CALENDAR ALERTS

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June 30 – FMA Webinar Symposium on Rain-on-Snow, Atmospheric Rivers, and Floods
July 8 – USACE public mtg. on Levee Safety Engineering Circular, 2:00-3:30 pm
July 10 - Deadline to comment on CEQA Notice of Preparation for Delta Plan Chap. 4 Ecosystem Amendments

July 27 – Deadline to comment on USACE Levee Safety Program policies





















LATEST NEWS


  • Delta Tunnel Alignment Shifts - DWR submitted a revised application for a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit to the USACE.  Although maps in the NOP and documents submitted to the CVFPB only propose a central alignment of the conveyance tunnel, the map submitted with the 404 application is an eastern alignment.  In addition, to the Sacramento River, the 404 permit lists 17 other navigable waterways that could potentially be affected by the Proposed Project: 1) San Joaquin River; 2) Mokelumne River; 3) Middle River; 4) Old River; 5) Snodgrass Slough and tributary; 6) Stockton Deepwater Ship Channel; 7) Burns Cutoff; 8) Black Slough; 9) Turner Cut; 10) Italian Slough; 11) Beaver Slough; 12) Hog Slough; 13) Sycamore Slough; 14) White Slough; 15) Disappointment Slough; 16) Whiskey Slough; and 17) Woodward Canal.  Impacts to these numerous waterways will likely affect commercial and recreation boating, efficiency of thousands of local water diversion intakes for irrigation of Delta crops, and the maintenance, operation, improvement, and floodfighting of levees on both sides those channels.
  • Erosion Protection Project Progresses - In mid-June, the USACE and CVFPB held a virtual public meeting regarding the environmental review of a proposed 5,500-foot-long bank stabilization project along the American River from Glenn Hall Park to just past the H Street Bridge.  Part of the American River Common Features project, the levee project is a collaborative $1.8 billion effort to modernize the aging flood control infrastructure protecting a half a million people in Sacramento.
  • DWR Approves Flood Control Grant Funding - The towns of Grimes and Knights Landing in Yolo County have been approved for grant funding in the second phase of the Small Communities Flood Risk Reduction Program administered by DWR.  Sponsored by the Sacramento River West Side Levee District, the Grimes project includes rehabilitation of 1.5 miles of Sacramento River levees and the elevation of houses to increase flood protection for almost 400 residences from a 40-year level of protection to a 100-year level.  This will also reduce flood risks for downstream communities in Colusa and Yolo Counties.  The Knights Landing Project is sponsored by Yolo County and will improve levees to increase flood protection from 25-year to 100-year levels for 1,000 residences; reducing their flood insurance costs.
  • 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.
  • Public Review Extended on USACE Levee Safety Policy - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed new guidance on the Levee Safety Program and extended the public comment period until July 27, 2020.  The Corps is specifically requesting input on the clarity of:  1) the Engineer Circular; 2) roles and responsibilities related to the Program; 3) and the Program objectives and requirements.  The EC is very technical and therefore not necessarily understandable to a layperson.  One issue of concern is the USACE will no longer assign inspection ratings, which could be problematic since eligibility for PL 84-99 repairs program is based on levee rating.  The USACE has scheduled a public webinar presentation for Sacramento on July 8, 2020 form 2:00-3:30 pm.
    New WOTUS Rules are Legally Challenged - The Trump Administration published new rules on April 21, 2020 defining Waters of the United States (WOTUS) that replace changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Rules adopted during the Obama Administration.  The recently revised rules are scheduled to become effective on June 22, 2020, but two separate lawsuits were filed at the end of April claiming violations of the Administrative Procedures Act and raising concerns related to the Clean Water Act.  The State of California joined in a multi-state coalition to file a motion a couple of days later, requesting a preliminary injunction to prevent implementation until the court renders a decision on pending lawsuits.  It remains to be seen whether the revised rules will take effect.
  • Ecosystem Chapter Amendments to Delta Plan - The Delta Stewardship Council released a Notice of Preparation for an EIR evaluation of amendments to the Chapter 4 Ecosystem Chapter of the Delta Plan.  Deadline to comment on the Notice is July 10, 2020.
  • Sac Bank Change Report EIR Released - The USACE released EIR on Change Report for the Sacramento River Bank Protection Project.  Originally authorized in the Flood Control Act of 1960, the Sac Bank is a long-term flood risk management project to reduce stream bank erosion.  The USACE Change Report proposes implementing an additional 80,000 linear feet of additional bank protection as authorized in the 2007 federal WRDA legislation.  The public has until May 11, 2020 to comment.
  • Delta Levee Funding Confirmed - At the April Delta Levee Habitat Advisory Committee meeting, DWR provided a letter confirming $12 million for the Delta Levee Maintenance Subventions Program and $10 million for Delta Special Projects Program will be allocated from available bond funding already appropriated by the Legislature.
  • 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.
  • New Dredge and Fill Regulations Adopted - On April 2, 2019 the State Water Resources Control Board adopted new wetlands definition and regulations that govern the procedures for discharging dredged or fill material into “waters of the state.”
  • 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.  

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


Together in the flood fight -- since 1926.

CALIFORNIA CENTRAL VALLEY

FLOOD CONTROL ASSOCIATION

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


3050 Beacon Blvd., Suite 203

West Sacramento, CA, 95691

(916) 446-0197

Melinda Terry, Executive Director




COVID-19 ALERTS


  • Masks Required in CA - As of June 18, everyone in the state must wear face coverings when indoors and outdoors if social distancing is not possible.
  • Governor Orders All Californians to Stay Home - In a press conference on March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order directing ALL state residents to stay home, except for essential needs and "to maintain continuity of  operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors."  The order takes effect immediately and continue indefinitely "until further notice."
  • 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.​


LEGISLATIVE ISSUES



  • West Sacramento Legislation Advances - The Association submitted a support letter to the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee for AB 3225 (McCarthy), to provide state funding for West Sacramento flood risk reduction project.
  • Balancing State Budget is No Easy Task - Just before the start of the fiscal year, the State Legislature reached a very difficult resolution of the 2020-21 State Budget, which was signed into law by the Governor.  Finalizing the $202.1 billion spending plan was accomplished after closing an unprecedented $54.3 billion deficit by temporarily raising business taxes, delaying billions of dollars in payments to public schools, and cutting funding to courts, colleges and state worker salaries.  However, the budget relies on borrowing, delaying billions of dollars in expenses to future years, and depletes the “rainy day” reserve built during the Brown Administration.  It also anticipates receiving federal funding to backfill some of these cuts, which is uncertain at best.  Therefore, significant budget cuts may still be on the horizon.  This reckoning may come as early as mid-July once the state collects income tax payments that were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ​State Legislature Reconvenes - After an extended spring break due to COVID-19, the State Assembly returned to work on Monday, May 4 with new policies for conducting legislative business. About 300 bills were referred to policy committees last week. To comply with guidelines on social distancing, committee hearings will be held on the Assembly Floor and advocates are being asked to communicate electronically as much as possible. The Senate returned to Sacramento on Monday, May 11. 
  • State Budget Outlook is Bleak - Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared just a few months ago, the state’s fiscal situation has shifted from a projected multi-billion budget surplus, to a $54 billion deficit. This dire fiscal outlook will require extensive programmatic reductions, including those described in a document providing an overview of May Revise proposals on Resources and Transportation Programs.  In the release of his budget May Revise, Governor Newsom acknowledged the economic downturn may last years and will require reduced spending, drawing down reserves, borrowing from special funds, and financial assistance from the federal government.  On the bright side, he  expressed commitment to prioritizing the state’s limited fiscal resources on emergency preparedness and responding to natural disasters such as droughts and floods.
  • Climate Bond Provides Insufficient Funding for Flood ProtectionAB 3256 (Garcia), proposes a $6.9 billion State General Obligation Bond for climate resiliency programs and projects.  Although flood protection is mentioned in various sections, it only provides $150 million specifically for flood management projects and only if they also improve wildlife habitat; and $50 million of this amount is required to be spent on flood projects in urban coastal watersheds.  Due to the bleak state budget situation, insiders expect passage of a climate resiliency bond to be postponed until 2022 when an economic recovery will hopefully be underway.  This delay will allow time for the Association to work with other stakeholders and the Legislature on amendments to reduce flood risk in the Central Valley and Delta that are consistent with the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.
  • Governor Announces Flood Board Appointments - On March 5, Governor Newsom announced the reappointment of Joseph Countryman and Timothy Ramirez to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, but left one vacancy with the expiration of Clyde Macdonald's term. 
  • Assembly Support Flood Control Funding - The Assembly Budget Subcommittee supports funding DWR and CVFPB staff, updating of CVFPP, $96 million in bond funding for multi-benefit flood control projects, and $46 million from General Fund for state's cost share in urban levee improvements implemented by the USACE under the American River Common Features Project.
  • State Water Plan Released - On January 3, the Newsom Administration released a water resilience portfolio proposing a suite of actions to help California prepare for more extreme floods, droughts, aging water infrastructure, and climate impacts on endangered species.  The public has until February 7 to provide written feedback, with a Final Portfolio released soon after.
  • Governor Appoints Water Officials - DWR Director Karla Nemeth and Chief Deputy Director Cindy Messer were both reappointed by Governor Newsom. Both positions are actively involved in developing the Governor’s water resiliency portfolio and voluntary agreements for implementation of an updated Delta Water Quality Control Plan.  Chuck Bonham was also reappointed as Director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Check out current CCVFCA members and consider joining the Association.