State Water Board Drought Year Water Actions Taken with California Environmental Quality Act Suspensions

California Environmental Quality Act Suspension Actions

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires environmental review when State agencies take certain actions. The purpose of the environmental review is to identify impacts that a project may have on the environment and identify, if necessary, certain mitigation measures to reduce the impacts.

On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown signed a proclamation declaring a drought State of Emergency in California. As authorized by Government Code section 8571, the Governor’s Proclamation suspended the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the regulations adopted pursuant to it, to the extent that CEQA otherwise would have applied to specified actions necessary to mitigate the effects of the drought. On April 25, 2014, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to redouble State drought actions. The Executive Order continued to suspend environmental review required by CEQA to allow actions called for in the proclamation to respond to the drought to take place as quickly as possible. The Executive Order requires entities implementing the proclamation’s directives to maintain on their websites a list of the activities or approvals for which the CEQA provisions are suspended. On December 22, 2014, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-28-14, which extended the waiver of CEQA contained in the January 17, 2014 and April 25, 2014 Proclamations through May 31, 2016. The following is a list of activities or approvals the State Water Board has taken under which the applicable provisions are suspended.