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State Water Board California WaterFix Updates


Updates will be posted approximately every two weeks. Those interested in receiving email updates should sign up to the State Water Board's California WaterFix email distribution list under the "Water Rights" section.

Current California WaterFix Petition Hearing Schedule (February 21, 2017)

March 17, 2017 Update

On March 16, 2017 the hearing officers issued a letter ruling granting the Department of Water Resources' motion for protective order.

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March 15, 2017 Update

The hearing officers issued a new ruling letter regarding closing briefs, prospective motions to dismiss, and limits on objections to rebuttal testimony and exhibits. Also, the hearing team responded via email to a request for clarification about when to submit permit conditions and supporting information.


March 3, 2017 Update

The hearing team responded to the American River Water Agencies' request for guidance on how to present proposed permit conditions and supporting information. The response email was sent to the Service List and is available here.


February 24, 2017 Update

On February 21, 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board's (State Water Board) hearing officers issued a ruling that responds to objections received to the admission of evidence in the hearing on the joint water right change petition filed by the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Department of Interior for the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix). The letter also rules on the testimony and exhibits offered into evidence by the parties participating in Parts 1A and 1B of the hearing, establishes the deadline for written rebuttal testimony and exhibits, and provides notice of hearing dates for the rebuttal phase of Part 1 of the hearing.

The February 21, 2017 ruling is posted on the State Water Board's website at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/ruling_notices/

Upcoming Important Dates and Deadlines:


January 13, 2017 Update

California WaterFix change petition parties' FTP folders are no longer publicly viewable. Parties may now upload and delete files from their FTP folder as needed in preparation of rebuttal. As stated in the December 19, 2016 hearing officers' ruling, the deadline to submit written rebuttal testimony and exhibits will be approximately 30 days after the hearing officers' rule on admissibility of Part 1 evidence. This ruling is anticipated for release in late January or early February 2017.


January 6, 2017 Update

Pursuant to the December 19, 2016 hearing officers' ruling (page 2), hearing staff will start to delete files in parties' FTP folders and make the folders private. If there are files your party's FTP folder that are not posted on the web, please contact the hearing team at cwfhearing@waterboards.ca.gov



January 3, 2017 Update

On December 19, 2016, the State Water Board hearing officers for the California WaterFix Project change petition issued a ruling letter transmitting submittal deadlines for introducing WaterFix hearing exhibits into evidence, filing and responding to objections to exhibits or testimony offered into evidence during cross-examination, an option for parties to submit written requests for topics to be covered in Part 1 closing briefs, and discussing the rebuttal process. Parties will have 30 days from the hearing officers' ruling on admissibility of Part 1 evidence to submit written rebuttal testimony and exhibits. This ruling is estimated to be issued in February 2017, but will be subject to the number and complexity of objections received.

Additional information can be found on the State Water Board's WaterFix change petition website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/

December 15, 2016 Update

Presentation of WaterFix Part 1B cases-in-chief concluded on December 14, 2016. The currently scheduled remaining Part 1B hearing dates (January 5-6, 10-13, 19-20, and 24-25, 2017) are cancelled. Additional direction on the rebuttal hearing schedule and corresponding deadlines will be issued in the near future.

As a reminder to the parties, Hearing Officer Doduc orally set a deadline of noon, December 21, 2016, to submit any exhibits that were introduced during cross examination that the parties wish to offer into evidence. Although the parties are not necessarily required to offer exhibits into evidence by virtue of the fact that they were introduced during cross examination, the parties may elect to do so.

November 7, 2016 Update

The State Water Board concluded Part 1A of the California WaterFix hearing addressing the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's case-in-chief in late September. Part 1B addressing other parties' cases-in-chief resumed on October 20, 2016. Since the hearing restarted on October 20, 2016, several parties have put on their cases in chief. Part 1B of the hearing will continue through January of 2017 as necessary. Part 2 of the hearing will begin following completion of California Environmental Quality Act and Endangered Species Act compliance for the project as early as late winter 2017. For additional information please visit the Water Board's California WaterFix Hearing webpage:

http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix

October 10, 2016 Update

On October 7, 2016, the State Water Board hearing officers for the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix) water right change petition hearing (hearing) issued a ruling addressing written testimony outside the scope of Part 1 of the hearing and other procedural matters. The October 7th ruling is posted on the State Water Board’s website at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/ruling_notices/.

The subject petition requests changes in water rights of the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively Petitioners) to add points of diversion of water to the Petitioners' water rights needed for the WaterFix. The hearing has been bifurcated. Generally, Part 1 of the hearing focusses on the potential impacts of the requested changes on human uses of water, and Part 2 focusses on the potential impacts of the changes on fish, wildlife, and other instream beneficial uses of water The State Water Board concluded Part 1A of the WaterFix hearing in late September 2016. Part 1A of the hearing addressed the Petitioners’ cases-in-chief. Other parties participating in Part 1 will present their cases-in-chief in Part 1B, scheduled to commence on October 20, 2016. Written testimony and exhibits for Part 1B were due in early September. Evidentiary objections to Part 1B cases in chief were due in mid-September.

At the conclusion of Part 1A, the hearing officers gave Part 1B parties an opportunity to respond to objections regarding the scope of their testimony and exhibits.  Additionally, the hearing officers set October 7, 2016 as the deadline for any supplemental objections to petitioners' testimony or exhibits based on new information obtained during cross-examination of the petitioners' Part 1A witnesses.

Generally, the hearing officers provided guidance in their October 7, 2016 ruling that only issues relating to Part 1 of the hearing will be discussed in Part 1B. Testimony related to fish, wildlife, recreation, public interest, and flow criteria, will be heard in Part 2 of the hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

For additional information, please visit the Water Board's California WaterFix Hearing webpage.

October 05, 2016 Update

At the conclusion of Part 1A, the hearing officers gave Part 1B parties putting on a case in chief an opportunity to respond to objections regarding the scope of their testimony and exhibits.  Generally, the hearing officers provided guidance that only issues relating to Part 1 of the hearing will be discussed in Part 1B. Testimony relating to Part 2 issues, such as fish, wildlife, recreation, public interest, and flow criteria, will not be heard in Part 1B of the hearing, which begins on October 20, 2016.

Additionally, the hearing officers set October 7, 2016 as the deadline for any supplemental objections to petitioners' testimony or exhibits based on new information obtained during cross-examination of the petitioners' Part 1A witnesses.

September 27, 2016 Update

Part 1A of the WaterFix change petition hearing ended on September 27, 2016. The remaining Part 1A hearing dates (September 28-30, 2016) will not be used. The change petition hearing will resume on October 20, 2016 with Part 1B: presentation of other parties’ cases in chief.

August 30, 2016 Update

Since the hearing started on July 26, 2016, the petitioners have put on their case in chief covering: project description, engineering, operations, and modeling aspects of the WaterFix project. Last week, the hearing officers granted parties' oral requests to cancel the August 29-30, 2016 hearing days so parties can work on their cases in chief (due September 1, 2016, September 2, 2016). The hearing will resume on September 22, 2016, when the petitioners will be presenting testimony regarding water rights.

Several parties and a substantial number of joiners requested an extension of time for parties to submit Part 1B cases in chief. The co-hearing officers denied parties' request to further extend the September 1, 2016 due date. Part 1B of the hearing will begin on October 20, 2016. Part 1B includes other parties' cases in chief, associated cross-examination, and rebuttal for Part 1 of the hearing. For additional information please visit the Water Board's California WaterFix Hearing webpage.

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August 1, 2016 Update

Part 1A of the California WaterFix water right change petition hearing began on July 26, 2016, with policy statements from the public. After three days of policy statements, the evidentiary portion of Part 1A of the change petition hearing started on July 29, 2016, with the Department of Water Resources' and the U.S. Department of the Interior's case-in-chief, including direct testimony and associated cross-examination. There are 14 hearing days scheduled for Part 1A of the hearing during August 2016, and additional days in September and October if needed. Part 1B of the hearing will begin on October 20, 2016, with other parties' cases-in-chief, associated cross-examination and rebuttal for all of Part 1 of the hearing. To see videos of the hearing, please visit the Water Boards' video website. For additional information regarding the hearing, please visit the Water Board's California WaterFix hearing website.

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July 28, 2016 Update

The hearing officers issued a new ruling letter on July 22, 2016 that generally addressed objections submitted by parties, the adequacy of the project description, objections to the petitioners’ secondary witnesses (witness panels for cross-examination), and other procedural matters.  The objections, petitioners’ responses, and the new ruling letter can be found on the WaterFix change petition website.

Part 1A of the WaterFix change petition hearing began on July 26, 2016 with policy statements from the public.  The evidentiary portion of the change petition hearing starts on July 29, 2016.  To see videos of the hearing, please visit the Water Boards’ video website.


July 15, 2016 Update

On July 12, 2016, multiple parties submitted procedural and evidentiary objections to exhibits and testimony submitted by the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively petitioners). In total, 19 objection letters were received.

The hearing officers issued a new ruling letter on July 13, 2016 that generally addresses the petitioners "June 29, 2016 letter requesting reconsideration of rulings made in the hearing officers" June 10, 2016 ruling letter. Generally, the petitioners' requests for reconsideration were denied. Also on July 13, 2016, the parties' groupings and order of cross-examination were published on the WaterFix change petitionwebsite.


June 30, 2016 Update

Multiple hearing parties requested more time to submit procedural or evidentiary objections to exhibits and testimony submitted by the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively petitioners). On June 10, 2016, the hearing officers responded to those requests in a ruling letter extending the deadline for parties to submit procedural or evidentiary objections to July 12, 2016. The ruling letter also clarified that parties may make policy statements in addition to opening statements, the order of proceedings for petitioners' witnesses, and reminded parties that staff exhibits are not currently accepted into the hearing record.

On June 15, 2016, the petitioners and some parties submitted requests for grouping parties and a proposed order of cross-examination. Of the 75 parties in Part 1 of the hearing, there are 35 proposed grouped parties including the petitioners. On June 21, 2016, the petitioners submitted revised exhibit lists proposing to enter State Water Board Staff Exhibits into the hearing record.


June 16, 2016 Update

After the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively petitioners) submitted their cases in chief, testimony, and exhibits on May 31, 2016, the hearing officers received numerous requests to extend the deadline for parties to submit procedural or evidentiary objections. On June 10, 2016, the hearing officers issued a ruling letter addressing multiple parties' requests, clarification of parties' participation in the WaterFix petition hearing,and other procedural matters. The new deadline for parties to submit procedural or evidentiary objections is 12:00 noon, July 12, 2016. All other hearing deadlines stated in the April 25, 2016 ruling letter remain unchanged.

On June 15,2016, the hearing officers received 20 proposed groupings and order of parties for cross examination of Part 1A of the WaterFix hearing. All proposals are posted on the WaterFix hearing website, under Notices of Intent to Appear, Protests and Proposed Groupings and Orders of Parties'. The hearing officers and staff are evaluating all proposals. All information is available at the State Water Resources Control Board's WaterFix hearing website:http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/exhibits/index.shtml


June 1, 2016 Update

On May 16, 2016, the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively petitioners) submitted a status letter in response to the hearing officers' April 25, 2016 ruling letter. The petitioners indicate they are in confidential negotiations with several protestants, have no proposed permit conditions at this time, and have updated modeling related to the proposed project. The petitioners' letter and the updated modeling can be found on the State Water Resources Control Board California WaterFix petition hearing website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix

On May 31, 2016 the petitioners submitted their cases in chief, witnesses' proposed testimony, list of witnesses, statements of witnesses' qualification, and exhibits. All submissions to date (154 files) can be found on the State Water Resources Control Board California WaterFix petition hearing exhibits website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/exhibits/index.shtml

April 25, 2016 Update

On April 25, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board hearing officers for the California WaterFix water right change petition hearing issued a ruling revising the hearing schedule and acting on other motions. In response to a March 28 letter from the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation requesting a 60-day continuance of all dates and deadlines associated with the hearing, the hearing officers changed the start date for the hearing from May 5 to July 26 of this year. In addition, the hearing officers denied motions to dismiss the petition and cancel the hearing and motions to disqualify the hearing officers. This letter, the motions and other information concerning this matter are posted on the State Water Board’s website at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/

April 7, 2016 Update

On March 28, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) hearing officers for the California WaterFix (WaterFix) water right change petition hearing received a letter from the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively Petitioners) requesting a 60-day continuance of all dates and deadlines associated with the hearing. On March 28, 2016, the hearing officers also received a request from several parties to dismiss the petition and on March 29, 2016, the State Water Board received additional requests to delay and stay the hearing pending resolution of several matters. All of these documents have been or will be posted on the State Water Board's website at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/.

In response to the various requests, the upcoming deadlines are suspended. A ruling will be issued in the near future formally addressing the requests and providing additional information about the hearing schedule.

March 21, 2016 Update

On March 4, 2016, the State Water Board hearing officers for the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix) water right change petition hearing issued a ruling on various hearing matters. The subject petition requests changes in water rights of the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively Petitioners) to add points of diversion of water to the Petitioners' water rights needed for the WaterFix. The March 4 ruling grants a request by the Petitioners' to delay the hearing and the due date for their exhibits (Part 1A of the hearing) to the hearing by a month and provides a similar delay for the hearing and exhibit due dates for other parties’ cases (Part 1B of the hearing). The ruling also addresses comments and other procedural issues. Among other issues, the March 4 ruling provides a due date of noon on March 16, 2016, for receipt of revised Notices of Intent to Appear (NOIs) for the specific reasons outlined in the ruling. The State Water Board received several proposed revised NOIs. The proposed revised NOIs have been posted on the State Water Board’s website at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/noi_protests/. The WaterFix hearing team is in the process of reviewing these revised NOIs to determine whether they conform to the provisions of the March 4 ruling.

The Petitioners’ testimony and exhibits for Part 1A of the hearing are due to be submitted by noon on March 30, 2016, and Part 1A of the hearing is scheduled to commence on May 5, 2016, with policy statements followed by the Petitioners’ case in chief. Any written procedural or evidentiary objections concerning the Petitioners’ case in chief are then due by noon on April 15, 2016. Part 1B of the hearing will commence on July 26, 2016, with exhibits due June 15, 2016. For additional information related to the WaterFix hearing, please see the California Water Fix hearing webpage under the "Water Right Change" tab.

March 4, 2016 Update

On March 4, 2016, the State Water Board hearing officers for the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix) water right change petition hearing issued a ruling on various hearing matters. The subject petition requests changes in water rights of the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively Petitioners) to add points of diversion of water to the Petitioners' water rights needed for the WaterFix. The March 4 ruling grants a request by the Petitioners' to delay the hearing and the due date for their exhibits to the hearing by a month. The ruling also addresses comments and other procedural issues following the hearing officers' February 11, 2016 ruling on matters following the January 28, 2016 pre-hearing conference for the WaterFix hearing. In the February 11 ruling the hearing officers provided additional time for parties other than the Petitioners to develop their cases by establishing two stages to Part 1 of the hearing focused on human uses of water. In Part 1A the Petitioners will present their case and in Part 1B the other parties to the hearing will present their respective cases. The March 4 ruling maintains the staggering of the hearing established in the February 11 ruling and provides an equivalent delay in the start of Part 1B of the hearing. Part 1A of the hearing will now commence on May 5, 2016, with exhibits due March 30, 2016. Part 1B of the hearing will now commence on July 26, 2016, with exhibits due June 15, 2016. The above mentioned rulings and other information related to the WaterFix hearing are posted at: www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/ under the "Water Right Change" tab.

February 11, 2016 Update

On Thursday, January 28, 2016, the State Water Board conducted a pre-hearing conference for the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix) water right change petition (Petition) hearing. The Petition requests changes in water rights of the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (collectively Petitioners) needed to add points of diversion of water on the Sacramento River for the WaterFix. The purpose of pre-hearing conference was to organize the conduct of the hearing to ensure that the hearing proceeds in an orderly and expeditious manner. The pre-hearing conference was held in accordance with the Notice of Petition and Notice of Public Hearing and Pre-Hearing Conference dated October 30, 2015, and the letter dated January 15, 2016, from the hearing officers on this matter. The pre-hearing conference topics were: (1) the timing of the hearing relative to other regulatory processes and (2) the order of proceeding, the grouping of parties and witnesses, issues concerning the scope of Part 1 of the hearing, settlements, time limits for direct testimony and cross-examination, and other issues pertaining to hearing logistics. A ruling on the procedural issues discussed at the pre-hearing conference and other issues was sent to the hearing parties on February 11, 2016, and posted on the State Water Board's WaterFix website. Among other things, the ruling modifies Part 1 of the hearing schedule to provide additional time for parties other than the Petitioners to develop their cases. Specifically, the ruling specifies that the hearing will begin on schedule on April 7, 2016, with policy statements, followed by the Petitioners' cases in chief (now Part 1A of the hearing). For the Petitioners, the noon March 1, 2016 deadline for submitting written testimony and exhibits remains the same. For the other parties participating in Part 1 of the hearing, the deadline for submitting written testimony and exhibits was extended to noon on May 16, 2016. The other parties participating in Part 1 of the hearing will then present their cases in chief beginning on June 23, 2016 (now Part 1B of the hearing).

A video broadcast of the pre-hearing conference has been posted on the State Water Board’s website at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_info/video.shtml.
Broadcasts of the water right hearing will be available via the internet and can be accessed at: http://www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast/.


January 22, 2016 Update

As set forth in the October 30, 2015, Notice of Petition and Notice of Public Hearing and Pre-Hearing Conference (Notice), Notices of Intent to Appear (NOIs) at the California WaterFix Petition hearing were due to the State Water Board by noon on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. The subject Petition requests changes in water rights of the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix Project). Protests against the Petition were also due at the same time. The State Water Board received numerous NOIs and Protests against the Petition. On January 15, 2016, the hearing officers issued a letter regarding the Service List of Participants, List of Other Interested Persons, and Pre-hearing Conference Agenda. The letter identifies issues for discussion at the Pre-Hearing Conference and includes the Service List of Parties to Exchange Information (Service List), which are parties who have indicated their intent to participate in the evidentiary portion of the hearing through direct testimony, cross-examination or rebuttal (Table 1). Any communications to the State Water Board regarding substantive or controversial procedural matters, including but not limited to submittals of evidence, briefs, and motions, must include documentation demonstrating that all parties on Table 1 of the Service List, as it may be amended by the hearing officers, were served a copy of the communication or submittal and indicating the manner of service. Also enclosed with the letter is a list of interested persons (who are not parties) who have submitted NOIs expressing their intent to present a policy statement (a non-evidentiary comment) only at the hearing (Table 2). Subsequently, a Revised Service List was issued on January 21, 2016. Please check the California Water Fix hearing webpage under the "Water Right Change" tab for future updates to make sure you are using the most recent version of the Service List.

To organize the conduct of the hearing, a Pre-Hearing Conference will commence on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. and continue, if necessary, on Friday, January 29, 2016, at the Joe Serna Jr.-CalEPA Building, Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Second Floor, Sacramento, CA. If necessary, the Pre-Hearing Conference will also extend to February 1, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in the same location.

For the Pre-Hearing Conference, parties or interested persons should contact the State Water Board immediately if they require translation services or other accommodations that have not already been arranged. For the hearing, parties or interested persons should contact the State Water Board no later than noon on February 12, 2016, if they require translation services or other accommodations that have not already been arranged. Parties or interested persons may contact the State Water Board at CWFhearing@waterboards.ca.gov or at (916) 319-0960.

Since the purpose of the Pre-Hearing Conference is to organize the conduct of the hearing, only parties participating in the evidentiary portion of the hearing (those identified in Table 1) will be afforded the opportunity to speak on issues related to the evidentiary portion of the hearing at the Pre-Hearing Conference. There will not be an opportunity for public comments at the Pre-Hearing Conference. Public comments related to this matter in the form of policy statements will be allowed at the beginning of the hearing currently planned for April 7, 2016. The hearing officers will provide any procedural direction for the presentation of policy statements in a separate correspondence. They may also take the opportunity to discuss specific, procedural issues regarding policy statements with interested persons at the Pre-Hearing Conference if those persons are present.

However, as stated in the January 15, 2016 letter on this matter, interested persons only presenting policy statements need not attend the Pre-Hearing Conference. Following the Pre-hearing Conference, the hearing officers may, at their discretion, modify the hearing procedures or issues set forth in the Hearing Notice in whole or in part.

Broadcasts of the Pre-Hearing Conference and water right hearing will be available via the internet and can be accessed at: http://www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast/.

The State Water Board Staff Exhibits identified in the Notice have been posted or will be posted shortly.
There are no other new updates as of this date. Please check the California Water Fix hearing webpage under the "Water Right Change" tab for hearing related documents.


January 21, 2016 Update

As set forth in the October 30, 2015, Notice of Petition and Notice of Public Hearing and Pre-Hearing Conference (Notice), Notices of Intent to Appear (NOIs) at the California WaterFix Petition hearing were due to the State Water Board by noon on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. The subject Petition requests changes in water rights of the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix Project). Protests against the Petition were also due at the same time. The State Water Board received numerous NOIs and Protests against the Petition. On January 15, 2016, the hearing officers issued a letter regarding the Service List of Participants, List of Other Interested Persons, and Pre-hearing Conference Agenda. The letter identifies issues for discussion at the Pre-Hearing Conference and includes the Service List of Parties to Exchange Information (Service List), which are parties who have indicated their intent to participate in the evidentiary portion of the hearing through direct testimony, cross-examination or rebuttal (Table 1). Any communications to the State Water Board regarding substantive or controversial procedural matters, including but not limited to submittals of evidence, briefs, and motions, must include documentation demonstrating that all parties on Table 1 of the Service List, as it may be amended by the hearing officers, were served a copy of the communication or submittal and indicating the manner of service. Also enclosed with the letter is a list of interested persons (who are not parties) who have submitted NOIs expressing their intent to present a policy statement (a non-evidentiary comment) only at the hearing (Table 2). Subsequently, a Revised Service List was issued on January 21, 2016. Please check the California Water Fix hearing webpage under the "Water Right Change" tab for future updates to make sure you are using the most recent version of the Service List.

To organize the conduct of the hearing, a Pre-Hearing Conference will commence on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. and continue, if necessary, on Friday, January 29, 2016, at the Joe Serna Jr.-CalEPA Building, Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Second Floor, Sacramento, CA. If necessary, the Pre-Hearing Conference will also extend to February 1, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in the same location.

For the Pre-Hearing Conference, parties or interested persons should contact the State Water Board immediately if they require translation services or other accommodations that have not already been arranged. For the hearing, parties or interested persons should contact the State Water Board no later than noon on February 12, 2016, if they require translation services or other accommodations that have not already been arranged. Parties or interested persons may contact the State Water Board at CWFhearing@waterboards.ca.gov or at (916) 319-0960.

Since the purpose of the Pre-Hearing Conference is to organize the conduct of the hearing, only parties participating in the evidentiary portion of the hearing (those identified in Table 1) will be afforded the opportunity to speak on issues related to the evidentiary portion of the hearing at the Pre-Hearing Conference. There will not be an opportunity for public comments at the Pre-Hearing Conference. Public comments related to this matter in the form of policy statements will be allowed at the beginning of the hearing currently planned for April 7, 2016. The hearing officers will provide any procedural direction for the presentation of policy statements in a separate correspondence. They may also take the opportunity to discuss specific, procedural issues regarding policy statements with interested persons at the Pre-Hearing Conference if those persons are present. However, as stated in the January 15, 2016 letter on this matter, interested persons only presenting policy statements need not attend the Pre-Hearing Conference. Following the Pre-hearing Conference, the hearing officers may, at their discretion, modify the hearing procedures or issues set forth in the Hearing Notice in whole or in part.

The State Water Board Staff Exhibits identified in the Notice have been posted or will be posted shortly.
There are no other new updates as of this date. Please check the California Water Fix hearing webpage under the "Water Right Change" tab for hearing related documents.


December 18, 2015 Update

As set forth in the hearing notice, all parties and prospective hearing participants who wish to present evidence during the hearing must submit a Notice of Intent to Appear. In response to questions regarding hearing participation and how to fill out the Notice of Intent to Appear, the form has been revised. The Revised Notice of Intent to Appear form allows parties and prospective participants to better differentiate between their proposed participation in Part I and Part II of the hearing. It also allows information concerning witnesses for Part II to be identified at a later date. The Revised Notice of Intent to Appear (Revised NOI) may be viewed or downloaded here: Revised NOI form in Microsoft Word format or Adobe PDF format.

The State Water Board encourages parties with common interests to work together to make the hearing process more efficient. Parties who are coordinating their participation may file one Notice of Intent to Appear that lists all the parties who will be presenting a consolidated cas-in-chief at the hearing. The hearing team has confirmed with the hearing officers that parties who present a consolidated case-in-chief will still have an opportunity to make separate opening statements during the hearing, if needed. Similarly, parties may file a joint protest against the petition if they share the same grounds for protesting and wish to submit the same supporting information.

There are no other new updates as of this date. Please review the October 30, 2015, Notice of Petition and Notice of Public Hearing and Pre-Hearing Conference (Notice), including Enclosure D "Information Concerning Appearance at the California Waterfix Hearing," for detailed instructions and information regarding protests and hearing participation.

Reminders:

Deadline to Submit Protests and Notices of Intent to Appear

In accordance with the Notice, the deadline for receipt of Notices of Intent to Appear and protests against the California WaterFix Change Petition is 12:00 noon, Tuesday, January 5, 2016. Everyone wishing to present evidence at the hearing must submit a Notice of Intent to Appear. Please use the Revised NOI form (Microsoft Word format or Adobe PDF format.).

Protests:

Petition protests must be submitted to both the State Water Board and both of the petitioners, California Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. (See instructions beginning on page 13 of the Notice.) In addition to filing your protest, you must also submit a Notice of Intent to Appear indicating your intent to appear to present evidence in support of your protest. If you do not resolve your protest with the petitioners prior to the hearing, and then do not present a case supporting your protest at the hearing, your protest will be dismissed. You do not need to file a protest in order to participate in the hearing.

Policy Statements:

Interested persons who will not be participating as parties, but instead presenting only non-evidentiary policy statements should also file a Notice of Intent to Appear. While not mandatory, the State Water Board requests that policy statements be provided in writing before they are presented and, if possible, that they be submitted by electronic submittal. Policy statements are not subject to the pre-hearing requirements for testimony or exhibits.

Only parties to the hearing are required to appear at the pre-hearing conference. Interested persons presenting a policy statement only at the hearing are not required to attend. Please see Enclosure D of the Notice for definitions of "parties" and "interested persons."


October 30, 2015 Update
Recent Actions: The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) issued two notices on October 30, 2015 related to the California WaterFix Project. One of the notices is a combined notice of the August 25, 2015 water right change petition (and errata) filed by the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and a public hearing on the petition. The petition asks to add three points of diversion of water on the Sacramento River near Courtland to the water rights for the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project for the California WaterFix Project. Approval of the petition is needed for construction and operation of the project. At the public hearing the Board will receive information on whether and under what conditions to approve the petition.

The second public notice is for a September 24, 2015 application for a Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification for the California WaterFix Project. The State Water Board must consider whether and under what conditions the construction of the California WaterFix Project would comply with water quality standards. A certification that the project will comply with standards as conditioned is needed for the project to proceed. While the two notices are separate issues, testimony and evidence gathered at the public hearing on the change petition will help inform the decision on the water quality certification.

Upcoming Actions: Protests against the water right change petition and Notices of Intent to Appear at the hearing are both due on January 5, 2016. Parties do not need to submit a protest to participate in the hearing, but must submit a Notice of Intent to Appear by the due date to participate in the hearing. A pre-hearing conference for all parties to the hearing is scheduled for January 28, 2016. The first part of the public hearing is currently scheduled to start on April 7, 2016.

A decision on the water quality certification will not be made until after the final California Environmental Quality Act document is complete for the project, projected as sometime after May or June of 2016.


October 2, 2015 Update

Recent Actions: On September 24, 2015, the State Water Board received an application for water quality certification from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) pursuant to section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the California WaterFix Project. Construction of the proposed California WaterFix Project would involve the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States which requires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) pursuant to section 404 of the CWA. In order for the 404 permit to be issued, the State Water Board must first determine that the discharge is consistent with applicable water quality standards pursuant to CWA section 401. Because the California WaterFix Project involves a water right action, the application for Section 401 water quality certification was submitted to the State Water Board, Division of Water Rights pursuant to applicable regulations.

On September 22, 2015, State Water Board staff received an email from DWR regarding processing of the 401 application and the schedules for compliance with the California and Federal Endangered Species Acts (ESA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The email requests that the State Water Board consider the application for CWA section 401 water quality certification in a process separate from the change petition. The email indicates that the timeline for completion of compliance with ESA requirements and CEQA/NEPA requirements is currently estimated to be between April and June of 2016.

In addition to the above, the State Water Board has received several letters on the California WaterFix Project to date. All of those letters have been posted on the State Water Board’s website and will be part of the administrative record for this project, but none of the factual material contained in the letters will be treated as evidence unless it is resubmitted and accepted as evidence pursuant to the requirements that will be outlined in the forthcoming hearing notice for this project.

Upcoming Actions: State Water Board staff is currently reviewing the CWA section 401 application to determine if it is complete. When the application is determined to be complete, the State Water Board will notify the USACOE and the federal Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to applicable requirements. The State Water Board will also post the notification on its website.

A joint public notice of the water right change petition and notice of a hearing on the petition is still anticipated for late October or early November. A pre-hearing conference to organize the conduct of the hearing and to discuss procedural matters, such as those raised in the various letters, is still being planned for late January or early February. A hearing on some of the key issues could begin as early as April of 2016. These dates are tentative and subject to change based on input from hearing participants. The public notice will provide additional information regarding the details discussed above.


September 18, 2015 Update

Recent Actions: On August 26, 2015 (dated August 25, 2015), the State Water Board received a joint petition from the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (petitioners) to add new points of diversion of water on the Sacramento River to the water rights for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project in support of the California WaterFix Project.

On September 11, 2015, the petitioners notified the State Water Board by email that they are preparing an errata sheet for the August 25th petition and will be submitting additional clarifying information no later than September 18, 2015. On September 16, 2015, the petitioners submitted an errata and addendum for the August 26, 2015 joint petition. State Water Board staff will evaluate the joint petition submittals to determine if the petition is complete. The State Water Board has received several comments on the adequacy of the petition as well as concerns about whether the petition can be processed prior to completion of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)/National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation process. Under the California Water Code, the petitioners must provide information demonstrating that the project will comply with the Fish and Game Code and the ESA. While this information and a final CEQA document are required before the State Water Board can take final action, this information does not necessarily need to be available before the State Water Board can begin processing the petition.

Upcoming Actions: A joint public notice of the petition and notice of a hearing on the petition is anticipated for late October or early November. To the extent necessary, the notice will address the procedural issues raised to date. A pre-hearing conference to organize the conduct of the hearing and to discuss procedural matters is currently being planned for late January or early February. A hearing on some of the key issues could begin as early as April of 2016. These dates are tentative and subject to change based on input from hearing participants. The public notice will provide additional information regarding the details discussed above.



  »» Go to California WaterFix Water Right Change page

  »» Go to California WaterFix Water Quality Certification page

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