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9/6/2002 LADWP and Inyo County file Sept. 6 report to Inyo Superior Court on failure to complete LORP DEIR
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the County of Inyo submitted a report today to the Inyo County Superior Court explaining why they did not complete the Lower Owens River Project Draft EIR/EIS by the court ordered deadline of Aug. 31. The DEIR was originally due in June 2000, as required in the MOU with OVC, the Sierra Club and other parties. They now say they need until Nov. 18, 2002 to complete the document, this statement just three weeks after indicating to the court it could be completed by Sept. 30.


PAUL N. BRUCE, (081619) ROCKARD J. DELGADILLO
Inyo County Counsel City Attorney
224 North Edwards Street Richard M. Helgeson
P.O. Box M Senior Assistant City Attorney for
Independence, California 93526 Water and Power
(760) 878-0229 ARTHUR B. WALSH (89732)
(760) 878-2241 (fax) Assistant City Attorney
111 North Hope Street, Suite 340
GREGORY L. JAMES P.0. Box 51111
Special Legal Counsel (055760) Los Angeles, California 90051-0100
163 May Street (213) 367-4505
Bishop, California 93514
(760) 872-1168
(760) 873-5695 (fax)

Attorneys for Defendant Attorneys for Defendant City of Los
County of Inyo Angeles by and through its Department
of Water and Power


IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF INYO



SIERRA CLUB, and OWENS ) Case No.: S1CVCV01-29768
VALLEY COMMITTEE )
) STATUS REPORT ON PREPARATION
Plaintiffs ) OF DRAFT EIR/EIS
)
)
v. )
)
CITY OF LOS ANGELES; LOS )
ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF )
WATER AND POWER; and )
COUNTY OF INYO )
)
Defendants )
)
)
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF )
FISH AND GAME; and CALIFORNIA )
STATE LANDS COMMISSION )
)
Real Parties in Interest. )
On May 29, 2002, the parties to this litigation, and the California Department of Fish and
Game and the California State Lands Commission (as Real Parties in Interest) filed a
stipulation in the above entitled case (“Stipulation”). Section 3.a of the Stipulation provides in
pertinent part as follows:
2. In the event that the Draft EIR/EIS is not completed and/or released for public review by August 31, 2002, by September 6, 2002, Defendants shall file with the Court and serve upon the Plaintiffs, and the Real Parties in Interest, a statement of the reasons why the Draft EIR/EIS was not completed and released for public review by August 31, 2002. The statement shall also provide the date that the EIR/EIS will be completed and released for public review. The purpose of the statement is to assist the parties and the court in determining what course of conduct to follow, and neither the statement, nor any portion of it shall be admissible as evidence in any proceeding.
The Draft EIR/EIS was not completed and released for public review by August 31, 2002. Therefore, Defendants County of Inyo and the City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (“LADWP”) jointly submit this statement as required by Section 3.a of the Stipulation.
Under California law, LADWP is the lead agency, and the County of Inyo is a responsible agency. The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is the federal lead agency. Ecosystem Sciences Incorporated (“ESI”), a contractor for Defendant LADWP, is assisting in the preparation of the Draft EIR/EIS. ESI was selected by the MOU parties to undertake certain work under the direction of Defendants in regard to the LORP. URS is the consultant who is preparing the Draft EIR/EIS. As agreed by the Defendants, URS is performing such work under a contract with Defendant County of Inyo.




1. State the reasons why the Draft EIR/EIS was not completed and released for public review by August 31, 2002.
Response:
On July 1, 2002, July 31, 2002, and August 15, 2002, Defendants jointly submitted to the Court, the Plaintiffs, and the Real Parties in Interest, status reports on the preparation of the EIR/EIS. Each of these reports included the following: (1) whether all work required by the Schedule to be completed as of the date of the report, has been completed; (2) a description of any work required by the Schedule to be completed as of the date of the report, that has not been completed; (3) an explanation of why any work required by the Schedule to be completed, has not been completed; (4) a statement of whether the failure to complete any work required to be completed by the Schedule will potentially delay the completion and release of the EIR/EIS beyond August 31, 2002; (5) a brief summary of the federal agency activity undertaken toward completion of the EIS component of the EIR/EIS and (6) a description of any foreseeable problems that may delay the completion and release of the EIR/EIS beyond August 31, 2002.
The reports submitted by the Defendants fully set forth the reasons why the draft EIR/EIS was not completed and released for public review by August 31, 2002. In the August 15, 2002 status report, Defendants reported that the Administrative Draft EIR/EIS had been provided by URS on August 7, 2002. Defendants also reported that it was anticipated that consensus on the Administrative Draft EIR/EIS would be reached by August 26, 2002.
While significant progress has been made, and Defendants and the EPA have met almost daily since the release of the Administrative Draft EIR/EIS, consensus has not been reached on all of the chapters that comprise the Administrative Draft EIR/EIS. Further, although Defendants and the EPA plan on working daily on the Administrative Draft document, and on meeting frequently until consensus is reached on the Administrative Draft, it is not expected that consensus will be reached on the entire Administrative Draft EIR/EIS until at least October 11, 2002.


2. State the date that the Draft EIR/EIS will be released for public review.
Response:
Once consensus has been reached on the Administrative Draft, URS will prepare a “screen-check” draft for review by the Defendants and the EPA. The review of the screen-check draft will consist of corrections of typographic errors, format corrections and other non-substantive revisions. Following the review of the screen-check draft, URS will print the Draft EIR/EIS and it will be released for public review. It is expected that these activities will require approximately one month after consensus is reached on the Administrative Draft EIR/EIS. Therefore, it is expected that the Draft EIR/EIS will not be released to the public before November 18, 2002.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of Defendants County of Inyo, City of Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power this sixth day of September 2002.

_________________________________
Paul N. Bruce, County Counsel
Gregory L. James, Special Legal Counsel
Attorneys for Defendant County of Inyo












DECLARATION OF SERVICE

CASE NAME: Sierra Club & Owens Valley Committee v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and County of Inyo

CASE NUMBER: Inyo County Superior Court Case No. S1CVCV01-29768

I am employed in the County of Inyo, over the age of 18 years and not a party to the within entitled action. My business address is 224 North Edwards Street, P.O. Box M, Independence, California 93526

On September 6, I served the foregoing document(s) described as:

Status on Preparation of Draft EIR/EIS

on all parties in said action, by causing a true copy thereof to be transmitted in a sealed envelope, addressed as shown below,

By Fax and U.S. Mail:

Donald B. Mooney, Esq.
Law Offices of Donald B. Mooney
129 C Street, Suite 2
Davis, CA 95616
Fax (530) 758-7169

Laurens H. Silver, Esq.
California Environmental Law Project
302 Sycamore Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Fax (415) 383-7995

Arthur B. Walsh, Esq.
Assistant City Attorney
City of Los Angeles
Post office Box 51111
Los Angeles, Ca 90051-0100
Fax (213) 367-4588

Gordon B. Burns
Deputy Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
1300 I Street, Suite 1101
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Fax (916) 322-5609

Attorney for Owens Valley Committee




Attorney for Sierra Club





Attorney for City of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power




Attorney for Real Parties in Interest California State Lands Commission and California Department of Fish & Game

AND

[xx ] (By Mail) I personally deposited said envelope(s) with the United States Postal Service at Bishop, California with first class postage thereon fully prepaid.

[ ] (By Mail) I deposited such envelope(s) in the mail at Bishop, California. I am readily familiar with the County's practice whereby the mail, after being placed in a designated area, is given the appropriate first class postage and is deposited with the U.S. Postal Service on that same day.

[ ] (By Express Mail/Overnight Delivery) I caused such envelope to be delivered by hand to the office of the addressee via overnight delivery pursuant to C.C.P. § 1013(c), with delivery fees fully prepaid.

[xx ] (By Facsimile) By faxing a true copy to party(ies) listed.

[ ] (By Personal Service) I caused such envelope(s) to be delivered personally to the office(s) of addressee(s).

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.



Dated: September 6, 2002 _________________________________
Paula J. Weller

Contacts:  Mark Bagley markbagley@qnet.com Phone: 760-873-5326