Part 2 of the Cal Water Fix hearing at the State Water Board opened Thursday morning with the hearing officers considering NRDC’s motion which, by this time, had been joined by numerous entities also protesting the Delta tunnels project. (There were also two other motions that were not directly addressed.)
First, DWR Director Karla Nemeth began by reading a policy statement, essentially saying DWR is not altering it’s application and is still seeking approval for 3 intakes and 2 tunnels. Next, Doug Obegi from the NRDC and all others joining with NRDC’s motion to continue or stay the proceedings spoke in support of the motion, arguing that the phasing is a significant change in operations and that time is needed to evaluate the modeling data that was just submitted by DWR.
The hearing officers then retired to a back room to discuss next steps, returning 7 minutes later, asking DWR to submit the Department’s written response to the motion along with Ms. Nemeth’s policy statement by 5pm on Friday; protestants have until Monday at 5pm Tuesday by noon to submit their response to the Department’s response. The hearing officers also announced all hearings through the end of next week were canceled.
Afterwards, the hearing officers did listen to policy statements for Part 2.
So stay tuned, folks. The State Water Board will likely issue a ruling sometime next week after everyone’s responses have been received. I’ll keep you posted!