Author Archives: superoxygen

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Cadiz Inc. Issues Statement in Response to Remarks by California Senator Dianne Feinstein on Cadiz Water Project

Category : News

(LOS ANGELES, CA) –Today, Cadiz Inc. [NASDAQ:CDZI] (“Cadiz”, the “Company”) CEO Scott Slater released the following statement in response to a press release from California Senator Dianne Feinstein about the Cadiz Water Project and recent action by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management:

“Senator Feinstein regrettably relies on outdated, 17-year old data inconsistent with presently known facts as foundation to oppose a project which will safely and sustainably create new water for 400,000 people, has broad bipartisan community support, will generate 5,900 new jobs, and will drive nearly $1 billion in economic growth.  Two public agencies and twelve separate court opinions have expressly repudiated her arguments and sustained our project in accordance with CEQA, the highest environmental legal standard anywhere in America.  

Her opposition has done a disservice to thousands of Californians who will benefit from this public-private partnership – a project which will deliver new, reliable water without any adverse environmental impacts and will also provide significant additional groundwater storage, allowing the region to retain surplus water in wet years like this one for use in future dry years.

At the request of a bipartisan group of Congressional Members, the Bureau of Land Management on March 29th withdrew a guidance policy of the previous administration that resulted in an egregious evaluation of the Cadiz Project. That evaluation reversed more than 100 years of precedent of smart co-location of infrastructure in existing railroad corridors. We are grateful for the bipartisan efforts to reverse this errant BLM policy.”

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US Bureau of Land Management Rescinds Agency Framework for Evaluation of Activities within Railroad Rights-of-Way Granted under the 1875 General Railroad Right-of-Way Act.

Category : News

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, issued an Instruction Memorandum (IM) No. 2017-060 (https://www.blm.gov/policy/im-2017-060) to all field offices regarding the evaluation of existing and proposed activities within railroad rights-of-way (ROW) granted under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 (1875 Act).  IM No. 2017-060 rescinds the previous administration’s IM No. 2014-122 and IM No. 2012-038, which together had established a framework for evaluation of third party use of 1875 Act railroad ROWs over federal lands. This action follows a bipartisan request from 18 members of the U.S. House of Representatives to the new Interior Secretary that the agency rescind the IMs, withdraw an evaluation of the Cadiz Water Project’s proposed use of an 1875 Act ROW and issue a finding that the Project is consistent with the scope of the ROW.

In 2008, Cadiz Inc. entered a lease agreement with the Arizona & California Railroad (ARZC) to utilize 43-miles of its existing, active railroad ROW for the Cadiz Water Project’s conveyance pipeline. In 2009, the Interior Department stated that the proposed use was within the scope of the ARZC ROW.  In October 2015, following the issuance of IM 2014-122, BLM released an evaluation of the Cadiz Water Project’s proposed use of the ARZC ROW summarizing that the proposed use was outside the ROW’s scope and therefore required a separate ROW permit. The Company stated then, and continues to believe, that the BLM’s 2015 evaluation was contrary to law and policy and subsequently sought clarification from Congress as to the scope of such railroad ROWs.

The Company is supportive of efforts by members of Congress to address the BLM’s October 2015 evaluation of the Cadiz Water Project and we are pleased BLM has rescinded the IMs that gave rise to this evaluation.

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Thoroughly reviewed Cadiz project to provide water, jobs: Guest commentary

Category : News

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently authored a column decrying the Cadiz Water Project as bad for the environment, in violation of federal regulations and a threat to a national monument.

That’s not the Cadiz Water Project I know, nor the project that’s been publicly reviewed, approved and upheld in our state’s courts. Unfortunately, Sen. Feinstein, D-Calif., seems to have overlooked key facts about a project that will help California, not hurt it.

Here are the facts: When fully built, the Cadiz project will provide a new, reliable water supply for 400,000 citizens in Southern California, create and support 5,900 jobs and generate billions of dollars of economic activity. In addition, the project will make available new underground water storage to accommodate extremely wet winters, like the one we’ve had this year.

The senator’s assertion that Cadiz does not uphold California’s proud environmental tradition is flatly wrong. Over the past decade, the project has undergone California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, the most stringent standard in the nation. That lengthy analysis concluded the project would not cause significant environmental impacts on the desert environment or tribal lands. This analysis was challenged in court by opponents, but withstood every legal challenge.

When discussing how much water will enter the Cadiz aquifer annually, or its recharge rate, Sen. Feinstein relies on old data from 2000 without acknowledging the significant site-specific data collected by scientists since that time, nor the leaps and bounds made in technological advancements. In 2000, the iPhone and Facebook didn’t exist. Nor did site-specific measurements of the Cadiz Dry Lake’s evaporation or a newer, better U.S. Geological Survey model. These tools have allowed hydrologists to more accurately detail the magnitude of the water supply and groundwater flow system, giving regulators the information needed to limit the project and how it operates.

The project’s groundwater management plan guarantees project operations will be annually constrained to less than 1 percent of what is in the watershed, and to a specific “floor.” The County of San Bernardino, which has been recognized as a champion of local resource management by environmental organizations, has authority to halt operations.

Sen. Feinstein also contends that the Cadiz Water Project does not conform to federal regulations and therefore should be subject to National Environmental Protection Act review — but there is no nexus for federal review. The 43-mile Cadiz pipeline will be built underground, alongside an existing railroad route, to avoid federal land or pristine open space. Co-location of utilities alongside railroad tracks is good public policy that’s been in place for decades. Use of an existing right-of-way is precisely what federal regulations should encourage, not abuse to further delay needed infrastructure. No environmental review is more rigorous than the one already completed by the Cadiz Water Project; it should be embraced, not ignored.

President Obama’s recent designation of the Mojave Trails National Monument did not create a new federal permitting nexus for the project. The Cadiz Water Project is not in the monument, which by law can only include federal lands and cannot impact valid existing rights, including Cadiz’s property rights. This continued misrepresentation only serves to chill the necessary dialogue about how to manage the federal monument lands for environmental and public uses among all parties in the desert, including Cadiz.

Moreover, due to legislation authored by Sen. Feinstein hiding deep within the Interior Appropriations bill, the federal government is actually prohibited from completing a federal review for the Cadiz Project. How can one argue that the project requires federal review while continuing to block the government from doing so? This insinuates that support for federal review is about politics, not the environment. Perhaps this is why the treatment of Cadiz is under investigation by the U.S. House Oversight Committee. Or why a bipartisan group of House members have asked for Interior to remove the bureaucratic red tape that’s stymieing the project.

The accusations against the project levied by Sen. Feinstein are serious, but completely unsupported. The fact remains that over eight years, the project has been studied, publicly reviewed, approved and upheld under our state’s rigorous environmental laws. It will not and cannot “gravely” impact the desert. Rather, it will provide needed water, jobs and economic stimulus for Southern California without harm to the environment, or without one dollar of taxpayer money. Cadiz is precisely the kind of water project California needs right now. It is a model public-private partnership. Let’s get to work.

Winston Hickox is a member of the Cadiz Inc. board of directors. Previously, he was secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) for Gov. Gray Davis from 1999–2003; special assistant for environmental affairs to Gov. Jerry Brown (1975-1983) and an alternate for the California Coastal Commission (1997-1999). He has served on the boards of Audubon California, Sustainable Conservation, and California League of Conservation Voters.

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GREENWIRE: On secretary’s first day, Chaffetz demands documents

Category : News

E&E News Greenwire

Published: March 2, 2017
New Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke got a housewarming gift from Congress on his first day on the job yesterday: a request for official documents related to issues ranging from the designation of national monuments to complaints against Bureau of Land Management law enforcement agents for alleged bullying.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent Zinke a letter including document and record requests on seven matters it submitted to Interior Department officials between October 2015 and December 2016 and is still waiting for feedback on.

“The committee currently has certain pending requests for documents and information with the Department of the Interior. As the department transitions to new leadership, I reiterate these requests here,” wrote Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

The panel wants information related to several issues that cropped up during the previous administration, including:

  • Allegations from state officials in Nevada and Utah that some BLM law enforcement officers are intimidating and harassing residents and tourists, as well as the controversy stemming from extravagant budget requests — including 24-hour access to ice cream — to manage the 2015 Burning Man event.
  • A March 2015 BLM rule, now tied up in court, that would expand federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing in several Western states.
  • The Obama administration’s use of the Antiquities Act to designate more national monuments, including 1.8 million acres of land in California, Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.
  • BLM’s decisionmaking process as it related to the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project in California.

The Senate confirmed Zinke yesterday in a 68-31 bipartisan vote (Greenwire, March 1). He now leads a department of 70,000 employees that oversees 20 percent of U.S. lands. The federal government’s role in managing those lands vis-à-vis states’ authority will be a central issue facing the new secretary.

Interior’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs will review yesterday’s congressional request from the House committee, department spokeswoman Heather Swift said today.

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