RAPID/Hydropower/California/Environment

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RAPID

Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

California Hydropower Environmental Review(9-CA)

In California, the State Water Resources Control Board, or other designated state “lead” agency, may need to conduct an environmental review of a proposed hydropower project, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act. A hydropower developer may participate in the state agency’s environmental review of the proposed project.

More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

California Federal

Environmental Review Process: "The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s state legislation governing environmental protection issues.

The CEQA process runs concurrently to the permit process triggering CEQA. During pre-application, the developer is to identify the appropriate agencies with a stake in the permitting process as well as collect as much background information as possible.

During the application phase, the developer begins filing the necessary environmental permit applications with the appropriate permitting agencies. The lead agency is responsible for coordinating all the environmental permits and initiating the CEQA process.
[1]
Environmental Review Process Agency: For most hydropower projects in California, the State Water Resources Control Board acts as the lead agency responsible for producing the environmental documents required by CEQA, although other entities (such as cities, municipal utility districts, and irrigation districts) have served as the State’s lead CEQA agency for some projects."For most hydropower projects in California, the State Water Resources Control Board acts as the lead agency responsible for producing the environmental documents required by CEQA, although other entities (such as cities, municipal utility districts, and irrigation districts) have served as the State’s lead CEQA agency for some projects." cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. [2]
Environmental Review Threshold: Unless exempt, all “discretionary projects” proposed to be carried out or approved by public agencies, including but not limited to licensing, must go through CEQA review. Discretionary projects are those, which require the exercise of judgment or deliberation, as opposed to merely determining whether there has been compliance with applicable laws and regulations."Unless exempt, all “discretionary projects” proposed to be carried out or approved by public agencies, including but not limited to licensing, must go through CEQA review. Discretionary projects are those, which require the exercise of judgment or deliberation, as opposed to merely determining whether there has been compliance with applicable laws and regulations." cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. [3]
Applicable MOU with FERC: Yes, the MOU establishes the principles governing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s and the California State Water Resources Control Board’s coordination of pre-application activities. [2]

Contact Information

Edit Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Regional Office Hydropower Contacts


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Edit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Section 404 Regulatory Contacts


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Edit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Section 408 Regulatory Contacts


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Edit Bureau of Reclamation
Hydropower Program: Power Resources Office Directory


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Edit BLM
Resource Advisory Councils


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Edit BLM
Division of Lands, Realty, and Cadastral Survey Directory
202-912-7088

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Edit USFS
Forest Service Organizational Directory


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| Add a Contact

List of Reference Sources

  1. 14 CCR § 15060 (2014).
  2. 2.0 2.1 11/19/2013. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Memorandum of Understanding 2013.
  3. Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 21080 (1972).
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