Supes continue to seek Groundwater Sustainability Plan extension

Months later, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors is still waiting to hear back from the state regarding an extension on the Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Big Valley Groundwater Basin.

The supervisors unanimously approved the letter intended for Governor Gavin Newsom during its Tuesday, Feb. 16 meeting. The letter is actually the third of such kind, since earlier requests received no response.

“This letter is to request a response from you to our letters to you dated Aug.11, 2020 and Nov. 17, 2020 (attached), in regard to preparation of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) required to be submitted to the Department of Water Resources by Jan. 31, 2022, pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA), for the Big Valley Groundwater Basin. To date, we have not received communication of any type regarding said letter (by telephone, letter or email),” read the approved letter.

“As stated in more detail in our previous letter, COVID-19 has drastically limited our ability, and the public’s willingness, to have the in-person public meetings necessary to prepare the required GSP. This has left both the Lassen and Modoc Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) with few options. Many around the state have turned to internet-based meetings during this pandemic. However, conducting meetings through the internet is a poor substitution in Big Valley because there is not sufficient internet access. Further, we do not have sufficient resources to conduct internet-based meetings in a meaningful way. Again, our letter to you describes our challenges in great detail,” the letter read.

During the Tuesday meeting, the board discussed placing the letter on the consent calendar to continually have it approved until a response is received.