Governor Newsom signs Partnership-opposed bill adding more environmental reviews to the Cadiz Water Project
IRWINDALE - Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 307 (Roth), a bill opposed by the Partnership, that sets a terrible precedent of allowing the State Legislature to arbitrarily select infrastructure projects to undergo additional environmental review. This will require the Cadiz Water Project, which has already passed the required environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and defended those clearances 12 times in court, to undergo yet another environmental review.
"The signing of SB 307 is an absolute disaster for the State of California," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "It will embolden the State Legislature to slap additional environmental reviews on any controversial infrastructure project in the hope of killing them. It is completely unjust and upends the reasonable expectation that there is one set of rules, that if followed, will allow projects to be built and completed."
The Cadiz Water Project is located in the high desert of San Bernardino County. It is estimated the project can produce tens of thousands of acre feet of water each year to be delivered to the urban areas of Southern California. While it has already passed environmental review, and defended those results in court multiple times, it will proceed with the new required review process, assured that it will be cleared again to proceed.
In a statement regarding the signing of SB 307, Cadiz, Inc. said:
“We look forward to working closely with the Governor's office, the State Lands Commission and other State Agencies as we complete this fair, public and transparent procedural step and we are confident that we will continue to demonstrate that the Project is environmentally sound and a worthy part of the solution to California’s persistent water supply challenges.
“California is home to over a million people who lack access to safe, clean, reliable drinking water. Over the long-term we face a statewide supply-demand imbalance that requires a successful water resiliency strategy, especially if we seek to achieve the State's objectives of providing water and housing for all. We believe a fact-based evaluation of the Project conducted under the Governor’s watchful eye will undoubtedly conclude we can sustainably contribute to this effort.”