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Appeals Procedures


The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009 grants the Council authority to ensure the consistency of state and local public agency actions with the Delta Plan (see Water Code Sections 85225-85225.30). The Act directs the Council to adopt procedures for early consultation on this matter and also establishes other general guidelines.

Water Code section 85225.30 requires the Council to adopt administrative procedures governing appeals, which are exempt from the normal state rulemaking process. The Delta Stewardship Council adopted these procedures at its Sept. 24 meeting. Read the procedures as adopted.

State and local agencies proposing to undertake a project covered by the Delta Plan must prepare and file a consistency determination with the Council. Any person may challenge that consistency determination by bringing an appeal to the Council. The Council, in turn, must hold a hearing on the appeal and issue written findings, either denying the appeal or remanding the matter to the state or local agency for reconsideration of the proposed project based on the finding that the consistency determination is not supported by substantial evidence in the record before the agency.

The Delta Reform Act also provides a separate process in which the Council may hear appeals with regard to determinations by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) has met the requirements of Water Code Section 85320 (that focus on compliance with the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)) for inclusion in the Delta Plan.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)