On July 26, 2016, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) provided notice of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) emergency rulemaking. This is the next step in finalizing the regulations local agencies must follow when preparing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and Alternatives under SGMA.
As previously reported in our May 12, 2016 alert, the proposed regulations specify the technical, monitoring and reporting requirements of GSPs, alternatives to GSPs, agency coordination agreements prepared pursuant to SGMA, and the methods and criteria used by DWR to evaluate those plans and agreements. Under the proposed regulations, GSPs must identify when and where groundwater conditions cause problems (e.g. seawater intrusion and subsidence), the management actions that local agencies will implement to prevent the problems, milestones to track plan progress, a description of how local agencies will monitor groundwater, and how monitoring data will be used to improve conditions in the basin.
Notice is required at least five working days prior to submission of the proposed emergency action to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). After submission, OAL will allow interested persons five days to submit comments on the emergency regulations. Upon submission, OAL will have ten days to review and process the emergency regulations, which become effective when OAL files the regulations with the Secretary of State.