LEGISLATIVE ISSUES


  • Details of DWR and CVFPB Disclosed - Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) report reveals a 76% reduction in DWR's budget from $2 billion to only $475 million due to how bond revenues are accounted for on an annual basis and same level of funding as last year, $9.6 million, for the Central Valley Flood Protection Board to fund their activities and 47 staff positions. However, the CVFPB's budget allocation is entirely reliant on General Fund and not bonds, so the LAO recommends the Board submit a report on February 1, 2019 that describes their progress in generating operating revenues from other funding mechanisms such as permit fees, levee inspection fees, fines for encroachment violations, renewing lease and royalty agreements with higher rates, and collecting assessments through the Sacramento San Joaquin Drainage District.
  • CVFPB and DSC Reappointments Announced - Governor Brown reappointed Bill Edgar, Jane Dolan, and Mike Villines to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, and Susan Tatayon and Frank Damrell to the Delta Stewardship Council.  Dorene D'Adamo was also reappointed to the State Water Resources Control Board.
  • President Trump's 2019 Budget - Federal budge for 2019 proposes $5 billion nationwide for U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Civil Works Program, including further levee improvements for Yuba City, Natomas, and Hamilton City (see page 10).
  • SBFCA Manager Testifies in Congress - In mid-January Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency Manager Mike Inamine testified in two Congressional hearings about status of Oroville Dam and Feather River levee repairs, importance of levee maintenance, and the need for quick approval of 408 permission when emergencies arise.
  • New Water Bond Proposal Sent to Voters - At the end of this year's session the Legislature approved SB 5 (De Leon) authorizing a $4 billion parks and water bond to be placed on the June 2018 ballot.  In 11th hour negotiations the Legislature  removed $200 million from the Chapter 11.5 Flood Protection and Repair, reducing the amount from $750 million to $550 million. The author also added a letter to the September 15, 2017 Senate Journal (page 3021) clarifying legislative intent to fund multi-benefits where feasible, but acknowledging projects may have constraints with limited opportunities for fish and wildlife enhancements, therefore primary objective of funding single-purpose projects to achieve reduced risk to life and property is allowed.
  • Doubling of Local Cost Share Looming - The local cost share for the Delta Levee Maintenance Subventions Program is set to double on  because a billsponsored by CCVFCA to extend current 75-25% cost share, AB 732 (Frazier), stalled in the Senate fiscal committee. The bill would need an urgency clause amendment and a 2/3 vote approval of Assembly and Senate in order to send bill to Governor before cost share reverts to prior 50% local share on July, 2018. This is unlikely to happen unless the CVFPB and DWR submit letters and testify in support of AB 732.   
  • 408 Permit Funding Runs Out Nationwide - According to recent presentation to the CVFPB by USACE staff, the processing of 408 permits has halted nationwide because the $3 million appropriated by Congress for fiscal year 2017 has already been fully expended.
  • President Releases 2018 Budget Proposal - President Trump proposes $5 billion budget for USACE Civil Works programs for 2018, which includes $1.02 billion for construction and $3.1 billion for O&M, but only provides $35 million nationwide to fund emergency response and levee rehabilitation projects after flood events. This is just first step in annual Congressional budget process, with new fiscal year starting on October 1st.
  • Legislators Request Levee Repair Funding - With the support of legislative colleagues, Senator Nielsen and Assemblyman Gallagher sent letters to the budget committees requesting appropriations of General Fund for the emergency repair of levees damaged in the January and February storms.
  • Delta Senator Concerned with Prop. 1 Delta Allocations - In response to Gov. Brown's flood protection funding proposal, Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) sent a letter expressing concern with the proposed allocation of the $295 dedicated for the Delta.  Noting that levees are in desperate need of funding, she asserts that using the Prop. 1 funds on anything but Delta levees is a breach of trust with the voters and the legislators who represent the Delta and supported the bond measure. 
  • Governor Promotes Budget Actions to Fund Levee Repairs - As a follow-up to two Emergency Proclamations in January and February due to storm damage across the state, at a press conference on Friday, February 24, 2017 Governor Brown announced actions his Administration would be taking to secure funding for emergency levee repairs and dam safety. Governor released a 4-point plan that includes investing $437 million in near-term flood control and emergency response actions to supplement prior investments and sent a letter to Chairs of the Legislative Budget Committees notifying them that he is using his emergency powers to redirect existing appropriations and requesting a $387.1 million appropriation from Prop. 1 to implement flood control projects, including emergency levee repairs in the Central Valley and Delta.  Administration also released a document with more details about the allocation of the funding.
  • Legislators Form Delta Caucus - Senator Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Jim Frazier announced the formation of a legislative Delta Caucus to provide a collaborative venue for keeping the Delta delegation updated, briefed, and educated on the important policy issues affecting their region.

910 K St., Suite 310, Sacramento, CA, 95814

(916) 446-0197

Melinda Terry, Executive Director

FLOOD SEASON UPDATE


  • DWR & CVFPB Hold Press Event - At a Flood Preparedness Week press event held at the Sacramento Weir, the chairman of the Central Valley Flood Protection spoke about the need for increased legislative appropriations and DWR reminded the public of actions they should take in order to be ready for storm events, which were also mailed to residents in floodplains in the annual flood risk notification. DWR discussed implementing emergency repairs on some of the levees (Sac River, San Joaquin River, and USACE sites) damaged during the January and February storm events and acknowledged that the repair of another 100 critical and seriously damaged levees has been delayed until additional state funding is appropriated. In lieu of implementing repairs on these levees, the CVFPB's contingency plan is to rely on diligent monitoring and flood fighting by reclamation districts to prevent failures this winter. On October 27th DWR released a report describing the selection and screening process it used to choose sites to be repaired this year.
  • Oroville Interim Operations Plan Released - Because re-construction of the Oroville Dam spillway damaged during February 2017 storm events will not be completed until the end of 2018, DWR has released an operations plan to address the interim flood control outlet spillway flow limitations during the 2017-18 flood season. Since the partially constructed spillway will not be able to release the amount of water as designed until repairs are completed, the plan primarily involves lowering lake elevations to a conservative safety level in order to accommodate flood water.
  • Independent Forensic Team Final Report Released - The long-awaited final report of the Independent Forensic Team determined that the long-term systemic failure of DWR to address inherent design and construction weaknesses are what led to spillway collapse in 2017, but also noted that DWR neglected safety while focusing on delivery of water to export customers. The report also points out internal perpetuation in the department regarding incorrect understanding regarding the stability of rock foundation below the emergency spillway

CALENDAR ALERTS

 

​Feb 22   DSC Open House, Ecosystem Chap. Amendment, Jean Harvie Center, Walnut Grove, 5:00 pm
Feb 23  
CVFPB meeting, Sacramento City Hall, 915 I Street, 9:00 am
Mar 21
CCVFCA Flood Forum, Holiday Inn, 300 J St., Sacramento, 10:00 am

​                  REGISTER NOW - "Post-Disaster: Weathering Scrutiny of Flood Management Decisions"

Mar 29   Floodplain Management Association Symposium, San Diego

April 18   Deadline to submit RFP on Delta Monitoring Programs




LATEST NEWS


  • New 408 Guidance Released - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced completion of new Engineering Circular (1165-2-220) to replace existing policy and procedural guidance for authorizing alteration of federal works under Section 408. The Corps is conducting informational webinars, provided a fact sheet, and Powerpoint slides to explain the updated policy document. Comments on the new 408 policy is due March 7, 2018.
  • New DWR Director Appointed​ - With the resignation of Grant Davis after only four months, Natural Resource Agency Deputy Secretary Karla Nemeth was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as the Director of DWR for the last year of his Administration.
  • USACE Released Yuba River Feasibility Study - A draft feasibility report by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes reconnecting the Yuba River to its floodplain and other fish habitat restoration actions. 
  • New Mitigation Program Available - The October Coordinating Committee included two presentations, an overview and pilot project in Yolo Bypass, on new Regional Conservation Investment Strategies (RCIS) program created by recent legislation. 
  • CCVFCA Comments on USACE Categorical Permission - Pursuant to a Public Notice by the USACE Sacramento District proposing use of Categorical Permission for certain minor alterations of the SPFC project, a CCVFCA comment letter supporting adoption of this new policy was submitted.  RD 17 letter was also submitted.
  • Report Recommends Oroville Dam Changes - A coalition of environmental, fishing, and river rafting groups issue report recommending 18 changes to the Oroville Dam, expansion of the Sutter and Yolo Bypasses, and updating of USACE flood control manuals.
  • DWR Evaluates Reoperation of Reservoirs - A DWR Phase III Report and Fact Sheet describes results from new operational strategies to increase water supply availability for CVP and SWP water deliveries.
  • Court Rules Schools and Roads Required to Pay Property Assessments -  In 2015, CCVFCA filed a brief supporting RD 17's appeal of lower court decision on flood protection assessments, so is pleased by recent court decision to clarify inconsistency between water statutes and State Constitution. A recent Third Court of Appeal decision concluded that schools and roads are no longer exempted from paying local property assessments because the Constitutional provision added by Prop. 218 supersedes other existing statutes. 
  • New USACE Permit Funding Proposal - USACE is proposing to accept funding contributions from the DWR to expedite processing of permits for SPFC & CVFPP projects. Submit comments on SPK-2017-00271 by April 25, 2017 to michael.g.nepstad@usace.army.mil.
  • Flood Protection Fees Proposed by DWR & DPC - DWR and the Delta Protection Commission have independently proposed new property and user fees to fund long term maintenance of Delta and SPFC levees in the 2017 Draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (2017 CVFPP) and the Delta Flood Risk Management Assessment District Feasibility Study (DPC Study) and appendices.
  • DWR Discusses Sacramento Bypass Setback Levee Project - At the November Coordinating Committee, DWR described the flood reduction and habitat benefits of Lower Elk Horn project proposing to set back the northern levee on the Sacramento Bypass and the adjacent levee on east side of the Yolo Bypass.
  • CCVFCA Requests Clarification of Delta Eligibility for FEMA Disaster Assistance - Due to repetitive levee failures in the Delta during the 1980s, FEMA established levee criteria in a MOU with CalOES in order for the Delta to remain eligible for reimbursement for levee damage or failures under their Public Assistance Program.  The State failed to achieve criteria in the last 30 hears, so FEMA terminated the MOU as of December 8, 2012, leaving uncertainty on whether the non-project levees in the Delta are no longer eligible for disaster assistance. To confirm the eligibility status of these levees, CCVFCA formally requested the State to obtain a definitive answer from FEMA.  We advise our Delta members once FEMA responds. 
  • Flood Board Weighs in on DLIS - Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB) and Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) having joint meeting on Aug. 12th to discuss how CVFPB's guidance has been incorporated into the DSC's Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS) which is scheduled to release a draft strategy later this month and send recommendations to the Legislature on funding and proposed legislation in December.  DSC also asking people to weigh in on Delta priorities by responding to a survey.
  • New Dredge & Infill Discharge Procedures - The SWRCB is currently developing new procedures for the discharge of dredge and infill materials intended to create statewide definition and regulation of wetlands, and other waters of the State.  Two public workshops will be held to receive public input before the August 4, 2016 deadline to submit comments.
  • Delta Plan Declared Invalid -  Judge's June 24th clarification ruling declares the entire Delta Plan approved by the Delta Stewardship Council in 2013, and associated EIR, are invalid and must be shelved until revisions are made in accordance with Delta Reform Act statutes to include quantifiable (numeric) targets for certain components, such as reducing reliance on the Delta.  DSC's initial declaration of victory in May was therefore premature, and Restore the Delta's claim that original May 2016 court ruling was a "bullet to the heart" was more accurate.  Now DSC must go back to the drawing board to re-draft the plan and EIR.
  • FEMA Disaster Deductible - DWR and CA State Association of Counties (CSAC) submit comments to FEMA on their conceptual proposal to require state and local government agencies to pay a deductible before receiving federal disaster assistance.
  • Flood Funding Fact Sheet - A recent PPIC flood funding fact sheet asserts that flood risk is growing in the Central Valley, but funding for flood management is not. The Public Policy Institute of California claims that at a minimum the state needs to spend $34 billion to upgrade levee infrastructure over the next 25 years -- $1.4 billion per year -- twice the current level of flood management expenditures.
  • 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.  

Check out current CCVFCA members and consider joining the Association.

CALIFORNIA CENTRAL VALLEY

FLOOD CONTROL ASSOCIATION

Learn more about legislative, legal, and regulatory flood control issues.

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



Together for the flood fight -- since 1926.