SB-23 | Caballero
Water supply and flood risk reduction projects: expedited permitting.
This bill would require a project proponent, if already required to submit a notification to the [Department of Fish and Wildlife], to submit to the department the certified or adopted environmental review document, as applicable, for the activity in the notification. The bill would require the department, under prescribed circumstances, to take certain actions within specified timelines, or within a mutually agreed-to extension of time. The bill would require, on or before January 1, 2025, and annually thereafter, the department to prepare, provide public notice of, make available for public review on its internet website, and submit to the relevant legislative committees, as specified, a report regarding the water supply projects and flood risk reduction projects for which final agreements have been issued pursuant to these provisions. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2029.
This bill would require the state board or regional boards to use specified approved conservation and habitat management plans as watershed plans for purposes of implementing the procedures in issuing a project certification, unless the state board or regional boards issuing a project certification determine in writing plans, as specified, unless the permitting authority makes a determination in writing, based on substantial evidence in the record, that an approved plan does not substantially meet the definition of a watershed plan, as defined. The bill would place requirements on the state board and regional boards regarding its determination on what is considered a watershed plan, including making a proposed written determination, and providing for public comment and a written response on that proposed determination. The bill would require, by January 1, 2025, the state board to review and take action on general water quality certifications for general nationwide permits issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under specified federal law within the state for discharge of dredge and fill material in connection with water supply projects and flood risk reduction projects. The bill would require the state board and regional boards, as part of their implementation of the “State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State,” to address the impacts of dredge and fill activities from water supply and flood risk projects. The bill would require, on January 1, 2025, and annually thereafter, the state board and regional boards to prepare, provide public notice of, make available for public review on its internet website, and submit to the relevant legislative committees, as specified, a report regarding specified information related to water supply projects and flood risk reduction projects.
This bill would require, if an applicant requests a preapplication consultation, the state board or regional boards to adhere to specified procedures and timelines in reviewing the application before issuing project certification. The bill would authorize a project proponent to petition the state board to reconsider its determination of application completeness, or to appeal to the state board any regional board’s determination of application completeness.