On or about July 9, 2020, the California Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) (1) adopted a Mitigated Negative Declaration (“MND”) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) for the Soil Project; and (2) approved the Soil Project. Subsequently, on or about February 19, 2021, DWR adopted an Addendum to the MND, which analyzed proposed changes to the Soil Project including a refinement of the soil investigation sites at issue in the Soil Project. The Soil Project entails the conducting of soil investigations for the purpose of measuring physical properties of the soils, analyzing the location of the groundwater table, and studying other typical geologic and geotechnical parameters that will be used to inform and evaluate alternatives, consistent with Executive Order N-10-19, for a proposed single tunnel Delta conveyance project (requiring separate environmental review under CEQA), consistent with Governor Gavin Newsom’s new approach to modernize Delta water conveyance.
The primary objective of the Soil Project is to determine the composition, location, and geotechnical properties of soil materials commonly found in the Delta which would inform the design, environmental analysis, and development of alternatives for a potential Delta conveyance project and to increase DWR’s overall understanding of Delta geology. The planned work includes overwater and land-based soil borings, cone penetration tests (CPTs), and geophysical surveys.
On or about January 20, 2022, the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Powers Authority approved a professional services agreement (“Agreement”) for geotechnical exploration and reporting services in connection with the Soil Project.