Friday, March 16, 2012

State Senate Committee Holds Informational Hearing On Delta Plan and Bay-Delta Conservation Plan

The State Senate’s Committee on Natural Resources and Water held an informational hearing regarding the Delta Plan and Bay-Delta Conservation Plan on March 13, 2012. A video of the hearing, along with related written materials, is available here.

The Delta Plan is a mandate of SBX7-1 of California's landmark 2009 water legislation, which requires that the Delta Stewardship Council develop, adopt and carry out a comprehensive long-term management plan for the Delta. The Delta Plan must include measures that promote: (1) viable populations of aquatic and terrestrial species; (2) functional corridors for migratory species; (3) diverse habitats; (4) reduced threats; (5) more reliable water supplies; (6) improved water quality; and (7) the economic vitality of the State. It must also include recommendations promoting statewide water conservation, options for new and improved infrastructure relating to water conveyance in the Delta, and in-Delta disaster and risk reduction considerations. The most recent version of the Delta Plan is the Fifth Staff Draft, which is available here. The Sixth Staff Draft of the Delta Plan is scheduled to be released in mid to late April. The draft Environmental Impact Report for the Delta Plan is available here.

The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan is a conservation plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and is being developed pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act and California Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act. The BDCP is intended to help meet California’s co-equal goals for Delta management: water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration.  The public draft BDCP will include a set of actions to redesign and re-operate state and federal water projects in the Delta; restore native fish, wildlife, and plant habitat; and address other ecological stressors in the Delta such as invasive plant species, barriers to fish migration, and predation of native fish. As a conservation plan, the BDCP is subject to environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act. A preliminary draft of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, including those portions recently released on February 29, 2012, is available here. A preliminary draft of the Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the BDCP, including those portions recently released on February 29, 2012, is available here.

For more information regarding this matter, please contact Elizabeth Leeper or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.

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