Delta Plan Regulations
The Delta Reform Act of 2009, which created the Delta Stewardship Council (Council), required that the Council adopt a "legally enforceable" Delta Plan to further the achievement of the coequal goals. The State Administrative Procedures Act (APA) identifies a rulemaking process through which Council-adopted Delta Plan policies become enforceable state regulations. Rulemaking is a public process that includes review and approval by the state's Office of Administrative Law (OAL).
The Delta Plan regulations are located in the official version of the California Code of Regulations at Title 23. Waters, Division 6. Delta Stewardship Council, Chapter 2. Consistency with Regulatory Policies Contained in the Delta Plan, Article 3. Consistency with the Regulatory Policies Contained in the Delta Plan. The website is maintained by West under contract with the Office of Administrative Law and is updated weekly.
For information on the Delta Levees Investment Strategy Rulemaking please see the DLIS webpage.
Administrative Procedures Governing Appeals
The Delta Reform Act of 2009 provides for an appeals process to ensure the consistency of certain state and local public agency actions (“covered actions”) with the regulatory portions of the Delta Plan (see Water Code §§ 85225-85225.30).
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 Wildlife (DFW) that the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) has met the requirements of Water Code section 85320 (which focus on compliance with the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act and the California Environmental Quality Act) for incorporation into the Delta Plan.
Water Code section 85225.30 requires the Council to adopt administrative procedures governing appeals, which are exempt from the State Administrative Procedure Act (the normal state rulemaking process).
The Delta Stewardship Council adopted these appeal procedures at its September 23, 2010, Council meeting. The appeals procedures are not codified in the California Code of Regulations, but still have the force of law.
Draft Amendments to Administrative Procedures Governing Appeals
In December 2021, the Council announced the availability of draft amendments to its Administrative Procedures Governing Appeals (“Appeals Procedures”). View the Notice of Release and draft amendments to the Appeals Procedures.
The Council’s experience with appeals proceedings for covered actions within the past five years has identified areas where improvements could be made to the Appeals Procedures that were not foreseen when the Council was created. The Council’s 2019 Five-Year Review of the Delta Plan also highlighted the need for potential amendments to the procedures.
The draft amendments propose to revise 16 of the 31 rules, and to add one new rule, to:
- Align wording used to describe Council authority with the Delta Reform Act;
- Streamline the filing and notification process by clarifying deadlines and requiring the use of the Council’s online covered actions portal for the filing of certifications and appeals;
- Clarify standards for appeals to be considered timely and complete;
- Set standards for evidentiary requests (under rules 10 and 29), including a requirement that evidentiary requests include a copy of the document or information item that is the subject of the request;
- Clarify the Council’s authority to establish procedures, deadlines, schedules, and timelines related to appeals hearings in applicable notices issued by the Council;
- Set standards for written submissions to the council, and clarify the Council’s authority to establish procedures, deadlines, schedules, and timelines related to written submissions in applicable notices issued by the Council;
- Clarify the outcomes of appeals proceedings under a variety of potential circumstances; and
- Encourage documents submitted to the Council to meet federal and State document accessibility standards.
As set forth in Water Code section 85225.30, the Council’s adoption of the Appeals Procedures is exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act rulemaking process.
The ninety (90) day public comment period for the draft amendments is now closed. The Council received a total of six (6) comment letters from Delta Protection Commission, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Soluri Meserve a Law Corporation, Solano County Water Agency and, State Water Contractors. Access to these letters may be requested via email (email@example.com) or phone (916-445-5511).
A workshop will be held at a future Council meeting to review the proposed amendments and gather public input. The Council will not take any action on the proposed amendments at the workshop. Staff will bring the proposed amendments, inclusive of any changes the Council recommends at the workshop, back to the Council at a future public meeting for potential adoption.
No specific date has been set for the workshop on the proposed amendments at this time. The workshop will be separately noticed and posted 10 days prior to the workshop on the Council’s meetings web page.