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California Environmental Law & Policy Update – December 2021 | Allen Matkins

California Environmental Law & Policy Update – December 2021 | Allen Matkins



Bullet The Mercury News – December 1

In a stark indicator of California’s worsening drought, Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration announced this Wednesday that cities and farms should expect to receive virtually no water next year from the State Water Project, a massive system of dams, pipes, and canals that typically provides water to 27 million people from Silicon Valley to San Diego. The unprecedented announcement — with only small amounts of emergency supplies possible for some urban areas — means that unless this winter brings significant rainfall, more stringent conservation measures are likely in San Jose, parts of the East Bay, and other communities across the state in 2022. In normal times, the State Water Project supplies drinking water to two out of three Californians — and irrigates about 750,000 acres of farmland.


Bullet CNBC – November 26

The Biden administration last Friday proposed reforms to the country’s oil and gas leasing program that would raise costs for energy companies to drill on public lands and water, but stopped short of recommending an end to oil-and-gas leasing on public lands. The Interior Department released the long-awaited report. It recommended increasing royalty rates for drillers and renting out areas with known resource potential. It also recommended that drilling companies prioritize leasing areas that have wildlife habitat, recreation, or cultural resources. Drilling on public lands generates billions of dollars in revenue but contributes to roughly a quarter of the country’s planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Bullet The Log – November 30

From December 19 to February 9, 2022, the Port of San Diego (Port), will suspend in-water cleaning of boats with copper based paint in Shelter Island Yacht Basin. The Port will continue to inspect the water and test it weekly. The pause, implemented in partnership with the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, is part of the Port’s Copper Reduction Program, which aims to reduce copper pollution in the basin by 76 percent by Dec. 1, 2022, in compliance with federal and state standards.

Bullet San Francisco Chronicle – November 23

Governor Newsom promised that no new permits would be issued for fracking in the state by 2024. But California has already banned the practice of oil extraction by repeatedly denying fracking permit requests. The state has denied 109 permits to expand Fracking since July. Many were denied partly because fracking could increase the effects of climate change. Two lawsuits were filed by opponents, who claim that the Newsom administration has illegally banned fracking and made the state more dependent upon imported oil.

See Also

Bullet Los Angeles Times – November 30

Toxic Tides is a three-year-old study that reveals the first systematic examination of the environmental justice implications of sea level rise. It was released Tuesday. According to a new statewide map project by environmental health experts at UC Berkeley, UCLA, more than 400 potentially hazardous facilities could be inundated by sea level rise by the end of this century. According to the study, communities made up of predominantly minority working class people are five times more likely than others to live within half mile of a toxic location that could flood by 2050.

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