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This week’s featured articles …
WOTS Up? An Update Regarding Regulation of Waters of the State and Waters of the United States
Attorney Mary Lynn Coffee unpacks the new wetland regulations and Waters of the State rule, plus a look at the 2019 Waters of the US rule
On April 2, 2019, the State Water Board adopted new regulations requiring Water Boards to issue permits for discharges of dredged and fill material (meaning soil, sediment, or dirt) to Waters of the State (WOTS). Although sometimes portrayed in the media as a response to the Trump Administration’s rollback of provisions in the federal Clean Water Act, the process to adopt the new regulations actually began about 15 years ago. The newly-adopted regulations create a new statewide wetland definition that expands to features not previously covered under federal law and creates a new permitting program for activities that result in the discharge of dredge or fill materials to any Waters of the State.
The new policies are intended to conform with the State’s ‘no net loss’ policy for wetlands and to address the gap in federal regulation created by recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions. However, as water agencies look to meet future state goals of recharging groundwater, diversifying water supply portfolios, and ensuring protections of health and safety, many are concerned that a rigorous state permitting program could have unintended consequences.
At the recent Nossaman Land Use Seminar, attorney and partner Mary Lynn Coffee gave an overview of the new regulations.
PERSPECTIVES: Interview with Susan Tatayon, Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council
Ms. Tatayon discusses the role of the Delta Stewardship Council, her goals as chair, and the Delta Plan 5 year review
Susan Tatayon presides over the Delta Stewardship Council (Council), one of a trio of agencies responsible for stewardship of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). The Delta and its stressed environs serve as the major hub for California’s water management system.
Chair Tatayon, appointed to the Council by Govenor Jerry Brown in 2014, and reappointed in 2018, generously spared time on May 30, 2019 to talk with The Water Report about the Council, its roles and her goals for her term as Chair. She assumed the role of Chair beginning January 1, 2019 after serving three years as Vice-Chair. Her current term will expire February 2, 2022.
In water news this week from around the web …
WEEKEND DAILY DIGEST: 7 places that are sinking faster than anywhere else in the US; Oroville operations update for June 7; FERC Launches Inquiry into Salmon Stranding on Feather River; Invasive species threaten Calif. economy, ecology; CLEAN WATER ACT: WOTUS review stumps advisers: ‘The science isn’t right’; Big boost of water is headed to Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basins; On Stressed Colorado River, States Test How Many More Diversions Watershed Can Bear; and more … READ IT HERE: Weekend Daily Digest
MONDAY: California Budget Moves Toward Final Votes, Has Money for Drinking Water; Hatchery-Born Coho Salmon Are Helping Save the Species From Extinction in the Russian River; Lake Tahoe snowmelt will be massive and dangerous; Ventura’s water rates to remain at drought levels, staff recommends; Trump EPA releases blueprint for stemming Tijuana River pollution that routinely fouls San Diego beaches; Colorado exploring program to pay farmers for temporarily stopping their water use; and more … READ IT HERE: Monday’s Daily Digest
TUESDAY: A civil rights hero focuses on a new fight at the Capitol: clean drinking water; Effort seeks to curb wildfires’ impact on drinking water; Rim Fire tour provides striking view of California’s wildfire challenges; Radio show: Why Are so Many Gray Whales Washing up Dead in California?; As Water Scarcity Increases, Desalination Plants Are on the Rise; State and local governments seeking climate change ‘solutions’ have plenty of options; Heavy debris at Shasta Lake is raising concerns for visitors; Arizona plans for drought contingency plan impacts; and more … READ IT HERE: Tuesday’s Daily Digest
WEDNESDAY: High Heat Quickly Melting Away California’s Snowpack; Rare June heat wave grips San Francisco as triple-digit heat stifles West; California takes on an ocean of plastic waste, considers crackdown on industry; With floods and droughts increasing, communities take a new look at storing water underground; Dams Could Protect Ranchers From Climate Change’s Drought, But Could They Also Contribute To It?; Lake Powell is rising as much as 15 inches a day; and more … READ IT HERE: Wednesday’s Daily Digest
THURSDAY: The Water Marketplace; A Fight Between Humboldt Stakeholders Over the Klamath Dams is Impacting Environmental Protections Across the Country; Public can comment on draft abandoned vessel plan; Soil Sampling Work to Advance Data for Delta Conveyance; State budget to fund research into atmospheric rivers; Virtual Reality Helps Silicon Valley Clean Water Design Water Infrastructure; U.S. EPA and FEMA Enter into Agreement to Collaborate and Streamline Water Infrastructure and Recovery Projects After Disaster Events; Obama Water Regulations Criticized as Senate Backs Rule Change; and more … READ IT HERE: Thursday’s Daily Digest
FRIDAY: As Californians Save More Water, Their Sewers Get Less and That’s a Problem; House committee signs off on Garamendi’s Flood Insurance for Farmers Act; Hike, boat, swim, and fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California’s first National Heritage Area; EPA Issues Letter Rejecting Water Board Plan Submission; California Just Passed A $215 Billion Budget. Here’s What’s Between The Lines; Earth’s Freshwater Future: Extremes of Flood and Drought; How Scientists Use the Color of the Ocean to Determine the Impacts of Climate Change; Security: ‘Most dangerous’ hackers targeting U.S. utilities — report; and more … READ IT HERE: Friday’s Daily Digest
News worth noting this week …
- NEWS WORTH NOTING: State agencies seek input on creating climate-resilient water system; Updated Folsom Water Control Manual signed by USACE, Reclamation; Public agencies ordered to investigate discharges of human waste into Lower San Diego River
- NEWS WORTH NOTING: AG Becerra blasts EPA for failure to address dangerous chemicals in groundwater; Metropolitan helps California prepare for climate change; GAO report: Climate change: Opportunities to reduce federal fiscal exposure
- NEWS WORTH NOTING: Reclamation, DWR take steps to improve habitat for endangered salmon at the Yolo Bypass; Sierra Nevada Conservancy awards $3M+ for restoration projects; Attorney General Becerra denounces EPA actions to allow indirect water pollution; EPA Issues guidance on 401 certification
Weekly features …
- JUNE WEBINARS: Earthquake threats and resilience tools; Protecting public health with open water quality data; Developing conceptual models for IWRM; Consequences of groundwater sustainability; Bulletin 74 well standards update
- RESERVOIR AND WATER CONDITIONS for June 10
- BLOG ROUND-UP: SB1, Leaders With Vision; Fostering Sustainability in the San Joaquin Valley; SGMA and Dairies; All water is local. Sort of.; and more …
- SCIENCE NEWS: Comparing restored vs. historic salt marshes; Habitat restoration isn’t just for professionals; NASA explores our changing freshwater world; Water cycle diagrams give a false sense of water security; and more …
Announcements this week …
- NOW AVAILABLE: LIDAR Data for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh
- WILDFIRE PREP FOR WATER PROVIDERS: Increased Resilience in the face of Wildfires and Public Safety Power Shut-Off
- WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~Resilience Portfolio~ Summer Conference~ SGMA Resources~ Utilizing Stormwater~ Guidebook Workgroup~ Water Webinar ~~
- DELTA eNEWS: ~~ County Fair~ Summer Fest~ Sidewalk Saturday~ DCP Meeting~ Yolo Salmon~ Delta Environments~ Ecosystem Restoration ~~
- PUBLIC MEETING: Agricultural Water Management Plan Guidebook Workgroup
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