Federal and State Officials Propose Modifications to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's Memorandum of Agreement

Federal and state officials have issued proposed changes to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s (BDCP) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to address public comments concerning the language of the MOA and the need for meaningful public involvement in the BDCP process.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) issued the draft MOA on September 6, 2011 and requested public comments (pdf) by November 16, 2011. The MOA is intended to replace in its entirety an earlier memorandum of agreement that was executed in March 2009.

In response to comments received from the public, federal, and state agencies issued a revised version of the MOA (pdf), comprehensive responses (pdf) to the comments, and a summary (pdf) of the comments. Revisions to the MOA included clarifying that the BDCP will address both water supply and environmental conditions, revising the BDCP schedule, and further clarifying the role of consultants in the BDCP process.

The MOA establishes a joint process for development of the BDCP among Reclamation, DWR, and certain California public water agencies that export water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The MOA, titled the "First Amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Regarding Collaboration on the Planning, Preliminary Design and Environmental Compliance for the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program in Connection with the Development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, is intended to enable a timely analysis of conservation and water supply measures developed in the BDCP.

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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