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Posted inCalifornia

CalGEM denies 21 fracking permit applications, but fracking is responsible for only 2% of CA oil drilling

The California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency, on Friday announced it has denied all 21 of Aera Energy’s applications for fracking operations in California, citing risks to public health and safety and environmental quality and climate change under regulatory statutes. “This is the first permit denial of this scale for reasons related to public health […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: Westlands Water District signs permanent water contract with Bureau of Reclamation

March 3, 2020 – On February 28, the powerful Westlands Water District signed a permanent water repayment contract with the Bureau of Reclamation to provide Central Valley Project water in perpetuity to the growers in the powerful, politically-connected water district on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. The annual irrigation deliveries provided to […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: Winnemem Chief Caleen Sisk delivers SB1 letter to Governor Newsom’s office

September 20, 2019 – On September 18, Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk presented a letter to the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom, urging Newsom to sign—and not veto—SB 1.  Chief Sisk is leading the two-week Run4Salmon to restore habitat for Chinook salmon and protect water quality. For details, go to Run4Salmon.org. “Vetoing this bill will […]

Posted inCalifornia

Winnemem Wintu Tribe Embarks on 300-Mile Journey to Bring Back Salmon Sept. 14-29

VALLEJO, California September 13, 2019 – For the fourth consecutive year, Chief Caleen Sisk and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe will lead a 300-mile prayerful journey tracing the migratory spawning route of winter-run Chinook salmon to advocate for the restoration of salmon runs, protection of waterways and preservation of the lifeways of indigenous people.  Known as […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: Gov. Newsom Withdraws Appointment of former ExxonMobil Staffer to South Coast Air Quality Board

August 28, 2019 – Under pressure from environmental justice groups, California Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the withdrawal of last month’s appointment of Negar “Nikki” Noushkam, 44, of Los Angeles, to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board. Environmental justice groups opposed the appointment because Noushkam had served as an environmental project manager and process engineer at […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: California regulators continue to allow oil field wastewater injection into protected groundwater

August 21, 2019 – In February of 2017, I reported on how the Trump administration granted requests from Government Jerry Brown’s regulators to exempt three aquifers near the Fruitvale, Round Mountain and Tejon oilfields in California’s Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. According to Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity at the time, […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: Winnemem Wintu Chief Asks Delta Tunnel Amendment Negotiators: When Will Tribal Water Rights Be Discussed?

August 9, 2019 – Despite the fact that new Delta Tunnel project supported by Governor Gavin Newsom has not been approved, the Department of Water Resources is proceeding forward with negotiations with its water contractors over the State Water Contract Amendment for the Delta Conveyance.   DWR held two meetings, the first on July 24 and the second […]

Posted inCalifornia

Trinity diverters reported using one trillion acre feet of water, more than all of the earth’s water

January 3, 2019 – In the wacky world of California water, you never know what outrageous claims a water diverter might come up with. Just ask the State Water Resources Control Board, who recently reached a $10,000 settlement agreement with two Trinity County property owners over allegations that they “deliberately made misstatements” in reporting water diversion and […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: Cost Estimates to Repair Oroville Dam Spillways Mushroom to $1.1 Billion

Sept. 7, 2018 – In a conference call with reporters and a press release issued on September 5, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) revealed that its cost estimate to construct the main and emergency spillways at Oroville Dan has ballooned from $200 million in the early days of the spillway crisis to $1.1 billion. Critics of DWR’s handling of the spillway […]

Posted inCalifornia

State Water Board releases plan to increase flows in San Joaquin River and tributaries

The San Joaquin River below Friant Dam in Fresno County. Photo by Dan Bacher. July 10, 2018 – The State Water Resources Control Board on July 6 released its final draft plan to increase water flows through the Lower San Joaquin River and its tributaries — the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers — a move praised by fishermen and environmentalists, […]

Posted inCalifornia

Forest Service issues new 3-year permit for Nestlé to siphon water from SoCal creek

July 5, 2018 – In a controversial move blasted by environmental groups, the U.S. Forest Service on June 27 issued a new permit to Nestlé Waters North America allowing the international company to keep withdrawing water from the San Bernardino National Forest for its water bottling pipeline, despite evidence that its operations are draining spring-fed Strawberry Creek.   Nestlé, the world’s largest water-bottling […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: Bill to abolish Delta Stewardship Council fails to pass Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee

April 26, 2018 – The Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Tuesday failed to approve AB 1826, Assemblymember Jim Frazier’s bill to end the Delta Stewardship Council in 2020 and transfer its duties to the Delta Protection Coalition. Six Assemblymembers voted no, eight abstained and zero voted for AB 1826. The no votes were Chair Eduardo Garcia, […]

Posted inCalifornia

California WaterFix Hearing Rescheduled to February 8

January 31, 2018 – A critical hearing needed to approve Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta Tunnels project has been delayed until February 8. The California Water Fix Hearing Team of the State Water Resources Control Board has delayed the hearing as it continues to review several motions to delay a key hearing by 90 days […]

Posted inCalifornia

Assemblyman Frazier slams illegal communications between DWR & State Water Board

SACRAMENTO January 22, 2018 – On January 18, Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, issued a statement responding to alleged unlawful ex parte communications between the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources regarding the proposed Delta Tunnels outlined in complaints filed by Delta region local governments, public agencies and advocacy organizations. “If […]

Posted inCalifornia

Dan Bacher: Delta Legislators and Advocates Respond to ‘Alarming’ Oroville Dam Fiasco

Feb. 13, 2017 – A day after state officials ordered the evacuation of over 188,000 people from Butte, Yuba and Sutter Counties,  members of the newly-formed Delta Caucus of the California Legislature on February 13 issued a statement regarding the “hazardous situation” at Oroville Dam after The Mercury News reported that previous concerns about the safety of the Dam’s current […]