Governor Newsom today signed SB 307, a bill that requires that any water mining projects such as the Cadiz water project undergo new additional review processes to prove it will avoid environmental harm. Many thanks are owed to the many MBCA supporters who wrote comments and called the Governor's office in support of the bill. The Governor's letter approving SB 307 outlines the reasons for his action.
Stop Cadiz: Call the Governor to sign SB-307!
SB-307 on Governor’s desk
As noted in our July 22 EBlast, MBCA signed on to support an effort by the Tubbs Canyon Conservancy to urge the USDA Agricultural Research Service to develop a biologic control agent for the incredibly invasive Sahara Mustard that plagues the southwest United States. On July 26 an official request to designate Sahara mustard as a top priority target weed for developing biologic control was sent to the USDA/ARS with the support of 10 U.S. Representatives including our Congressman Paul Cook.
- Control the spread of Sahara Mustard
- Paradise Valley Development Threatens Joshua Tree National Park
- Stop Eagle Crest Energy
- Stop Cadiz! SB-307 on Governors desk
- Countywide Plan comments due August 15
A judge's decision on June 21 has reversed the BLM's 2017 ruling (which was itself a reversal of their prior decision) regarding the need for federal environmental review for the railroad right-of-way that relates to the Cadiz pipeline project. The next action is back in BLM's court. More details can be found in this Desert Sun article and with greater emphasis on the legal issues in this Courthouse News Service article. Prior news updates from MBCA on this and other water conservation-related news can be found on our "Water Issues" page.
California Senate Bill 772, which would have provided a supportive policy for hydroelectric energy storage projects like the Eagle Mountain project, failed to pass a full Senate vote. The bill could be reintroduced next year. Read details in this Desert Sun article and in the pre-vote Los Angeles Times opinion piece against the bill.
While not directly supporting the Eagle Mountain hydropower and storage project, the passage of SB 772 would require California to support projects that would store energy as part of the state's plan to increase renewable energy production. The increasing amount of solar and wind energy is more than can be used as it is produced, so storage becomes more important to continue reducing non-renewable energy consumption. This in-depth article in the Los Angeles Times provides perspective from both industry and environmental perspectives.
Senate Bill 307 passed through the California Senate and will next need approval in the Assembly to provide additional environmental review for groundwater transfers like the proposed Cadiz project. Read details about SB 307 from the Desert Sun.
In a Press Release delivered on Friday, May 10, Senator Dianne Feinstein urged the California Senate Appropriations Committee to approve SB 307 for further Senate consideration. The bill is key to protecting the California Desert from severe aquifer reduction should the Cadiz Water Project be approved. She states, “Enhanced state review is already in place for other treasured places in California, such as Lake Tahoe, San Francisco Bay and the California coastline. I strongly believe that California’s iconic desert merits the similar enhanced state review that SB 307 would provide.” Also, "I believe SB 307 is key to ensuring desert groundwater basins are not harmfully exploited by creating a commonsense state review process that safeguards California’s fragile desert lands and groundwater basins." The bill is scheduled for a hearing on May 16. Additional information can be found on Mojave Watch.org and the LA Times wrote an editorial against the project on May 15.
- Submit your Desert-Wise Living Essay!
- Stop Cadiz! Support SB-307
- Alta Mira Development Defeated!
- Paradise Valley Development Threatens Joshua Tree National Park!
- West Mojave Route Network Project (WEMO) Land Use Plan Amendment published
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) workshop: Yucca Valley, May 18, 2019