mitigation measure that is supposed to offset the loss of seeps, springs and plants that happened after the Second Aqueduct started exporting pumped water after 1970. LORP was included in the 1991 EIR, and clarified by a Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Inyo, City of Los Angeles, Sierra Club, Carla Scheidlinger, State Lands Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Owens Valley Committee. The LORP also was the subject of its own EIR finalized in 2004. Why does this history matter? Because all of these documents are a product of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). There are no CEQA police ensuring that mitigation measures or other aspects of CEQA are enforced – it is the PEOPLE that ensure that projects comply with CEQA. ... ” More from the Owens Valley Committee here: Owens Valley Committee – LORP Summit
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.