CSAC Bulletin Article

Executive Order Supporting Emergency Flood Repair Projects Will Expire—Administration Confirms

October 26, 2023

Despite efforts from many county representatives, Executive Order (EO) N-10-23 is confirmed to expire on November 1, 2023 without an extension.

The Governor’s EO, issued August 4, 2023, suspended activities to reduce ongoing and emergency flood risk due to damage from the 2022-23 winter storms on the San Joaquin River, Tulare Lake Basin, Salinas and Pajaro Rivers, and other coastal streams south of the Ventura River. Suspensions additionally included certain lake and streambed alteration projects, water quality permitting, CEQA and waste discharge permits. CSAC, along with many other county and local agency representatives, sought an extension of this EO through at least December 1, 2023 to allow current projects to finalize.

This year’s floods brought unprecedented damage throughout California’s counties. Many disadvantaged communities were impacted by flooding and overflows. The Governor’s Executive Order was crucial to address the urgency of damage to levees and flood infrastructure. Counties continue to need expedited repairs to protect communities and assess impacts.

Counties are working diligently to fix levee breaches and clear sediment and are working to increase speed and efficiency for the completion of their projects. An extension of the Executive Order would have provided local governments with additional time to assess the overall impacts to their communities and provide relief to their public agencies.

As of November 1, 2023, counties in mid-project will need to apply to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for an emergency exemption under Fish and Game Code Section 1610 (a)(i), and with the local water quality control board for general permitting, along with any other emergency permits. The State Water Quality Control Board, Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Office of Emergency Service plan to create websites to help guide local governments as they seek new permits to finalize their important public safety work. CSAC will forward these websites when they are launched. For more information, please contact Catherine Freeman, Senior Legislative Advocate, at cfreeman@counties.org.

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