Covered Actions Exemption Bill Rejected

The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee rejected a bill July 3 that would have exempted some developments and projects in the Delta from having to comply with the final version of the Delta Plan.

AB 1095 by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon) would have excluded certain projects and activities from the definition of “covered action.” Under the Delta Reform Act of 2009, state or local agencies that propose a “covered action” within the boundaries of the Delta or Suisun Marsh are required to certify to the Delta Stewardship Council that the action is consistent with the Delta Plan. The consistency determination can be appealed by any person who claims the covered action is inconsistent with the Delta Plan and would have a significant adverse impact on achieving the coequal goals of improved ecosystem health and water supply reliability.

A coalition including ACWA and numerous water agency members opposed the bill, saying it would create exemptions so broad that they would undermine the state’s ability to advance the coequal goals. Opponents also said the measure was premature since the Delta Stewardship Council has not yet adopted its Delta Plan and no actions have been subject to the consistency determination process to date. The council is expected to adopt a final Delta Plan later this year.

The coalition’s opposition letter to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee can be read here.