NEWS WORTH NOTING: New PPIC fact sheet on groundwater; EPA and the Army Corps begin revision of the WOTUS rule; State grants final water use permit to Sterling Natural Resource Center

New PPIC fact sheet on groundwater

From the PPIC:

Many groundwater basins are being used unsustainably. Reforms are underway, but results will take time.

This fact sheet summarizes California’s groundwater supply issues—from water quality problems to better management practices.

Click here to read the fact sheet.

EPA and the Army Corps begin revision of the WOTUS rule

From Somach Simmons & Dunn:

On February 28, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to review the Obama Administration’s Clean Water Rule, known as the WOTUS rule, which stands for Waters of the United States.  Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), a person must acquire a permit to dredge and fill within “waters of the United States,” which includes wetlands.  President Trump’s Executive Order directs the EPA and the Corps to consider interpreting the term “waters of the United States” as the late Justice Antonin Scalia did in the United States Supreme Court’s plurality opinion Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 751 (2006) (Rapanos).  There, Justice Scalia interpreted the CWA to include jurisdiction over more permanent water bodies and wetlands that have a continuous surface water connection to those more permanent water bodies.

In contrast, the Obama Administration’s formulation of the WOTUS rule adopted Justice Anthony Kennedy’s interpretation from Rapanos, which defined the CWA’s jurisdiction to include water bodies and wetlands that have a “significant nexus” with those water bodies.  The current WOTUS rule was challenged in court and is currently subject to a stay while the Supreme Court considers a different jurisdictional issue. The Trump Administration is motivated to replace the current WOTUS rule before the end of 2017 because once the Supreme Court decides the jurisdictional issue, it could call into question the stay and potentially cause the current WOTUS rule to go into effect. …

Continue reading at Somach Simmons and Dunn here:  EPA and the Army Corps begin revision of the WOTUS rule

State grants final water use permit to Sterling Natural Resource Center

Wastewater Treatment Facility Meets State Water Use Guidelines, Opens Door to State Funding

The State Water Resources Control Board recently awarded the Sterling Natural Resource Center with a crucial permit necessary for advancing its start-of-the-art recycled water facility. The State Board issued its decision to authorize a 1211 permit to allow up to 10 million gallons of recycled water daily to recharge the Bunker Hill Basin. The decision grants the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District) the authority to recycle water generated by East Valley Water District customers, treat it and recharge it into local aquifers for use in future years.

“The issuance of this permit was a critical milestone for the Sterling Natural Resource Center to move forward,” said Valley District Board President Susan Longville. “This project is just one part of our efforts throughout the San Bernardino Valley to help create new sources of water that will serve our local communities especially in times of extended drought like the one we just experienced.”

East Valley Water District Board Chairman Ron Coats said the project offers many added benefits to the community, including hundreds of temporary construction jobs. The project will also indirectly initiate nearly 1,400 jobs in and around the community, and offers training and educational opportunities to local students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies.

“In addition to the Sterling Natural Resource Center providing recycled water, we have a unique opportunity to take it a step further,” Coats said. “We will be able to use a public resource to engage and serve the community in a much-needed way.”

The 1211 permit approval is just one of many milestones the SNRC is celebrating. Recently, SNRC also received its Section 7 authorization, a positive determination of the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Army Corp of Engineers. The Section 7 authorization combined with the 1211 permit confirms that the project meets all requirements to qualify for state loans and grants. Once a formal funding agreement is in place, SNRC will select a design-build firm and move forward with the design process.

The SNRC, a Valley District project in cooperation with East Valley Water District, will recharge the local groundwater basin. Once built, the facility will provide a new water source for the Inland Empire region, will help to boost water reliability and create new habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker.

About Sterling Natural Resource Center

The Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) is a state-of-the-art facility in Highland, California, that will provide a sustainable new water supply to boost the region’s water independence. Capable of treating up to 10 million gallons a day, the SNRC recharges the local Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin and creates new opportunities for the surrounding community in the form of education and training, community space, neighborhood improvements, and new habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker fish. Located on North Del Rosa Drive between East Fifth and East Sixth Streets, the SNRC is a project of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and treats wastewater generated within East Valley Water District’s service area. For more information visit www.sterlingnrc.com and follow the project on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .

About San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District) was formed in 1954 to import supplemental water. As a regional water provider, they bring water into its service area through participation in the State Water Project (SWP) and manage groundwater storage within its boundaries. Valley District covers 353 square miles in southwestern San Bernardino County and serves a population of approximately 770,000. The District boundary spans the eastern two-thirds of the San Bernardino Valley, and the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands, Rialto, Bloomington, Highland, Mentone, Grand Terrace, and Yucaipa. For more visit www.sbvmwd.com .

About East Valley Water District
East Valley Water District was formed in 1954 and provides water and wastewater collection services to more than 100,000 residents within the City of Highland and portions of both the City and County of San Bernardino. EVWD operates under the direction of a five-member elected Board. More information is available at www.eastvalley.org .

 

 

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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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