10,000 Pages of Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan Planning Documents Released for Public Review and Comment

On February 29, 2012, the California Natural Resources Agency released approximately 10,000 pages of "preliminary" draft planning documents relating to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) for public review and comment.  The documents fall into two categories: Draft BDCP documents, and Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) documents (see the list below for details).

The BDCP is being developed in compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the California Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act (NCCPA) to provide the basis for the issuance of endangered species permits for the operation of the state and federal water projects over the next 50 years.

The documents are not being released as part of the formal public comment on the BDCP or the BDCP EIR/EIS, but rather as part of an ongoing effort to include stakeholders and communities in the BDCP planning process.  Drafts of the BDCP Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Communities Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP) and the EIR/EIS are anticipated to be released for formal public comment this summer.

According to the Resource Agency, on February 29, 2012, it released the following preliminary drafts of the following for public consideration and (informal) comment:

BDCP Chapters and Effects Analysis (DRAFT)

  • Chapter 3 – Conservation Strategy
  • Chapter 5 – Effects Analysis
  • Chapter 8 – Implementation Costs and Funding Sources
  • Effects Analysis - Technical Appendix (Construction Effects on Covered Fish)

BDCP EIR/EIS Chapters (DRAFT)

  • Chapter 5 - Water Supply
  • Chapter 6 - Surface Water
  • Chapter 7 - Ground Water
  • Chapter 8 - Water Quality
  • Chapter 11 - Fish and Aquatic Resources
  • Chapter 12 - Terrestrial Resources
  • Chapter 16 - Socioeconomics
  • Chapter 25 - Public Health
  • Chapter 28 - Environmental Justice
  • Chapter 31 - Other CEQA/NEPA Required Sections
  • Chapter 32 - Public Involvement, Consultation, and Coordination
  • Chapter 33 - List of Preparers
  • Chapter 34 - References
  • Chapter 35 - Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Chapter 36 - Glossary and Index
  • Executive Summary

However, according to the "library" link on its website, it appears preliminary drafts of the following BDCP documents have also been released on February 29th:

  • Chapter 1 - Introduction
  • Appendix 1.A - Evaluation of Species Considered for Coverage
  • Chapter 2 - Existing Ecological Conditions
  • Appendix 2.C - Climate Change Implications and Assumptions
  • Appendix 2.B Vernal Pool Complex Mapping for the BDCP
  • Appendix 2.A - Covered Species Accounts 2-29-12 02/29/2012 28.33 MB
  • Appendix 3.C - Avoidance and Minimization Measures
  • Appendix 3.A - Background on the Process of Developing the BDCP Conservation Measures
  • Appendix 3.D - Natural Community and Covered Species Habitat Existing Condition - Acreages by Conservation Zone
  • Chapter 3.1 and 3.2 - Conservation Strategy
  • Chapter 3.3 - Conservation Strategy - Biological Goals and Objectives
  • Chapter 3.4 and 3.5 - Conservation Strategy - Conservation Measures and Important Regional Actions
  • Chapter 3.6 - Conservation Strategy - Adaptive Management and Monitoring Program
  • Chapter 4 - Covered Activities and Associated Federal Actions
  • Appendix 5.F - Biological Stressors on Covered Fish
  • Appendix 5.K - Effects on Natural Communities, Wildlife, and Plants
  • Appendix 5.J - Scenario 6 Comparison
  • Appendix 5.I - Other Federal Regulatory Analyses
  • Appendix 5.H - Aquatic Construction Effects
  • Chapter 5 - Effects Analysis
  • Chapter 6 - Plan Implementation
  • Chapter 7 - Implementation Structure
  • Chapter 8 - Implementation Costs and Funding Sources
  • Appendix 8.A - Implementation Costs Supporting Materials
  • Chapter 9 - Alternatives to Take
  • Chapter 10 - Integration of Independent Science in BDCP Development

Thus, those interested in reviewing or commenting on the BDCP, the technical reports and appendices, and/or the preliminary draft EIR/EIS should visit the BDCP website for the latest publicly available drafts.

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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