Northern California House Members Introduce Bill to Raise a Hurdle to Bay Delta Conservation Plan
Posted in Legislation

Recently, House Representatives John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton, CA), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento, CA), George Miller (D-Martinez, CA), and Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena, CA) introduced H.R. 6484 (pdf), a bill entitled the SAFE Levee Act. The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide assistance to local interests for levee stability improvements within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and require the Secretary of the Interior to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of water conveyance options being considered in the Bay Delta Conservation Planning process.

Efforts to reinforce Delta levees can draw wide support, as this article on the Coalition to Support Near Term Delta Projects suggests (Sacramento Bee, Oct. 16, 2012, by Matt Weiser).  At the same time, levee reinforcement and expansion has the potential to undermine efforts to halt and reverse the destruction of tidal and floodplain areas within the Delta that provide habitat for multiple, at-risk, native species.  Both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been sued in recent years by parties concerned that their levee and floodplain policies harm at-risk, native species including species listed under the Endangered Species Act.  We reported on the legal actions here and here.

While the sponsors emphasize the provisions of the bill that support levee stability improvements in the Delta, the cost-benefit requirement it would impose with respect to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan water conveyance alternatives is designed to add an additional hurdle to an already complicated regulatory process.  All of the co-sponsors of the bill have spoken out publicly against the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, as this July 25, 2012, press release, entitled "California Representatives Condemn the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, demonstrates.

 

  • Partner

    Paul Weiland is chair of Nossaman’s Environment & Land Use Group.  He focuses his practice on litigation, permitting, and compliance counseling.  Paul’s clients include public agencies, publicly regulated utilities, private ...

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.

Stay Connected

RSS RSS Feed

Categories

Archives

View All Nossaman Blogs
Jump to Page

We use cookies on this website to improve functionality, enhance performance, analyze website traffic and to enable social media features.  To learn more, please see our Privacy Policy and our Terms & Conditions for additional detail.