Groundwater Sustainability Plans – Guiding Principles

On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the Environmental Council of Sacramento sent to the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies in the American and Cosumnes Groundwater Subbasins our suggestions for guiding principles for our local Groundwater Sustainability Plans.

Our letter presents suggested Principles we believe should be part of each subbasin’s Plan. These Principles draw upon both state guidance for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and the spirit and intent of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Click here to read the letter.  

AB-900 Compliance for the CNU Medical Center Project

On September 18, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento submitted a letter regarding AB-900 compliance of the CNU Medical Center Project, asking for a 30-day extension for the DEIR review period.

We are requesting an additional 30 days to continue our review of this DEIR and feel that this is more than justified given that the City of Elk Grove needs to be in compliance with the record preparation requirements of AB 900 which requires that all documents that will be part of the public record will be provided by lead agencies within five days of being received and that they will be in an easily accessible electronic format.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Click here to learn more about this project, and our concerns.

Elk Grove Hospital Draft Environmental Impact Report Released

The City of Elk Grove released the draft environmental impact report (“DEIR”) for the California Northstate University (“CNU”) Hospital Project (“Project”) on August 14, 2020, finally giving the public the first look at the Project’s potentially significant environmental impacts and an opportunity to provide comments. The deadline to submit written comments and receive a response in the Final EIR is 5:00 pm on September 28, 2020.

Who: The City is the lead agency for the Project, meaning it is responsible for preparing the DEIR and complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).

What: The Project is the total redevelopment of the shopping center located directly east of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and north-west of impact mitigation land for Swainson’s hawk. The Cosumnes River Preserve is only 12 miles from the Project site. CNU, a for-profit medical school already operating on site, intends to construct a 12-story hospital topped with a helipad, a dormitory, and numerous parking and auxiliary structures. The Project would be developed in three phases over a period of 10 years.

When: The 45-day public comment period began on August 14, 2020 with the release of the DEIR. The deadline to submit written comments and receive a response in the Final EIR is 5:00 pm on September 28, 2020. Oral comments may be provided at the September 16, 2020 City Council meeting and the City will provide responses to those comments in the Final EIR as well.

Where: The DEIR and supporting documents is available at: http://www.elkgrovecity.org/city_hall/departments_divisions/planning/current_development_projects/california_northstate_university_hospital/documents__visuals. Physical copies of the DEIR are available at the City Planning Division counter at 8401 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758.

Why: Concerned members of the public should submit comments on the Project to demonstrate opposition to this intrusive Project that would have negative consequences for residents and wildlife alike. The City is already conceding that the Project would have significant impacts that cannot be mitigated. With respect to impacts to local residents, the Draft EIR admits that the Project would create light and noise pollution and increase criteria air pollutant emissions. The Project also poses a significant threat to native protected species like Swainson’s hawk, sandhill cranes and burrowing owls that inhabit the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding habitat. Noise and light pollution would disturb roosting birds, while helicopter flights and the massive hospital building would pose a danger for bird strikes. Long-term, the Project would contribute to depleting groundwater levels and impaired air quality. Now is the time for the public to voice their concerns and let the City know that Project is not right for Elk Grove.

Click here to learn more about the hospital plans and the environmental concerns.

What’s a Groundwater Sustainability Plan?

August 2020

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is pleased to announce a new page on our website that is all about Groundwater Sustainability Plans! Look forward to more information to be posted from the water subcommittee of ECOS’s Habitat Committee.

Click here to view our new page and learn all about groundwater sustainability in the Sacramento region!


Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

ECOS/Habitat 2020 Concerns with Latest Delta Tunnel Plan

On April 17, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and Habitat 2020 submitted our comments, under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), on the latest iteration of the Delta Conveyance Project.

Our concerns include the following:

  • Project needs to be defined clearly
  • Appropriate alternatives must be considered for the project as a whole
  • Appropriate Alternatives must be considered for infrastructure components
  • Impact of mechanically assisted flows in the tunnels need to be analyzed
  • Analysis needs to assume that all Reusable Tunnel Material (RTM) will need to be disposed, rather than repurposed
  • Accurate transportation impacts must be provided
  • Impacts to Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge need to be avoided
  • The full impacts of transmission lines need to be included
  • Transmission line strikes need to be analyzed for foraging Sandhill Cranes

Click here to read our letter in full.

Photo above by Osha Meserve