CSAC Remains Opposed to CESA Permit Fees
Joint Letter Sent to Legislature
CSAC remains in opposition to the Administration’s Budget Trailer Bill that would establish of a new fee to cover costs associated with processing California Endangered Species Act (CESA) incidental take permits. These permits are required for projects that might result in the “take” of an endangered or threatened species, and are processed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).
This week, CSAC and the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) submitted to the Budget Conference Committee and all Senators and Assembly Members, a joint letter expressing county oppositionto the proposed fees. CSAC and RCRC believe that the fees are excessive and could result in counties having to defer important public projects due to cost issues.
The fee proposed is on sliding scale related to cost of the project and is proposed at $7,500 for projects of less than $100k and $30,000 for projects over $500k. Additional fees of $10,000 can be required if needed and permit modifications can be up to $15,000. The fees could be imposed on a wide range of county projects including flood control, road and bridge work and water management activities.
The impact on local flood protection projects for people and property remain of particular concern. We also noted concern with the potential impact of these fees on rural counties, many of which have among the highest unemployment rates and lowest countywide median household incomes in the State. We will continue to keep counties apprised of its status.