Dear CEQA Works members:
Long time no talk. As I’m sure most if not all of you are aware, Governor Brown today made his drought emergency declaration. While there are many positive aspects of the declaration – raising awareness of the drought, added pressure for reduced water usage, release of funds to address the drought, etc. – there are also some significant concerns with the announcement, including the suspension of some water quality laws and CEQA (see # 5 of his declaration) to allow for more water transfers. We are working to assess what this could mean and develop a gameplan to address. Before this announcement, I was planning to send out a CEQA Works update next week highlighting various CEQA-related bills (not many thankfully) and other rumblings from the Capitol, but wanted to give everyone an early heads-up with the drought declaration. I will send a more detailed CEQA update next week (including our thoughts on the drought declaration), and plan to set a call in February. Thanks all!
Note: – the CEQA section is order #9 in the Governor’s drought declaration (though #5 also raises concerns with consolidating the Federal Central Valley Project with the State Water Project, which presumably would be done without CEQA per order #9).