… as the [Interior] secretary [Ryan Zinke] hopscotches across millions of acres of Western parks, monuments and wilderness with his Stetson-sporting swagger, a crew of political appointees in Washington has begun rolling back the conservation efforts put in effect over the eight years of the Obama administration. … Mr. Zinke’s staff on Tuesday filed a legal proposal to rescind the nation’s first safety regulation on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Former state Sen. Dave Cogdill, who indelibly shaped California water policy by authoring and supporting the Delta Reform Act of 2009, died July 23 after battling pancreatic cancer. … During his time in office, he worked extensively on developing sustainable water policies, especially in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt vowed Tuesday to cut through bureaucratic red tape that has slowed the cleanup of toxic Superfund sites and follow a task force’s recommendations to act more boldly in holding companies responsible for past contamination.
On its face, S.O. [Secretarial Order] 3353 sounds innocuous enough: It establishes a team within the U.S. Department of the Interior to review the state-federal conservation strategy that led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to determine that the greater sage-grouse did not need the protection of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA).
The Senate on Monday confirmed David Bernhardt, who has a history of lobbying for oil, mining and western water interests, as deputy secretary of the Interior Department. Both of California’s Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, voted against his appointment — which was approved, 53 to 43, with little discussion.
California Gov. Jerry Brown last week appointed Grant Davis as director of the state’s Department of Water Resources. Davis, 54, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, brings an unusual resume to the job. … Davis assumes the DWR director’s job on Aug. 1, and Water Deeply recently talked to him about his plans.
Dave Cogdill, a Central Valley Republican whose support for temporary taxes during the state’s economic meltdown ended his legislative career, died Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer, his family said.
Democrats and environmental groups are criticizing President Donald Trump’s nominee for the No. 2 position at the Interior Department, arguing that David Bernhardt has continued to advise a California water district even after he withdrew his formal registration as a lobbyist last year.
The drought may be over and Central Valley farmers are getting more water than they have in years, but that hasn’t stopped congressional Republicans from resurrecting a bill that would strip environmental protections for fish so more water can be funneled to agriculture. … Some version of [Rep. David] Valadao’s bill has been introduced off and on since 2011 without success.
One of the country’s foremost experts on catastrophic engineering failures released a new report Thursday on the troubled Oroville Dam that asks a disturbing question: Is the country’s tallest dam leaking?
Gov. Jerry Brown is naming a new chief water manager amid critical projects to repair the tattered Oroville dam spillways and potentially oversee construction of massive tunnels to convey water to central and southern California.
Grant Davis, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, was tapped Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown as the state’s new director for the Department of Water Resources, handing a veteran of North Bay politics and water policy a central role in Brown’s controversial bid to overhaul California’s water system with a $17 billion pair of tunnels under Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
One of the biggest backers for building new dams and reservoirs in California is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield. … As part of his push for the bill, H.R. 23, McCarthy made a claim about the dearth of water storage construction in the state in recent decades.
Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen announced that Ruth Welch has joined Reclamation as its director, Policy and Administration. As director, Welch oversees the development, formulation, evaluation and implementation of Reclamation’s programmatic, human resources, and civil rights laws, regulations, policy and related matters affecting its mission objectives including programmatic internal controls. This also includes the WaterSMART Program.
With California’s drought fresh on voters’ minds, a longtime water activist is asking their approval for a veritable wish list of water and other environmental projects costing billions – from fixing Oroville Dam’s cratered spillway to improving the watershed of the Tijuana River.
The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region has welcomed David van Rijn (pronounced ‘Rhine’) as the Region’s new planning officer. In this position which began July 10, van Rijn manages the Region’s storage projects, basin studies and the Title 16 program, which includes the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects in partnership with local government entities.
[U.S. Rep. Jerry] McNerney’s bill comes at a crucial time, as various government agencies and water districts make a series of decisions this summer and fall about whether the $17 billion tunnels project should move forward.