Environmental Law & Policy Alert – Update from Somach Simmons & Dunn

January 11, 2023

SGMA Implementation and CEQA:  Is Now the Time to Reconsider a Statutory Exemption?

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which requires local agencies to form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to adopt Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) to ensure sustainable groundwater management in all high- and medium-priority groundwater basins, is well into its implementation phase. The deadlines for GSAs to submit GSPs for all high- and medium-priority basins have passed, and the Department of Water Resources continues to issue determinations on submitted GSPs. As GSPs are approved, GSAs have begun to pursue projects to implement their GSPs, primarily comprising groundwater recharge projects. These projects are generally subject to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, which mandates environmental review of discretionary public agency actions…. Read More

Written by Ellen M. Moskal and Kelley M. Taber