SUBJECT: CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO NEGOTIATE, EXECUTE, AND AMEND, IF NECESSARY, A REIMBURSABLE CONTRACT WITH THE SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY ON BEHALF OF NORTH COAST REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD
DISCUSSION: The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (the Act) sets forth provisions for protecting and enhancing the recovery of species listed under the Act. Coho salmon were listed under the Act as Threatened on October 31, 1996 in the Russian River watershed (among others). Steelhead trout were listed in the Russian River watershed under the Act on August 11, 1997 as Threatened. The listings may affect a myriad of activities in the watershed since both species are native to the Russian River watershed.
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) has responsibility for the protection of the beneficial uses of water, which include aquatic species that may be listed under the Act. Any activities or regulations under the purview of the Regional Water Board must be in compliance with the Act with regard to listed species.
The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) conducts activities associated with flood control and water supply functions that may impact species listed under the Act. The Water Agency plans to evaluate their program with respect to compliance with the Act. Since the Regional Water Board regulates those activities to a considerable degree, the agency is seeking the Regional Water Board's assistance regarding the water quality aspects. The Water Agency proposed to fund Regional Water Board staff to review water quality objectives and/or other regulations and modify them if appropriate to comply with the Act.
The Water Agency proposes to fund the Regional Water Board at the rate of $200,000 per year for three years, with a targeted start date of January 1, 1998. Funding would be restricted to tasks associated with water quality standards review, modification to attain a "no take" status from the National Marine Fisheries Service, and recommendation of water quality and habitat improvements to improve the recovery of the listed species.
On August 28, 1997, the Regional Water Board approved Resolution 97-96, authorizing their Executive Officer to proceed with negotiations and processing of an agreement. State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) authorization is required since the total contract amount exceeds the $200,00 limit for delegated approval by the Executive Director of the SWRCB.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB authorize the Executive Director or his designee to negotiate and execute a contract with Sonoma County Water Agency on behalf of the North Coast RWQCB in an amount not to exceed $600,000, subject to the availability of funds.
FISCAL IMPACT: The North Coast RWQCB budgets for the fiscal years covered by the contract would be adjusted to encumber $200,000 annually from the Sonoma County Water Agency.
RWQCB IMPACT: Yes. The North Coast RWQCB.
STAFF RECOMMNDATION: That the SWRCB authorize the Executive Director or his designee to negotiate, execute, and further amend a three-year year contract with the Sonoma County Water Agency to support the review and modification of water quality standards in the North Coast RWQCB for compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 in an amount not to exceed $600,000.
DRAFT - OCTOBER 27, 1997
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The State Water Resources Control Board authorizes the Executive Director or his designee to negotiate, execute, and further amend, if necessary, a three-year (3) contract with the Sonoma County Water Agency to support the review and modification of water quality standards in the North Coast RWQCB for compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 in an amount not to exceed $600,000.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on November 18, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board