CALENDAR ALERTS


March 7 – Deadline to comment on DSC amendments to Admin. Procedures governing appeals







​​​COVID-19 ALERTS



  • Governor Allows Public Meeting Changes - In order to comply with social distancing directives, the Governor issued an Executive Order providing Brown Act flexibility for public agencies to comply with social distancing guidelines by allowing public meetings to take place electronically with board members participating remotely through teleconferencing.
  • Water Board Operating Procedures - On March 20th, the Regional and State Water Resources Control Board issued guidance on complying with regulatory and permitting requirements during the COVID-19 Emergency.  Due to water boards' role in protecting health, safety, and the environment, these agencies are considered essential services.​



LEGAL MATTERS

  • Court Dumps Trump's Clean Water Act Rules - In late October 2021, a U.S. District Court vacated the Certification Rule for the Clean Water Act Section 402 adopted by the Trump Administration in 2020.  As a result, the Section 401 Rules will revert to the prior policies in place since 1971.
  • New Undersecretary Appointed to Natural Resources Agency - Governor Newsom announced the appointment of Saul Gomez as the undersecretary for the Natural Resources Agency to replace the departure of Angela Barranco. He has extensive experience working in state government, including the Public Utilities Commission, Energy Commission, Office of Governor Jerry Brown, and in the State Legislature.


LEGISLATIVE ISSUES



  • Governor Releases FY 2022-23 State Budget - Like last year, the proposed budget focuses on investing in climate resiliency with a $5.2 billion expenditure. An additional $750 million investment is also proposed for water conservation, drought relief, protection of fish and wildlife, and groundwater sustainability. The Governor proposes tackling five issues in his new budget, which he calls The California Blueprint with a fact sheet on addressing the climate crisis. The Legislative Analyst Office also released a report providing an overview of the Governor’s proposed FY 2022-23 State Budget.
  • Changes in Assembly Committee Chairs - Due to the resignation of another Assemblymember who chaired the Appropriations Committee, a domino effect of changes to several other committees. Of note for the Association is Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Walnut Creek) has been named as the new Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. A Bay Area native and attorney that previously focused on environmental enforcement and advocacy.
  • Delta Assemblyman Resigns - Assemblyman Jim Frazier, a Democrat representing the western Delta, surprised everyone on December 1, 2021 when he announced he was resigning from the Legislature, effective at the end of the year. 
  • Congress Appropriates Infrastructure Funding - On November 5, 2021, Congress approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in a bipartisan vote.  This scaled back bill, necessary to secure the 50 votes needed in the U.S. Senate, included reductions in funding to FEMA for improving flood maps and for providing subsidies to low-income for NFIP flood insurance. Governor Newsom released a statement identifying how much the State expects to receive.  The USACE will also receive funding to conduct 100 feasibility studies nationwide.
  • Local Congressman Appointed to Key Resource and Infrastructure Subcommittee - U.S. Representative John Garamendi (D-Davis) was selected by his colleagues to serve on four key subcommittees that deal with helping communities be more resilient to natural disasters, including the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee which deals with water development, infrastructure, and conservation.
  • California Senator to Chair Key Appropriations Committee - Senator Dianne Feinstein announced she is the new chair of the Senate Appropriations  Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development with jurisdiction over funding levees for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and other federal agencies.



DELTA ISSUES


  • Update on Yolo Bypass Modification Project - DWR provided an update to the CA Water Commission in January 2022 on construction starting in May on the Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project ("Big Notch"), with the real estate acquisition process continuing through 2023. The preferred alternative sets the peak flow at 6,000 cfs and reduced to 1,000 to 300 cfs after March 15th.  The infrastructure will include a lowered intake channel to the Sacramento River with a three-gate headwork structure. The inundation of a portion of the Yolo Bypass will occur more frequently and duration will last two weeks longer.
  • Delta Conveyance Project Webinars - DWR held a series of webinars to provide background information on the preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Delta Conveyance Project to expand water export water facilities. The webinars covered operations of the SWP and new DCP facilities, environmental justice, and climate change.  
  • Nutria Eradication Program Makes Progress - The Department of Fish and Wildlife provided an update on the progress of the Nutria Eradication Program. Since March 2018, the efforts to eradicate this invasive species includes assessing over 1.5 million acres, executed entry permits with 4,000 landowners, set up over 5,000 camera stations, confirmed nutria in over 500 locations, deployed over 650 traps, and accounted for the take of nearly 3,000 nutria. The majority were found in Merced and Stanislaus Counties, but 110 were also found in San Joaquin. The good news is that the number of Nutria taken each year declined in 2021, so CDFW hopes the trend will continue.
  • Another Restoration Project to Restore Fish in Yolo Bypass - A new project to improve floodplain habitat in the Yolo Bypass is being proposed by RD 2035 and the Conaway Preservation Group to increase inundation on 5,775 acres next to the Tule Canal. The project proponents are seeking $3.6 million to conduct an analysis and project selection permitting process that would identify a preferred project for construction.
  • Reform of DSC’s Appeal Process for Project Denials Announced - A Notice of intent to amend the Administrative Procedures that govern how the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) conducts hearings and renders decisions on appeals of projects in the Delta that if found inconsistent with the Delta Plan, can be denied certification and remanded to project proponent for modification before construction can begin. 
  • DWR Amends 404 Permit for Delta Tunnel Project - On November 22, 2021, the Dept. of Water Resources submitted a letter to the USACE requesting to amend the 404 Permit for the Delta Conveyance Project to formally identify the "Bethany Alternative" as the preferred project that will be proposed in the Draft EIR expected to be released in mid-2022.
  • Delta Drought Barrier Not Being Removed as Planned - DWR is seeking approval to notch the West False River Drought Barrier in January and to leave the barrier in place through November 2022.  Criteria for determining when drought barriers are no longer needed has been developed by DWR.  If 73 inches of precipitation on the 8-River Index and 6.5 million acre-feet of combined water storage in Oroville and Shasta have been met by April 30, 2022, then the Miner and Steamboat Slough barriers will not be installed and False River barrier will be removed.
  • New Flood Ready Website Launched - In conjunction with Flood Preparedness Week, the Delta Protection Commission launched a new flood ready website with tips for the Delta region on being prepared for the next flood event and resources the residents can access.
  • Levees Near Oakley Breached to Restore Wetland - As part of a DWR EcoRestore habitat project to restore 1,200 acres of tidal marsh, the levees surrounding the proper were breached to allow natural tidal flux to occur. The next step in the Dutch Slough Tidal Restoration Project is for access bridges and a 55-acre park to be installed.


3050 Beacon Blvd., Suite 203

West Sacramento, CA, 95691

(916) 446-0197

Melinda Terry, Executive Director



FLOOD CONTROL PROJECTS

  • District Completes 2017 Levee Storm Damage Repairs - The Sacramento River West Side Levee District announced that levee repairs on four sites that were damaged in early 2017 storm events have been completed. The repairs, costing $31 million, were fully funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under its PL 84-99 levee rehabilitation program. Construction included installation of approximately 3,800 feet of landside seepage berms and a new 2,000-foot setback levee that addresses seepage and reconnects a portion of the historical floodplain to the river with opportunities for ecosystem restoration.


LATEST NEWS


  • Retrospective Look at the ’97 Flood - KCRA3 released a Special Report with an 18-minute video looking back at the 1997 Pineapple Express flood event that caused extensive flooding in the Sacramento Valley.  It includes news footage of breached levees, open water areas that looked like lakes, and people on rooftops waiting to be rescued. The Special Report also has interviews with DWR staff.  The Modesto Bee also reflected on the flooding in Modesto in 1997, and contemplated whether it could happen again this year.
  • Update of the CVFPP Conservation Plan Released As part of the 2022 update of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP), the Conservation Plan is also being updated and has been released for public review and comment. The update includes targets to improve habitats in the flood system and guidance for developing multi-benefit flood infrastructure improvement projects. The deadline to comment is February 10, 2022 by filling out form on the flood board’s website.
  • U.S. EPA Issues Q&A on Section 401 Court Ruling - On October 21, 2021 a U.S. District Court remanded with vacatur the 2020 Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule adopted during the Trump Administration. In response, on December 17, 2021 EPA released a Q&A document to clarify which regulations now govern the Section 401 certification process and when a new rule will be proposed by EPA.
  • Progress on Efforts to Eradicate Nutria - After several years of the growth of the Nutria population in the Central Valley, the CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife have reported less numbers being captured. However, biologists still anticipate it will take years to successfully eradicate this destructive invasive species. 
  • Hamilton City Flood Project Completed - After 22 years of planning, designing, and lobbying, RD 2140 proudly announced completion of a 6.8-mile setback levee. The project also includes a riparia restoration component with native vegetation to provide critical species habitat.
  • Changes to Dredge & Fill - On April 6, 2021 the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a resolution to give it policy-making authority over Procedures to waters of the State via Water Code 13140 rather than the water quality control planning process.   Many stakeholders have expressed concern that the water board has exceeded its authority when it comes to the State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to the Waters of the State (Procedures).
  • Beneficial Reuse of Channel Sediment is Studied - The USEPA funded a study to analyze whether sediment removed from flood control channels can be beneficially reused for restoration.  The study outlines beneficial reuse challenges for channel sediment, and identifying incentives for participation and potential solutions
  • Appeals Filed on Lookout Slough Habitat Project - Four appeals of the certification of consistency with the Delta Plan for the Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration and Flood Improvement Project were filed with the Delta Stewardship Council on March 24, 2021 by Reclamation Districts 2060 and 2068, Solano County Water Agency, Central Delta Water Agency, and Liberty Island Access.  The Council is required to schedule an appeal hearing withing 60 days.
  • DWR Proposes Delta Community Benefits Program - To address the significant social and economic impacts anticipated from the large water supply infrastructure facilities proposed by DWR, the department is developing a Community Benefits Program as art of its Delta Conveyance Project.  The intent is to acknowledge the adverse impacts from DCP construction activities and identify local projects to benefit the affected communities beyond the mitigation measures required under CEQA.  Three public workshops have been scheduled on April 14, May 6, and May 25th to receive input and ideas for projects (REGISTATION REQUIRED).
  • More Frequent and Severe Atmospheric Rivers Equal Increased Damage and Costs - An article summarizes research conducted using a catalog of atmospheric river events compiled by Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes that were matched to over 40 years of flood insurance records and 20 years of National Weather Service damage estimates.  Their research warns that atmospheric rivers are projected to grow longer, wider, and wetter in a warming climate. 
  • Board Update of Title 23 Regulations - A multi-year effort to update the CVFPB's Title 23 regulations is nearing final approval and implementation. In November the Board submitted a rulemaking package to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review. The Board held a public workshop on February 12, 2021 to discuss the changes in definitions and technical standards. A final regulatory package will be presented to the Board for their approval at either its February 26 or March meeting, with implementation to follow. 
  • Delta Climate Resilience Report - The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) released a draft report, Delta Adapts for public comment that will ultimately guide the adoption of new climate policies in the Delta Plan, including development of a revised Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS).
  • CCVFCA Board Member Accomplishments Recognized - The San Joaquin Engineers Council awarded the 2021 Engineer of the Year award to Christopher H. Neudeck, P.E. for his outstanding service to the engineering profession and the community.  A CCVFCA board member, Neudeck is Vice President at Kjeldsen, Sinnock and Neudeck, Inc., and a recognized authority on water resources and flood control in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  
  • PL 84-99 Workshop - In early August 2020, the USACE held a public workshop on PL 84-99 and subsequently provided the slide presentation and Q&A.
  • CVFPP Focused on Reducing Flood Risk - According to a new nationwide flood modeling tool, the risk of flooding is significantly underestimated and warns that many areas in the country are unprepared in terms of flood planning, public safety policies, and legislative funding.  Fortunately, California has been more progressive and aggressive in its flood risk reduction efforts with the implementation of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.  Progress continues since first being adopted.  At the May Coordinating Committee, DWR gave a presentation on the 2022 update of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, including an overview of new data inputs and methodology for calculating risk analysis.
  • Flood Board Evaluates Establishment of SSJDD Property Assessment - At its April 24th meeting, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board received a briefing from consultants on the process to develop a feasibility study to evaluate the potential of re-instating a dormant property tax authorized in existing law for the Sacramento San Joaquin Drainage District (SSJDD). At the CVFPB virtual workshop in May, the board discussed an extensive list of potential services the new assessment could fund.  Consultants are currently engaging in outreach efforts to receive input from stakeholders on types of services locals are interested in.
  • Flood Board Approves Early 408 Review of Delta Conveyance Project - At the request of DWR, the CVFPB scheduled approval of a Statement of No Objection letter for the Delta Conveyance Project on its March consent calendar.  Approval of this letter would initiate early 408 review by the USACE on the SWP export tunnel project.  Early coordination with the USACE on large, complex, and significant alterations to the SPFC is preferable to ensure alterations of the federally authorized Civil Works are not injurious to the public interest or impair the usefulness of the federally-authorized project.  However, many Delta stakeholders, including CCVFCA, raised concerns that it was too early to start review of a project still at a 10% conceptual level of design after 14 years of planning and without an EIR available for public review.   The flood board ended up pulling the item from consent; and after public discussion decided to delay action until a later date.  CCVFCA and other stakeholders submitted additional letters when the flood board scheduled the matter for reconsideration at its May meeting.  After first receiving presentations related to questions raised in stakeholder letters, the board approved a new draft of a Statement of No Objection letter, but committed to provide regular updates on the 408 process at its public meetings.
  • Early 408 Review of Fremont Weir "Big Notch" Approved by CVFPB - At its May meeting, the flood board also approved a Statement of No Objection letter to allow early 408 review by USACE of a DWR project to notch the Fremont Weir and install an operable diversion gate to allow more frequent inundation of the Yolo Bypass to create food production for juvenile salmon.
  • Drones Are New High-Tech Tool for Flood Managers Staff with the Sacramento District of the USACE has completed training to pilot a new Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).  Weighing less than six pounds, the drone can fly up to 26 miles per hour for up to 45 minutes, making it capable of covering approximately 124 miles.
  • Homeless Camps Damaging Levees - The levees protecting residents and businesses in Natomas are being compromised by trenches being dug into them by the homeless building multi-unit tent encampments.  These temporary structures along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers are also preventing local reclamation districts from inspecting levees for structural integrity or being able to floodfight in the event of a levee breach. The city of Sacramento formed a task force to seek solutions.
  • Searchable Online National Levee Database - Ever wonder which Central Valley project levees are ineligible for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) PL 84-99 funding (RIP)?  Ever wonder when the last Periodic Inspection report was done on a USACE project levee and what the results were?  Ever wonder what the official name of a particular levee segment is?  All this and more has been entered into the National Levee Database (NLD) developed by the USACE that allows numerous ways to search including finding reports on levees located within your state, zip code, or address.  Authorized by Congress in 2007, the database contains information to link activities, such as flood risk communication, levee system evaluation for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), levee system inspections, flood plain management, and risk assessments.  

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CALIFORNIA CENTRAL VALLEY

FLOOD CONTROL ASSOCIATION

Resources and information for flood managers, elected officials, and those living in Central Valley floodplains.