For those who’ve asked to stay informed about Rancho Murieta development updates, here’s excellent news: Since 4 county supervisors: Peters, Dickinson, Yee and MacGlashan made the jarring decision to certify what many believe is still an inadequate EIR, citizens, state, federal and environmental groups have continued our battle for proper cumulative review at the federal level.
Why? The Corps must release wetland permits before the developers can build a single house. In other words, local (county entitlements) are only part of the approval process.
As mentioned a few months ago, the Corps turned down the developers request for a Nationwide Permit (the least complicated of the permitting process). In essence, the corps informed the developers, due to environmental concerns in Rancho Murieta, there will be no more Nationwide Permits granted for our community. Instead, the Corps will at least initiate "individual permits" which require additional cumulative review.
In the meantime, many of us have continued to ask the Corps for more--a full EIS (this document, though rarely implemented, is similar to an EIR, but under strict federal standards). Please note: As requested, a federal EIS is, now, under consideration for Rancho Murieta, with a final decision to be rendered by Colonel Chapman.
To get this far, the cumulative impacts of the Murieta development projects to endangered wildlife habitat and Waters of the United States--(including wetlands and the Cosumnes River) had to rise to a potential level of National significance.
Just 2 weeks ago, a few members of the RMDCCC, as well as state, federal and environmental groups were invited to meet at the Army Corps office to go over our concerns. After the meeting, a remarkable decision was made by Corps officials to schedule a hearing for Rancho Murieta.
Since Corps hearings are rare, we do not take this decision lightly. A federal regulator recently told me, although "meetings" are not entirely uncommon, in the last 18 years, he does not remember one single "hearing" ever initiated out of the district’s Corps office. Additionally, he referred to the Corps decision to hold a hearing for Murieta as an "extraordinary undertaking."
To accommodate locals, environmentalists, media and federal regulators from across the state who desire to take part in this unique event, we wanted to hold it at the largest room available in our community. In response, the club graciously offered their facilities. Therefore, The Untied States Army Corps of Engineers Murieta hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 PM at the County Club. Details to follow.
Again, we are ecstatic to receive this level of federal attention by the granting of such a rare hearing and look forward to sharing our development-related environmental concerns in great detail.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me at PatCan85@aol.com or on my cell at (916) 955 2027. Thank you!