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SB-146 Water resources: permit to appropriate: protected species.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/21/2017 04:00 AM
SB146:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 20, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  February 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 146


Introduced by Senator Wilk
(Principal coauthor: Senator Stern)

January 17, 2017


An act to add Section 1305 1257.7 to the Water Code, relating to water resources.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 146, as amended, Wilk. Water resources: permit to appropriate: application procedure. protected species.
Under existing law, the State Water Resources Control Board administers a water rights program pursuant to which the board grants permits and licenses to appropriate water. Existing law requires an application for a permit to appropriate water to include, among other things, sufficient information to demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that unappropriated water is available for the proposed appropriation. Existing law requires the board to issue and deliver a notice of an application as soon as practicable after the receipt of an application for a permit to appropriate water that conforms to the law. Existing law allows interested persons to file a written protest with regard to an application to appropriate water and requires the protestant to set forth the objections to the application. Existing law declares that no hearing is necessary to issue a permit in connection with an unprotested application, or if the undisputed facts support the issuance of the permit and there is no disputed issue of material fact, unless the board elects to hold a hearing. Existing law prohibits the taking or possession of a fully protected fish, except as provided, and designates the unarmored threespine stickleback as a fully protected fish.

This bill, if the board has not rendered a final determination on an application for a permit to appropriate water within 25 years from the date the application was filed, would require the board to issue a notice and provide an opportunity for protests before rendering a final determination, with specified exceptions. This bill would provide that it is not a limitation on the authority of the board to issue a notice or direct the applicant to issue a notice if, because of changes in the project or other circumstances, the issuance of a notice is necessary to provide a fair opportunity for interested persons to file protests or is in the public interest.

This bill would prohibit the board from issuing on or after January 1, 2018, a new permit to appropriate water from any river or stream that has, or is reasonably expected to have, a population of unarmored threespine stickleback.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) The take of unarmored threespine stickleback is prohibited under Section 5515 of the Fish and Game Code, except under a few specific and limited exemptions.
(b) It is important to ensure that there is no incidental or other prohibited take of unarmored threespine stickleback associated with the diversion or appropriation of water.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1257.7 is added to the Water Code, to read:

1257.7.
 The board shall not issue, on or after January 1, 2018, a new permit to appropriate water from any river or stream that has, or is reasonably expected to have, a population of unarmored threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni).

SECTION 1.Section 1305 is added to the Water Code, to read:
1305.

(a)If the board has not rendered a final determination on an application for a permit to appropriate water within 25 years from the date the application was filed, the board shall issue a new notice and provide an opportunity for protests under Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1330) before rendering a final determination.

(b)A notice and opportunity for protests pursuant to subdivision (a) is not required if any of the following apply:

(1)The application is canceled or denied.

(2)A notice and opportunity for protests has been provided within five years prior to the board rendering a final approval.

(3)The board holds a hearing or conducts proceedings under Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 1345), after public notice of the hearing or proceeding, and allows any person requesting notice of the hearing or proceedings to participate as a party in the hearing or proceeding, including the presentation of evidence, without having to have filed protests. The board shall provide not less than 45 days’ written notice, in the same manner as would be provided to an unresolved protestant, to any person requesting the notice.

(4)The applicant is a public entity.

(c)This section is not a limitation on the authority of the board to issue a notice or direct the applicant to issue a notice if, because of changes in the project or other circumstances, the issuance of a notice is necessary to provide a fair opportunity for interested persons to file protests or is in the public interest.