The Project is to supply critical drinking water and fire protection to the community of Allensworth. The Project involves the drilling, construction, and development of new water well infrastructure and involves construction of a new Water Well Site and connection to existing water well laterals; development of a new Water Storage Facility Site; eventual decommissioning of the existing Water Well Sites and potential decommissioning of the new Water Well Site; demolition of the Existing Water Storage Facility Site; and maintenance, repair, and improvement activities of the Water Well Sites and Water Storage Facility Site that will include general maintenance and housekeeping activities.
The Project is expected to result in incidental take of blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), San Joaquin antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus nelsoni), San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), and Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni) (collectively the Covered Species), which is/are designated as a threatened, endangered, and/or fully protected species under the California Endangered Species Act. The Project is expected to cause the permanent loss of 0.58 acres and temporary loss of 0.52 acres of non native grassland which provides suitable habitat for the Covered Species and permanent loss of 0.54 acres and temporary loss of 0.42 acres of ruderal/low quality habitat features suitable for the Covered Species.
The ITP referenced above as issued by CDFW authorizes incidental take of species listed under California Endangered Species Act that may occur as a result of Project implementation. Incidental take of blunt-nosed leopard lizard may be authorized pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 2081.12. Additionally, Senate Bill 147 has been enacted to add section 2081.15 to the Fish and Game Code to allow CDFW to authorize the take of a fully protected species in subdivision (b) of section 5050 resulting from impacts attributable to the implementation of a maintenance, repair, or improvement project to critical regional or local water agency infrastructure if the conditions set forth in Fish and Game Code section 2081.15, subdivisions (a-f) are met (See Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 783.4, and Senate Bill No. 147, stats. 2023).
The Permittee will purchase one (1) Covered Species credit equaling one acre from the Kern Water Bank Authority Conservation Bank and deed 0.46-acres of Habitat Management land to CDFW for management in perpetuity that will include a monitoring program and an adaptive management plan, approved by CDFW for monitoring the effectiveness of, and adjusting as necessary, the measures to minimize and fully mitigate the impacts of the authorized take of the species.