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DWR Releases Initial Study/Proposed Mitigated Negative for Soil Investigations in the Delta
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released an Initial Study/proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for soil investigations in the Delta earlier this week and has now announced they have extended the deadline for the comment period until January 15, 2020.
The proposed Delta data collection, soil samples and surveys were to better understand the region’s geology as the state looks to modernize the water infrastructure in the Delta. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will seek new environmental permits for a single tunnel solution to modernize Delta conveyance.
DWR has indicated that they will develop a Notice of Preparation (NOP) under CEQA to begin a new transparent environmental review process in compliance with CEQA. Consistent with Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-10-19, the NOP will emphasize proposals to address climate change resiliency and protect the State Water Project Delta conveyance from earthquake risk as they pursue a one tunnel conveyance facility.
Preparation of the IS/MND is a standalone CEQA process and is separate from environmental review of Delta conveyance. DWR asks that comments be focused on the contents and analysis contained in the IS/MND document.
Pending the release of the soil investigations, work would not be scheduled until completion of the environmental review process and all required permits and approvals have been obtained. It is anticipated that this will occur in late spring 2020. Initiation of this work would also require the appropriate notification and communication with property owners.
Comments may be submitted via mail to Delta Conveyance Office, Attn: Katherine Marquez, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236 or email to Delta_Soil_ISMND@water.ca.gov.