New Executive Order Heralds Reorientation of State’s Species Protection and Water Management Policies

On April 29, 2019, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-10-19 (EO) directing the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Finance (collectively, the agencies), to prepare a 21st century water resilience portfolio to meet the needs of California’s communities, economy and environment in the face of water supply uncertainty, climate change and the state’s growing population.  The EO’s sweeping directive requires the agencies to reassess the 2016 California Water Action Plan priorities and develop regionally- and resource- integrated solutions to achieve the Executive’s goals.

Among other programmatic developments, the EO formally sets in motion the redirection of the State’s policies and actions relating to the protection of the Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) and other special status species.  In particular, the EO directs state agencies to assess the modernization of the Bay Delta water conveyance system with a single tunnel, rather than the previously proposed twin tunnel system.  In the days following the issuance of the EO, the California Department of Water Resources withdrew its approvals related to the twin tunnel system in order to commence environmental review and planning for the smaller conveyance system ordered by Governor Newsom.

  • Liz  Klebaner

    Liz Klebaner advises private and public agency clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters, including California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, California Coastal Act ...

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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