Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
SRA Fire Safe Regulations
At their regularly scheduled meeting on March 4, 2015, the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection held a hearing regarding an additional 15 Day Notice for the 1270 SRA Fire Safe Regulations. The Board adopted the regulations with several changes. Changes made pertained to driveways, ensuring the adequate space necessary for traffic lane and emergency vehicle clearance. The Board also adopted an implementation date of January 1, 2016 for this set of rules. The rule package will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law shortly and you can expect to find the final adopted rule text, final statement of reasons, and other information available on the Board’s website in 6-8 weeks. For more information, visit the Board of Forestry website.
Groundwater Sustainability Program Strategic Plan
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released their Groundwater Sustainability Program Strategic Plan this week. The plan describes DWR’s roles and responsibilities under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and outlines related actions from the California Water Action Plan. DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are the two State agencies charged with helping to implement recent groundwater legislation. DWR’s principal role is to provide guidance and support to local agencies across California to help them achieve a more sustainable future in water management. Several actions must be completed by specific dates set forth in the SGMA to accomplish this. CSAC remains engaged on the groundwater legislation, working to ensure its effective implementation. To view the plan, visitDWR’s website.
Water Board to Consider Drought Emergency Regulation
On Thursday, March 12, the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) issued a notice of a proposed emergency rulemaking which would update a 2014 emergency regulation concerning the diversions of water. Specifically, the 2014 regulation provided the Water Board with a more streamlined process to curtail diversions of water to prevent unreasonable diversion or use of water when water is not available under the diverter’s priority of right and to require reporting relative to the curtailments. According to the March 12 notice, the proposed updates would provide the Water Board “…with a more enforceable mechanism to investigate drought-related water right matters, including (1) complaints of interference with water rights by other water right holders, diverters or users; (2) claims of previously unasserted riparian or pre-1914 right in response to curtailment notices or investigations; (3) claims of a right to divert under a contract or water transfer not previously approved by or filed with the Board; and (4) receipt of information that indicates actual or threatened waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of diversion, or unlawful diversions.” The notice indicates that the adoption of the proposed emergency regulation is necessary to address the on-going drought emergency.
Details regarding the emergency rulemaking are available the Water Board website. The Water Board is scheduled to consider this item at its March 17, 2015 meeting.